The Invisible Hand, a 2012 play by Ayad Akhtar about an American Citibank executive held for ransom in Pakistan, presented by the smaller Theatre Exile topped all nominees with 10, including nominations for overall production, direction (Matt Pfeiffer), leading actors (Maboud Ebrahimzadeh and Ian Merrill Peakes), and original music (Michael Kiley).

Three shows had eight nominations each, including the 1961 Black Nativity, a Langston Hughes piece with Christmas music sung gospel-style, produced by Theatre Horizon, and nominated for overall production of a musical, direction (Ozzie Jones), and leading actors and actresses (Kingsley Ibeneche, Sanchel Brown, and Angelica Jackson).

The Arden Theatre production of the 1991 musical The Secret Garden won eight nominations for best overall musical production and a number of technical awards relating to the production's acclaimed use of video.

Arden's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, based on a 1992 retelling-with-a-twist of traditional fairy tales turned into a musical a decade ago, had eight nominations including overall production of a musical and best direction for Matthew Decker (who won last year for Into the Woods). Orbiter 3, a company founded only in 2014, won seven nominations for its new play by Emma Goidel, A Knee That Can Bend,  about the gay nightlife subculture of Senegal.

Following close behind was Arden's production of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, demonstrating how Arden is giving first-class productions to properties that might often be considered kids' stuff (also including Secret Garden and The Stinky Cheese Man).

More serious and ambitious endeavors weren't slighted, with 11th Hour Theatre Company's See What I Wanna See getting five nominations, including for direction and actors. Andy: A Popera, a collaboration between The Bearded Ladies Cabaret and Opera Philadelphia, had four nominations, including one for original music by Heath Allen and Dan Visconti.

Although opera productions are under consideration for the Olivier Awards in London, few opera companies can claim to have enjoyed theatrical awards. The nominations also gave special recognition to the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, which was nominated for the June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company.

The three large Philadelphia theater companies, which seemed somewhat neglected in the 2015 nominations, fared better this year, especially Arden, which has been traditionally been a major presence, and this year had a total of 24 nominations. Philadelphia Theatre Company had eight nominations for Disgraced and Exit Strategy.

Smaller theater companies that did well in the nominations included Theatre Exile (13),  Theatre Horizon (10), People's Light (nine) and Inis Nua Theatre Company (seven).

Among the 35 professional theatre companies participating in the adjudication process and 103 eligible productions between July 1, 2014, and June 20, 2016, two conspicuous absences both this year and in recent years are the Walnut Street Theatre and the Media Theatre, which specialize in producing musicals. Both companies have been hesitant, over the years, to comment on the matter.

Each production was seen by eight Barrymore-appointed nominators. Productions receiving a majority of positive votes were reviewed by a panel of 12 judges who met on a quarterly basis to discuss what they had seen.

The complete list of nominations is as follows:

Outstanding Overall Production of a Play
Disgraced (Philadelphia Theatre Company) 
The Invisible Hand (Theatre Exile) 
The Nether (InterAct Theatre Company) 
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Inis Nua Theatre Company) 
Spine (Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Stella and Lou (People's Light)
Time Is On Our Side (Simpatico Theatre Project)

Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical
Black Nativity (Theatre Horizon)
I Will Not Go Gently (1812 Productions) 
The Secret Garden (Arden Theatre Company)
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction of a Play
Deborah Block (Smoke, Theatre Exile)
James J. Christy, Sr. (A Great War, Iron Age Theatre)
Kip Fagan (Exit Strategy, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Claire Moyer (Spine, Inis Nua Theatre Company) 
Kittson O'Neill (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Matt Pfeiffer (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Tom Reing (The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, Inis Nua Theatre Company)

Outstanding Direction of a Musical
Matthew Decker (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company) 
Ozzie Jones (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Terrence J. Nolen (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company) 
Megan Nicole O'Brien (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Play
Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
James Ijames (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Ian Merrill Peakes (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Matteo Scammell (Smoke, Theatre Exile)
Pej Vahdat (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Greg Wood (The Nether, InterAct Theatre Company)
Greg Wood (White Guy on the Bus, Passage Theatre Company)

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play
E. Ashley Izard (Happy Days, Quintessence Theatre Group)
Emily R. Johnson (Spine, Inis Nua Theatre Company)
Jennifer Kidwell (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Danielle Leneé (White Guy on the Bus, Passage Theatre Company)
Deirdre Madigan (Exit Strategy, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Geneviève Perrier (Photograph 51, Lantern Theater Company)
Marcia Saunders (Stella and Lou, People's Light)

Outstanding Leading Actor in a Musical
Billy Bustamante (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Kingsley Ibeneche (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Scott McPheeters (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Sean Thompson (Kiss Me, Kate, Act II Playhouse)

Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical
Sanchel Brown (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Jennifer Childs (I Will Not Go Gently, 1812 Productions)
Angelica Jackson (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Cailene Kilcoyne (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play
David Bardeen (Oscar Wilde: From the Depths, Lantern Theater Company)
Akeem Davis (Lobby Hero, Theatre Horizon)
Justin Jain (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Dave Johnson (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
Kenny Morris (Funnyman, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Patrick Mullen (Richard III, People's Light)
J. Paul Nicholas (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play
Rachel Camp (Lobby Hero, Theatre Horizon)
Jaylene Clark Owens (An Octoroon, The Wilma Theater)
Aimé Donna Kelly (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)
Teri Lamm (The Harassment of Iris Malloy, People's Light)
Danielle Leneé (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Candace Moore (A Knee That Can Bend, Orbiter 3)
Ruby Wolf (As You Like It, Lantern Theater Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical
Jake Blouch (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Tim Rinehart (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre)
Danny Rutigliano (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Scott Sheppard (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical
Malgorzata Kasprzycka (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Elisa Matthews (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Nancie Sanderson (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Leah Walton (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Scenic Design
Jorge Cousineau (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Alexis Distler (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
David P. Gordon (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Haig (Time Is On Our Side, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Luke Hegel-Cantarella (Auctioning the Ainsleys, People's Light)
Colin McIlvaine (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Jason Simms (Disgraced, Philadelphia Theatre Company)

Outstanding Costume Design
Olivera Gajic (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)
Marla Jurglanis (Sense and Sensibility, People's Light)
Jillian Keys (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)
Wade Laboissonniere (The Explorers Club, Delaware Theatre Company)
Rosemarie McKelvey (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Alison Roberts (Two Trains Running, Arden Theatre Company)
Linda Bee Stockton (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)

Earl Girls Award for Outstanding Lighting Design
Shon Causer (Oscar Wilde: From the Depths, Lantern Theater Company)
Alyssandra Docherty (Moth, Azuka Theatre)
Ryan O'Gara (Man of La Mancha, Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Maria Shaplin (The It Girl, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Maria Shaplin (The Nether, InterAct Theatre Company)
Masha Tsimring (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Solomon Weisbard (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)

Clear Sound Award for Outstanding Sound Design
Damien Figueras (Moth, Azuka Theatre)
Lindsay Jones (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Michael Kiley (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Michael Kiley (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)
Zack McKenna (The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning, Inis Nua Theatre Company) 
Luke Moyer (A Great War, Iron Age Theatre) 
Adriano Shaplin (Saint Joan, Quintessence Theatre Group)

Outstanding Original Music
Heath Allen and Dan Visconti (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Jay Ansill (Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates, Arden Theatre Company)
Christopher Colucci (I Will Not Go Gently, 1812 Productions)
Michael Hahn (As You Like It, Lantern Theater Company)
Michael Kiley (The Invisible Hand, Theatre Exile)
Paul James Prendergast (Sense and Sensibility, People's Light)
Josh Totora (He Who Gets Slapped, Philadelphia Artists' Collective)

Outstanding Choreography/Movement
Maggie Anderson (Kiss Me, Kate, Act II Playhouse)
J. Alex Cordaro (Smoke, Theatre Exile) 
Amanda Schoonover, Brenna Geffers, Anthony Crosby, Peter Andrew Danzig, K.O. DelMarcelle, and Arlen Hancock (The It Girl, Simpatico Theatre Project)
Justina Ercole (Heathers: The Musical, The Eagle Theatre) 
Samantha Reading (Sense and Sensibility, People's Light)
Jenn Rose (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Jenn Rose (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Music Direction
Heath Allen (Andy: A Popera, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret)
Will Brock (Black Nativity, Theatre Horizon)
Dan Kazemi (See What I Wanna See, 11th Hour Theatre Company)
Ryan Touhey (The Secret Garden, Arden Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play
Antigone (The Wilma Theater)
Exit Strategy (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
The Explorers Club (Delaware Theatre Company)
A Great War (Iron Age Theatre)
The Invisible Hand (Theatre Exile)
A Knee That Can Bend (Orbiter 3)
The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (Inis Nua Theatre Company)

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
Black Nativity (Theatre Horizon)
Heathers: The Musical (The Eagle Theatre)
The Secret Garden (Arden Theatre Company)
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (Arden Theatre Company)

Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play/Musical
A Great War by James J. Christy, Jr. (Iron Age Theatre)
Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates by Laura Eason (Arden Theatre Company)
A Knee That Can Bend by Emma Goidel (Orbiter 3)
Time Is On Our Side by R. Eric Thomas (Simpatico Theatre Project)

F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Philadelphia Theatre Artist
Alex Bechtel
Emma Goidel
Justin Jain
Bi Jean Ngo
Mary Tuomanen

Virginia Brown Martin Philadelphia Award
Exit Strategy (Philadelphia Theatre Company)
A Knee That Can Bend (Orbiter 3)
Machinal (EgoPo Classic Theater)
Time Is On Our Side (Simpatico Theatre Project)
White Guy on the Bus (Passage Theatre Company)

June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company
Azuka Theatre
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret
EgoPo Classic Theater
Simpatico Theatre

Project Victory Foundation Award for Outstanding Theatre Education Program
1812 Outreach (1812 Productions)
Arden for All (Arden Theatre Company)
Arts Discovery (People's Light)
Illumination/Classroom Connections (Lantern Theater Company)
Performing Arts Training & Youth Leadership Development (New Freedom Theatre)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Sara Garonzik

Tally by companies
Arden Theatre Company 24
Theater Exile 13
Theatre Horizon 10
People's Light 9
Philadelphia Theatre Company 8
Inis Nua Theatre Company 7
Orbiter 3 7
Simpatico Theatre Project 7
Lantern Theater Company 6
11th Hour Theatre Company 5
The Bearded Ladies Cabaret 5
Delaware Theater Company 4
The Eagle Theatre 4
1812 Productions 4
Iron Age Theatre 4
Wilma Theatre 4
Azuka Theatre 3
Bristol Riverside Theatre 3
InterAct Theatre Company 3
Passage Theatre Company 3
Act II Playhouse 2
EgoPo Classic Theater  2
Quintessence Theatre Group 2
New Freedom Theatre 1
Philadelphia Artists' Collective 1