About the Joe A. Callaway Award

The Joe A. Callaway Awards recognize excellence in directing and choreography in New York City and are the only awards given by peer directors and choreographers  for work on a single production.

Joe A Callaway dedicated more than 50 years to the theatre as an actor, director, lecturer and critic. He was a founding member and director of San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, the first recipient of a Master’s degree from the Goodman School of Theatre, an associate professor at Michigan State University, a noted radio and television reviewer, and an actor off-Broadway and in regional theatre. Since his death in 1991, his legacy lives on in awards he endowed for direction and choreography (through SDCF), for acting (through Actors’ Equity Association), for playwriting (through Young Playwrights Inc.) and for theatre scholarships (through NYU).

SDCF’s Joe A. Callaway Award was first presented in 1989.  Recipients and finalists are chosen by the Callaway Award Selection Committee, comprised of current longstanding SDC Members, from more than 200 productions considered each season.


Directors or choreographers who are SDC members in good standing are eligible for their work on NYC productions that have employed AEA performers – except under the Showcase Code, Broadway agreement or LORT A+ – and for which the director and/or choreographer were employed under an eligible SDC contract.  Staged readings and concerts – including the Encores! Series at City Center – are not eligible.  Events that are annual – i.e. A Christmas Carol – will be considered only the first time they are presented.  Productions that are “remounted” are not eligible.

Past Recipients

1989 Gloria Muzio Other People’s Money
1990 Frank Galati The Grapes of Wrath
1991 Susan Stroman And the World Goes Round
1992 George C. Wolfe (Dir) & Hope Clarke (Chor) Jelly’s Last Jam
1993 Harold Prince Kiss of the Spider Woman
1994 Gerald Gutierrez Abe Lincoln in Illinois
1995 Joe Mantello   Love! Valour! Compassion!  
Scott Elliott Ecstasy
1996 Julie Taymor The Green Bird
1997 Moises Kaufman Gross Indecency
1998 Frank Galati (Dir) & Graciela Daniele (Chor) Ragtime
1999 Trevor Nunn Not About Nightingales
2000 Gabriel Barre (Dir) & Mark Dendy (Chor) Wild Party
2001 Jack O’Brien The Invention of Love & The Full Monty
2002 Bartlett Sher Cymbeline
2003 Doug Hughes (Dir)   Flesh & Blood  
Devenand Janki (Chor) Zanna Don’t
2004 Daniel Sullivan Intimate Apparel
2005 Doug Hughes (Dir)   Doubt  
Christopher Gattelli (Chor) Altar Boyz
2006 Peter DuBois (Dir)   Measure for Pleasure  
Bill T. Jones (Chor) Spring Awakening
2007 Thomas Kail (Dir) & Andy Blankenbuehler (Chor) In the Heights
2008 Giovanna Sardelli (Dir)  Animals Out of Paper  
Lynne Taylor Corbett (Chor) Wanda’s World
2009 Garry Hynes (Dir) The Cripple of Inishmaan  
Martha Clarke (Chor) Garden of Earthly Delights
2010 Ciaran O’Reilly (Dir) The Emperor Jones
Byron Easley (Chor) Langston in Harlem
2011 Carolyn Cantor (Dir) After The Revolution
Larry Keigwin (Chor) Rent
2012  John Tiffany (Dir) and Steven Hoggett (Chor)  Once
2013  Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Dir)  The Piano Lesson
Marlo Hunter (Chor) Unlock’d
2014 John Rando (Dir) The Heir Apparent
Martha Clarke (Chor) Chéri
2015 Mike Donahue (Dir) The Legend of Georgia McBride
Lanie Sakakura & Alex Sanchez (Chor) Red Eye of Love
2016 Sarah Benson (Dir) Futurity
James Walski (Chor) Trip of Love