In addition to production awards, NYIT also gives out Honorary and Special awards. Every year our award committees accept open submissions for nominees. Once the community has made their nominations,

and submissions close, a selected peer-panel from the Off-Off-Broadway community conducts multiple deliberations and votes to determine the recipients.

Do you know a theatre artist or company who deserves recognition? Are you a theatre artist or company member who would like to apply? Visit the links below to learn how to register and submit a nomination!

Our Committee Members
Advice to the Nominator
Past Recipients
Thank you to those who sent in applications.

The Indie Theatre Champion Award

(A brand new award specific to our times)

The New York Innovative Theatre Awards, the organization that honors those working in the Off-Off-Broadway and Indie Theater community, will be giving out up to five (5) Indie Theatre Champion Awards to honor community members who rose to the occasion during this time of crises from the pandemic and the fight against White Supremacy. These awards will honor individuals, groups, businesses or organizations who have:

Assisted theatre artists struggling during the pandemic

Worked to dismantle White Supremacy and combat Anti-Black violence

Provided resources & support to those who were put in economic jeopardy

Theatre Artists who have used creative platforms to rise up and meet the challenges of these unprecedented times

Showed up for the Indie theatre community in meaningful ways from climate justice to community care


The Indie Theatre Champion Award will recognize contributions large and small. Perhaps it was someone who helped individual artists and theatre-makers within the NYC Indie Theatre Community, or maybe it was someone who is an Indie Theater artist that stepped out of their comfort zone to serve the larger populace. Whomever it was, these folx helped make a difference during the biggest crises our industry has ever encountered. We are looking for people who made impacts both big and small. Examples may include giving grants, making masks, purchasing groceries for people in need, volunteering at hospitals, or bringing soup to a homebound convalescent, canvassing for votes over the phone, providing food, water, medical aid, and safety to protestors, or being a part of the protests directly. Stories of artists who have stepped outside the box to help others – physically, mentally and spiritually – abound, and we want to know about them! Consider who you know that helped others and tell us about them!

Nominees can be businesses, individuals, groups, or organizations.

To nominate someone, please click the “Launch” button!


The Caffe Cino Fellowship

The Caffe Cino Fellowship Award honors the revolutionary Caffe Cino, founded by Joe Cino in 1958, which provided a home for many ground-breaking OOB/Indie playwrights, actors and directors, well before “off-off-Broadway” existed. The award is presented to an OOB/Indie theatre company that consistently produces outstanding work. This award also includes a grant of $1000 to be used toward a current or future OOB/Indie production. For the Caffe Cino Fellowship, the Committee is looking for a company with a proven track record of producing indie theatre, is dedicated to continuing to produce in the indie theatre community, and will benefit from the fellowship. This award focuses on high quality and continuous artistic productions – to nominate someone for service to the Indie community, see the Ellen Steward Award. (To nominate someone for service to the Indie community, see the Ellen Stewart Award.)

​To nominate someone, please click the “Launch” button!


The Ellen Stewart Award

The Ellen Stewart Award (formerly the Stewardship Award) is presented to an individual or organization demonstrating a significant contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway community through service, support, and leadership. Named after Ellen Stewart, founder and artistic director of La Mama, and a champion of OOB/Indie theatre artists for decades, the award is given to individuals and/or organizations that have provided leadership or services to the Off-Off-Broadway community at large. NOTE: This award focuses on contributions and service to the OOB/Indie community – to nominate a company for artistic work within the Indie community, see the Caffe Cino Award; to nominate an individual for their

artistic work, see the Artistic Achievement Award.

To nominate someone, please click the “Launch” button!


The Artistic Achievement Award

The Artistic Achievement Award is given to an individual who has made a significant ARTISTIC contribution to the Off-Off-Broadway/Indie community. The nominee’s achievements, past or present, should have a current influence on our community. NOTE: This award is for artistic work from an individual – to nominate a company, see the Caffe Cino Award.

To nominate someone, please click the “Launch” button!

The Outstanding Stage Manager Award

The Outstanding Stage Manager Award honors the anchors of theatre productions: Stage Managers. First to arrive and last to leave, stage managers are the living link between artistic conception/inspiration and practical implementation. This award is given to stage managers of OOB/Indie theatre productions who have managed a production for the vast majority of that production’s timeline – from rehearsal to closing. Eligible productions range from full showcase productions, to single performance events, from conventional theatres to “virtual” stages, and nominees do not need to be union. Visit the link below to register and nominate your favorite stage manager!

To nominate someone, please click the “Launch” button!


The Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award

The Doric Wilson Award is administered by The Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award Committee

The Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award is so named in honor of playwright Doric Wilson whose writing stands as an example of the innovation, uncompromising vision, heart, and spirit that is the Indie/OOB playwright and whose commitment to independent theater honors the innovation, uncompromising vision, heart, and spirit of Doric Wilson and his work. In addition, the playwright is also recognized for being a community builder in the independent theater community. Eligible playwrights are those who write predominantly for indie theatre, and who are in the NYC area (inclusive of surrounding areas in other states).

To nominate someone, go to the Doric Wilson Award website by clicking on the “Launch” button!