What We Do

The Defender Award


Edward J. Davis giving his acceptance speech for the 2016 Defender Award at the Annual Dramatists Guild Award Ceremony



The Defender Award is given in recognition of an individual, group, or organization’s efforts in support of free expression in the dramatic arts. This award is selected annually by the board of the DLDF and is presented at the Dramatists Guild’s Awards Night.



  • 2017: Hamilton cast and crew
    • The Hamilton cast and crew were presented with the Defender award for presenting their statement of inclusion to then Vice-President elect, Mike Pence after a performance in November 2016.
  • 2016: Edward J. Davis
    • Davis was presented with the Defender award for his pro-bono representation of author David Adjmi in his successful fair use case regarding his play 3C.
  • 2015: Howard Sherman
    • Sherman was presented the award for his commitment to free expression in the dramatic arts.
  • 2014: Larissa Marks
    • Larissa Marks, a high school senior from Trumbull, CT who successfully organized her community in opposition to her school’s sudden cancellation of their upcoming production of RENT, ultimately forcing the production’s reinstatement.