The New York Drama Critics’ Circle, founded in 1935, has been presenting its annual award for the Best New Play of the season since 1936, making it the second-oldest theater award after the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (inaugurated in 1917). This year, despite the mandated shutdown of all Broadway performances on March 12, to combat the spread of the coronavirus, that long-standing tradition will continue. The organization will go on with the announcement of its 85th annual theater awards remotely, on Thursday, April 16, at 10 am, as a kick-off to the largely postponed 2019-20 awards season. The presentation of the awards will follow, with a virtual ceremony on Tuesday, April 28, at 8pm.
In addition to the central honor for Best New Play, which includes a cash prize of $2500, made possible by a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation, optional NYDCC awards may be presented each year for foreign or American plays, musicals, and special achievements, which recognize individuals, groups, and/or productions for their outstanding contributions. Last year’s recipients were The Ferryman (Jez Butterworth) for Best Play; What the Constitution Means to Me (Heidi Schreck) for Best American Play; and Tootsie (David Yazbek and Robert Horn) for Best Musical. Special Citations were also given to Off-Broadway’s Irish Repertory Theatre, Page 73, and Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish.
Comprised of nineteen drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines, wire services, and websites based in the New York metropolitan area, the NYDCC is headed by Adam Feldman, chief theater critic and editor at Time Out New York, who has served as president since 2005.
Check back with us on Thursday, when we will follow up with the announcement of the award winner(s). For more information about the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards, go online.