New York Drama Critics' Circle

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New York Drama Critics' Circle logo and insignia

The New York Drama Critics' Circle is made up of 21 drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines and wire services based in the New York City metropolitan area. The organization is best known for its annual awards for excellence in theater.[1][2]

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.[2][3]

Member affiliations[edit]

The New York Times membership history[edit]

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 group. In 1989, the newspaper's executive editor decreed that their critics could no longer participate in any awards voting. Times critics remained in the organization as non-voting members until 1997, when the newspaper reversed its policy and allowed its critics to resume voting for the awards. However, in 2003, the newspaper adopted a revised ethics policy that forbade its journalists from membership in an awards-voting body, and its critics withdrew from the NYDCC.[4] As of 2021, the Times's policy against membership remains in effect.[5]

New York Drama Critics' Circle Award[edit]

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 playwriting 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.[6]

Theatre awards and citation winners[edit]

Best Play[edit]

Best Foreign Play[edit]

Best American Play[edit]

Best Musical[edit]

Special awards and citations[edit]


Year Show Author(s) Nominated for
1936 Idiot's Delight Robert E. Sherwood Best American Play
1937 Johnny Johnson Kurt Weill and Paul Green Best Musical
1938 Our Town Thornton Wilder Best American Play
1941 The Beautiful People William Saroyan Best American Play
1941 Native Son Paul Green and Richard Wright Best American Play
1943 The Skin of Our Teeth Thornton Wilder Best American Play
1947 The Iceman Cometh Eugene O'Neill Best American Play
1949 Kiss Me, Kate Cole Porter, Bella Spewack, and Sam Spewack Best Musical
1951 Billy Budd Louis O. Coxe and Robert Chapman Best American Play
1951 The King and I Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II Best Musical
1952 Mrs. McThing Mary Coyle Chase Best American Play
1953 The Crucible Arthur Miller Best American Play
1954 The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial Herman Wouk Best American Play
1955 Bus Stop William Inge Best American Play
1962 Gideon Paddy Chayefsky Best American Play
1965 Luv Murray Schisgal Best Play
1965 The Odd Couple Neil Simon Best Play
1966 Philadelphia, Here I Come! Brian Friel Best Play
1966 The Royal Hunt of the Sun Peter Shaffer Best Play
1967 A Delicate Balance Edward Albee Best Play
1969 Hadrian the Seventh Peter Luke Best Play
1970 Indians Arthur Kopit Best American Play
1971 The Trial of the Catonsville Nine Daniel Berrigan Best American Play
1972 Sticks and Bones David Rabe Best Play
1972 Old Times Harold Pinter Best Foreign Play
1973 Seesaw Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields, and Michael Bennett Best Musical
1973 Pippin Stephen Schwartz, Bob Fosse, and Roger O. Hirson Best Musical
1974 In the Boom Boom Room David Rabe Best American Play
1975 The Island Athol Fugard Best Play
1975 Seascape Edward Albee Best American Play
1977 No Man's Land Harold Pinter Best Play
1977 I Love My Wife Cy Coleman and Michael Stewart Best Musical
1981 Amadeus Peter Shaffer Best Play
1982 "Master Harold"...and the Boys Athol Fugard Best Play
1982 Torch Song Trilogy Harvey Fierstein Best American Play
1983 'night, Mother Marsha Norman Best Play
1983 Top Girls Caryl Churchill Best Foreign Play
1983 Quartermaine's Terms Simon Gray Best Foreign Play
1985 Biloxi Blues Neil Simon Best Play
1987 Me and My Girl Noel Gay, Douglas Furber, and L. Arthur Rose Best Musical
1988 M. Butterfly David Henry Hwang Best Play
1988 The Phantom of the Opera Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, and Richard Stilgoe Best Musical
1990 The Grapes of Wrath Frank Galati Best Play
1990 Prelude to a Kiss Craig Lucas Best Play
1991 The Secret Garden Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman Best Musical
1992 Marvin's Room Scott McPherson Best American Play
1994 Angels in America: Perestroika Tony Kushner Best Play
1997 The Life Cy Coleman, Ira Gasman, and David Newman Best Musical
1998 The Beauty Queen of Leenane Martin McDonagh Best Play
1998 Three Days of Rain Richard Greenberg Best American Play
1998 Ragtime Stephen Flaherty, Lynn Ahrens, and Terrence McNally Best Musical
2000 Contact John Weidman Best Musical
2001 The Play About the Baby Edward Albee Best American Play
2007 Radio Golf August Wilson Best Play
2007 Frost/Nixon Peter Morgan Best Play
2007 Dying City Christopher Shinn Best American Play
2007 Indian Blood A.R. Gurney Best American Play
2008 Adding Machine Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt Best Musical
2008 The Seafarer Conor McPherson Best Play
2008 Rock 'n' Roll Tom Stoppard Best Play
2009 Next to Normal Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey Best Musical
2009 Road Show Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman Best Musical
2009 God of Carnage Yasmina Reza Best Foreign Play
2009 Blasted Sarah Kane Best Foreign Play

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jones, Kenneth. Passing Strange and August: Osage County Win 2007–08 NY Drama Critics Circle Award",, May 12, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Hetrick, Adam. "NY Drama Critics' Circle Awards Matilda and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike With Top Honors", May 3, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  3. ^ "Current Membership" Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  4. ^ Simonson, Robert (February 7, 2003). "Times' Brantley and Weber Exit New York Drama Critics Circle". Playbill. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  5. ^ Brownstein, Matthew (November 22, 2021). "Why Times Reporters Don't Vote for M.V.P. (Or the Hall of Fame or the Tonys)". The New York Times. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew. " 'Good People', 'Book of Mormon', 'Jerusalem' Named Winners of New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards", May 9, 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d Jones, Kenneth. "Andrew Garfield, John Guare, Lin-Manuel Miranda Present NY Drama Critics' Circle Awards May 14", May 14, 2012. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  8. ^ Gans,Andrew. "New York Drama Critics' Circle Names 'Orphans' Home Cycle' Best Play", April 30, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  9. ^ Feldman, Adam. "No award this year for Best Musical", May 3, 2018. Retrieved May 26, 2018.


External links[edit]