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New York Drama Critics' Circle

The New York Drama Critics' Circle is made up of 19 drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines and wire services based in the New York City metropolitan area.

The organization was founded in 1935 at the Algonquin Hotel by a group that included Brooks Atkinson, Walter Winchell, and Robert Benchley. Adam Feldman of Time Out New York has been President of the organization since 2005; Joe Dziemianowicz is currently Vice President, and Zachary Stewart of TheaterMania serves as Treasurer.

Member affiliations

  • amNewYork
  • The Hollywood Reporter
  • New York

  • New York Daily News
  • The New Yorker
  • The Star-Ledger

  • TheaterMania
  • Time Out New York
  • The Undefeated

  • Variety
  • Wall Street Journal

    New York Drama Critics' Circle Award

    The New York Drama Critics' Circle meets twice a year. At the end of each theater season, it votes on the annual New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, the second oldest theater award in the United States (after the Pulitzer Prize). The main award is for Best Play. If the winner of that award is American, the Circle then votes on whether to give an award for Best Foreign Play as well; if the Best Play winner is of foreign origin, the Circle may give out an award for Best American Play. The awards are later presented in a small ceremony. Since 1945, the Circle has also given out awards for Best Musical. Special Citations may also be awarded for actors, companies or work of special merit. The award for Best Play includes a cash prize of $2,500, and a cash award of $1,000 is given to the playwright who receives the award for Best American or Foreign Play.

    Although Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times was the first President of the NYDCC, Times critics are no longer permitted to be members of the Drama Critics' Circle. In 1989, the newspaper's executive editor decreed that their critics could no longer participate in any awards. Times critics served as nonvoting members of the Drama Critics' Circle until 1997, when the newspaper reversed its policy and allowed its critics to resume voting for the awards. In 2003, however, permission was again revoked, based on a new Times policy and the Times critics were forced to withdraw from the Circle.

    Theatre awards and citation winners

    Best Play

  • 1936: WintersetMaxwell Anderson
  • 1937: High TorMaxwell Anderson
  • 1938: Of Mice and MenJohn Steinbeck
  • 1940: The Time of Your LifeWilliam Saroyan
  • 1941: Watch on the RhineLillian Hellman
  • 1943: The PatriotsSidney Kingsley
  • 1945: The Glass MenagerieTennessee Williams
  • 1947: All My SonsArthur Miller
  • 1948: A Streetcar Named DesireTennessee Williams
  • 1949: Death of a SalesmanArthur Miller
  • 1950: The Member of the WeddingCarson McCullers
  • 1951: Darkness at NoonSidney Kingsley
  • 1952: I Am a CameraJohn Van Druten
  • 1953: PicnicWilliam Inge
  • 1954: The Teahouse of the August MoonJohn Patrick
  • 1955: Cat on a Hot Tin RoofTennessee Williams
  • 1956: The Diary of Anne FrankFrances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
  • 1957: Long Day's Journey into NightEugene O'Neill
  • 1958: Look Homeward, AngelKetti Frings
  • 1959: A Raisin in the SunLorraine Hansberry
  • 1960: Toys in the AtticLillian Hellman
  • 1961: All the Way HomeTad Mosel
  • 1962: The Night of the IguanaTennessee Williams
  • 1963: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Edward Albee
  • 1964: LutherJohn Osborne
  • 1965: The Subject Was RosesFrank D. Gilroy
  • 1966: Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss
  • 1967: The HomecomingHarold Pinter
  • 1968: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are DeadTom Stoppard
  • 1969: The Great White HopeHoward Sackler
  • 1970: Borstal BoyFrank McMahon
  • 1971: HomeDavid Storey
  • 1972: That Championship SeasonJason Miller
  • 1973: The Changing RoomDavid Storey
  • 1974: The ContractorsDavid Storey
  • 1975: EquusPeter Shaffer
  • 1976: TravestiesTom Stoppard
  • 1977: Otherwise EngagedSimon Gray
  • 1978: DaHugh Leonard
  • 1979: The Elephant ManBernard Pomerance
  • 1980: Talley's FollyLanford Wilson

  • 1981: A Lesson from AloesAthol Fugard
  • 1982: The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (play)David Edgar
  • 1983: Brighton Beach MemoirsNeil Simon
  • 1984: The Real ThingTom Stoppard
  • 1985: Ma Rainey's Black BottomAugust Wilson
  • 1986: A Lie of the MindSam Shepard
  • 1987: FencesAugust Wilson
  • 1988: Joe Turner's Come and GoneAugust Wilson
  • 1989: The Heidi ChroniclesWendy Wasserstein
  • 1990: The Piano LessonAugust Wilson
  • 1991: Six Degrees of SeparationJohn Guare
  • 1992: Dancing at LughnasaBrian Friel
  • 1993: Angels in America: Millennium ApproachesTony Kushner
  • 1994: Three Tall WomenEdward Albee
  • 1995: ArcadiaTom Stoppard
  • 1996: Seven GuitarsAugust Wilson
  • 1997: How I Learned to DrivePaula Vogel
  • 1998: ArtYasmina Reza
  • 1999: WitMargaret Edson
  • 2000: JitneyAugust Wilson
  • 2001: The Invention of LoveTom Stoppard
  • 2002: The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?Edward Albee
  • 2003: Take Me OutRichard Greenberg
  • 2004: Intimate ApparelLynn Nottage
  • 2005: DoubtJohn Patrick Shanley
  • 2006: The History BoysAlan Bennett
  • 2007: The Coast of UtopiaTom Stoppard
  • 2008: August: Osage CountyTracy Letts
  • 2009: RuinedLynn Nottage
  • 2010: The Orphans' Home CycleHorton Foote
  • 2011: Good PeopleDavid Lindsay-Abaire
  • 2012: Sons of the ProphetStephen Karam
  • 2013: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and SpikeChristopher Durang
  • 2014: The Night AliveConor McPherson
  • 2015: Between Riverside and CrazyStephen Adly Guirgis
  • 2016: The HumansStephen Karam
  • 2017: OsloJ.T. Rogers
  • 2018: Mary JaneAmy Herzog
  • 2019: The FerrymanJez Butterworth
  • 2020: Heroes of the Fourth Turning – Will Arbery

    Best Foreign Play

  • 1938: Shadow and SubstancePaul Vincent Carroll
  • 1939: The White SteedPaul Vincent Carroll
  • 1941: The Corn Is GreenEmlyn Williams
  • 1942: Blithe SpiritNoël Coward
  • 1944: Jacobowsky and the Colonel (Jacobowsky und der Oberst)Franz Werfel
  • 1947: No ExitJean-Paul Sartre
  • 1948: The Winslow BoyTerence Rattigan
  • 1949: The Madwoman of ChaillotJean Giraudoux
  • 1950: The Cocktail PartyT. S. Eliot
  • 1951: The Lady's Not for BurningChristopher Fry
  • 1952: Venus ObservedChristopher Fry
  • 1953: The Love of Four ColonelsPeter Ustinov
  • 1954: OndineJean Giraudoux
  • 1955: Witness for the ProsecutionAgatha Christie
  • 1956: ''Tiger at the GatesJean Giraudoux and Christopher Fry
  • 1957: The Waltz of the ToreadorsJean Anouilh
  • 1958: Look Back in AngerJohn Osborne
  • 1959: The VisitFriedrich Dürrenmatt and Maurice Valency
  • 1960: Five Finger ExercisePeter Shaffer
  • 1961: A Taste of HoneyShelagh Delaney
  • 1962: A Man for All SeasonsRobert Bolt
  • 1972: The ScreensJean Genet
  • 1980: BetrayalHarold Pinter
  • 1983: PlentyDavid Hare
  • 1986: BenefactorsMichael Frayn
  • 1987: Les Liaisons DangereusesChristopher Hampton
  • 1988: The Road to MeccaAthol Fugard
  • 1989: AristocratsBrian Friel
  • 1990: Privates on ParadePeter Nichols
  • 1991: Our Country's GoodTimberlake Wertenbaker
  • 1993: Someone Who'll Watch Over MeFrank McGuinness
  • 1996: Molly SweeneyBrian Friel
  • 1997: SkylightDavid Hare
  • 1999: CloserPatrick Marber
  • 2000: CopenhagenMichael Frayn
  • 2003: Talking HeadsAlan Bennett
  • 2005: The PillowmanMartin McDonagh
  • 2009: Black WatchGregory Burke
  • 2011: Jerusalem – Jez Butterworth
  • 2012: TribesNina Raine
  • 2018: HangmenMartin McDonagh

    Best American Play

  • 1970: The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon MarigoldsPaul Zindel
  • 1971: The House of Blue LeavesJohn Guare
  • 1973: The Hot l BaltimoreLanford Wilson
  • 1974: Short EyesMiguel Piñero
  • 1975: The Taking of Miss JanieEd Bullins
  • 1976: StreamersDavid Rabe
  • 1977: American BuffaloDavid Mamet
  • 1981: Crimes of the HeartBeth Henley
  • 1982: A Soldier's PlayCharles Fuller
  • 1984: Glengarry Glen RossDavid Mamet
  • 1992: Two Trains RunningAugust Wilson
  • 1995: Love! Valour! Compassion!Terrence McNally
  • 1998: Pride's CrossingTina Howe
  • 2001: ProofDavid Auburn
  • 2007: Radio GolfAugust Wilson
  • 2014: All the WayRobert Schenkkan
  • 2019: What the Constitution Means to MeHeidi Schreck

    Best Musical

  • 1946: CarouselRichard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
  • 1947: BrigadoonFrederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner
  • 1949: South PacificRichard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, and Joshua Logan
  • 1950: The ConsulGian Carlo Menotti
  • 1951: Guys and DollsFrank Loesser, Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling,
  • 1952: Pal JoeyRichard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, and John O'Hara
  • 1953: Wonderful TownJoseph Fields, Jerome Chodorov, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, and Leonard Bernstein
  • 1954: The Golden Apple (musical)John La Touche and Jerome Moross
  • 1955: The Saint of Bleecker StreetGian Carlo Menotti
  • 1956: My Fair LadyFrederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner
  • 1957: The Most Happy FellaFrank Loesser
  • 1958: The Music ManMeredith Willson
  • 1959: La Plume de Ma TanteRobert Dhéry, Ross Parker, Francis Blanche, and Gérard Calvi
  • 1960: Fiorello!Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick, George Abbott and Jerome Weidman
  • 1961: Carnival!Michael Stewart and Bob Merrill
  • 1962: How to Succeed in Business Without Really TryingAbe Burrows, Jack Weinstock, Willie Gilbert, and Frank Loesser
  • 1964: Hello, Dolly!Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman
  • 1965: Fiddler on the RoofJerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick and Joseph Stein
  • 1966: Man of La ManchaDale Wasserman, Mitch Leigh, and Joe Darion
  • 1967: CabaretJohn Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff
  • 1968: Your Own Thing – Donald Driver, Hal Hester, and Danny Apolinar
  • 1969: 1776Sherman Edwards and Peter Stone
  • 1970: CompanyStephen Sondheim and George Furth
  • 1971: FolliesStephen Sondheim and William Goldman
  • 1972: Two Gentlemen of VeronaGalt MacDermot, John Guare and Mel Shapiro
  • 1973: A Little Night MusicStephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler
  • 1974: CandideLeonard Bernstein, Richard Wilbur, Hugh Wheeler and John La Touche
  • 1975: A Chorus LineMarvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban, James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante
  • 1976: Pacific OverturesStephen Sondheim, John Weidman and Hugh Wheeler
  • 1977: AnnieCharles Strouse, Martin Charnin and Thomas Meehan
  • 1978: Ain't Misbehavin'Fats Waller and Richard Maltby, Jr.

  • 1979: Sweeney ToddStephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler
  • 1980: EvitaAndrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
  • 1983: Little Shop of HorrorsAlan Menken and Howard Ashman
  • 1984: Sunday in the Park with GeorgeStephen Sondheim and James Lapine
  • 1987: Les MisérablesClaude-Michel Schönberg, Alain Boublil and Herbert Kretzmer
  • 1988: Into the WoodsStephen Sondheim and James Lapine
  • 1990: City of AngelsLarry Gelbart, Cy Coleman, and David Zippel
  • 1991: The Will Rogers FolliesCy Coleman, Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Peter Stone
  • 1993: Kiss of the Spider WomanJohn Kander, Fred Ebb, and Terrence McNally
  • 1996: RentJonathan Larson
  • 1997: VioletJeanine Tesori and Brian Crawley
  • 1998: The Lion KingElton John, Tim Rice, Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi
  • 1999: ParadeJason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry
  • 2000: James Joyce's The DeadShaun Davey and Richard Nelson
  • 2001: The ProducersMel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
  • 2003: HairsprayMarc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Thomas Meehan and Mark O'Donnell
  • 2006: The Drowsy ChaperoneBob Martin, Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison
  • 2007: Spring AwakeningDuncan Sheik and Steven Sater
  • 2008: Passing StrangeStew and Heidi Rodewald
  • 2009: Billy Elliot the MusicalElton John and Lee Hall
  • 2010: No award
  • 2011: The Book of MormonTrey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez
  • 2012: OnceEnda Walsh, Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová
  • 2013: Matilda the MusicalTim Minchin and Dennis Kelly
  • 2014: Fun HomeJeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron
  • 2015: HamiltonLin-Manuel Miranda
  • 2016: Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That FollowedGeorge C. Wolfe, Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle
  • 2017: The Band's VisitItamar Moses and David Yazbek
  • 2018: No award
  • 2019: TootsieDavid Yazbek and Robert Horn
  • 2020: A Strange Loop – Michael R. Jackson

    Special awards and citations

  • 1952: Don Juan in HellGeorge Bernard Shaw
  • 1963: Beyond the FringeAlan Bennett, Peter Cook, Jonathan Miller and Dudley Moore
  • 1964: The Trojan WomenEuripides
  • 1966: Mark Twain TonightHal Holbrook
  • 1971: Sticks and Bones by David Rabe and Old Times by Harold Pinter
  • 1980: Peter Brook's Le Centre International de Créations Théâtricales at La Mama
  • 1981: Lena Horne for Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music and New York Shakespeare Festival's The Pirates of Penzance
  • 1983: Young Playwrights Festival
  • 1984: Samuel Beckett for the body of his work
  • 1986: The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the UniverseLily Tomlin and Jane Wagner''
  • 1989: Largely New YorkBill Irwin
  • 1992: Eileen AtkinsA Room of One's Own
  • 1994: Anna Deavere SmithTwilight: Los Angeles, 1992
  • 1994: Signature Theatre Company's Horton Foote season
  • 1997: Chicago revival — Encores!''
  • 1998: CabaretRoundabout Theatre Company
  • 1999: David Hare
  • 2002: Elaine StritchElaine Stritch at Liberty
  • 2004: Barbara Cook
  • 2006: John Doyle, Sarah TravisSweeney Todd and Christine EbersoleGrey Gardens
  • 2007: Journey's End – Broadway revival
  • 2009: Angela Lansbury; Matthew Warchus and the cast of The Norman Conquests; Gerard Alessandrini for Forbidden Broadway
  • 2010: Lincoln Center Festival; Viola Davis; Annie Baker
  • 2011: The Normal Heart; Mark Rylance for La Bête and Jerusalem; and the direction, design and puppetry of War Horse
  • 2012: Signature Theatre Company; Mike Nichols
  • 2013: Soho Rep; New York City Center's Encores!; John Lee Beatty
  • 2014: The Shakespeare's Globe productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III; Richard Nelson and the company of the Apple Family Plays
  • 2015: Ars Nova and Bob Crowley
  • 2016: Oskar Eustis; Lois Smith; Ivo van Hove and Jan Versweyveld
  • 2017: Taylor Mac for A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and the cast of Jitney, and Paula Vogel for career achievement as a playwright and mentor
  • 2018: Park Avenue Armory for adventurous theatrical programming; Transport Group; the staging, design and illusions of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • 2019: Irish Repertory Theatre; Page 73; National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene's revival of Fiddler on the Roof (Fidler Afn Dakh)
  • 2020: David Byrne and the Broadway production of American Utopia; Deirdre O'Connell; the New York theater community for perseverance in the face of loss during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Runners-up