The New York Drama Critics’ Circle announced the winners of its 85th annual theater awards today at 10 am, with selections in two categories and three special citations.
This year’s award for Best Play of the curtailed 2019-20 season went to Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery. Directed by Danya Taymor, the new work had its world premiere Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, where it played a limited engagement from October 7 to November 17, 2019. The recipient will receive, along with the critics’ recognition, a cash prize of $2500, funded by a Lucille Lortel Foundation grant.
In addition to the main prize for the best new play of the year, awarded by the organization since 1936, and traditionally presented with the Poor Plaque – a silver relief designed by American artist Henry Varnum Poor (1887-1970), depicting a scene from a performance at the historic 18th-century John Street Theatre in Manhattan – the NYDCC also recognized A Strange Loop, with book, music, and lyrics by Michael R. Jackson, as Best Musical. Another world-premiere production at Playwrights Horizons, the show, directed by Stephen Brackett, ran June 17 to July 28, 2019.
Special Citations were given to David Byrne and the Broadway production of American Utopia; Deirdre O’Connell for career excellence, including her performance in Lucas Hnath’s Dana H., Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre; and the New York theater community for perseverance in the face of loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today’s announcement will be followed by a live online broadcast of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards presentation ceremony on Wednesday, April 29, at 8pm, as a special episode of the streaming series Stars in the House, which can be viewed on its YouTube channel and on that of The Actors Fund. Jeremy O. Harris, Brian Stokes Mitchell, John Mulaney, Heidi Schreck, and Michael Shannon will serve as the presenters.
Congratulations and thanks to all of the honorees for their outstanding contributions to New York theater.