The annual Moss Hart Memorial Award has a two-fold purpose: to honor the memory of Moss Hart, dramatist and director, for his wit and sensitivity, for his unconquerable enthusiasm for life and for his work in the theatre; and to recognize and encourage outstanding theatrical productions throughout New England of playscripts that present affirmative views of human courage and dignity, that have strong literary and artistic merit, and which in their productions, exemplify fresh, imaginative, creative treatment within the intent of the playwright. The New England Theatre Conference, in making the annual Moss Hart Memorial Award, seeks to encourage artistic growth and the highest standards of excellence in theatre.
The Moss Hart Memorial Awards are presented at The New England Theatre Conference Annual Convention to theatre groups whose productions most completely fulfill the stated purpose. In order to provide recognition within each theatre division-professional, community, college, secondary school, and children's - up to five divisional awards may be presented each year in addition to the Award Trophy. Engraved plaques will be presented to the divisional award recipients, and one of them will also be selected as the recipient of the Award Trophy, which it will retain for one year.