About the “Mr. Abbott” Award

The “Mr. Abbott” Award, bestowed through SDCF by a committee of Directors and Choreographers to one of their peers, is named in honor of renowned director George Abbott and is presented to a director or choreographer in recognition of lifetime achievement.

To learn more about Mr. Abbott, please check out this video.


Directors and choreographers who have had impact over the course of career will be considered for this award for a body of work that has had influence on the field artistically.  It is unlikely but not impossible for a non-SDC member to be selected.

About George Abbott

One of the most important and admired men in the entire history of Broadway – indeed, some have said that he WAS the history of Broadway –, George Abbott (b. Forestville, NY, 25 June 1887; d. Miami Beach, FL, 31 January 1995) was a theater director and producer, playwright, screenwriter, and film director and producer whose career spanned more than nine decades. He had a hand, one way or another, in the most historically and artistically significant New York productions of the twentieth century: Broadway (1926), Three Men on a Horse (1935), Brother Rat (1936), On Your Toes (1936), Room Service (1937), The Boys from Syracuse (1938), Too Many Girls (1939), Pal Joey (1940), On the Town (1944), High Button Shoes (1947), Where’s Charley? (1948), Call Me Madam (1950), Wonderful Town (1953), The Pajama Game (1954), Damn Yankees (1955), Once Upon a Mattress (1959), Fiorello! (1959), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1961), Flora the Red Menace (1965), and 103 other shows, giving a boost to the early careers of (among others) Sylvia Field, Helen Hayes, Shirley Booth, Garson Kanin, Rodgers and Hart, Ray Bolger, Eddie Albert, Jose Ferrer, Eddie Bracken, Gene Kelly, Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Nancy Walker, Jerome Robbins, Allyn Ann McLerie, Harold Prince, Carol Haney, Bob Fosse, Carol Burnett, Jack Gilford, and Liza Minnelli. Abbott had 40 films to his credit as screenwriter, director, or producer, among them All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), The Fall Guy (1930), and the film adaptations of his Broadway hits; his featured screen actors included Jean Arthur, Lew Ayres, and Gene Tierney.

Past Recipients

1985 Harold Prince
1986 Bob Fosse
1987 Mike Nichols
1988 Agnes de Mille
1989 Michael Bennet
1990 Gene Saks
1991 Tommy Tune
1992 Arvin Brown
1993 Trevor Nunn
1994 Jerry Zaks
1995 Gordon Davidson
1996 Lloyd Richards
1997 Garson Kanin
1998 Graciela Daniele
1999 Twenty-One for the 21st: Vinnette Carroll, Zelda Fichandler, Peter Gennaro, Gillian Lynne, Marshall W. Mason, Andrei Serban
2000 Celebrate Cy! (Cy Feuer’s 90th Birthday)
2001 Susan Stroman
2002 Jack O’Brien
2003 Lynne Meadow
2005 Kathleen & Rob Marshall
2007 Daniel Sullivan
2009 Donald Saddler
2011 George C. Wolfe
2013 Jerry Mitchell
2015 James Lapine