The New York Drama Critics’ Circle today named The Humans, by Stephen Karam, best play of the 2015-16 season. Shuffle Along, or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, book by George C. Wolfe, music by Eubie Blake, lyrics by Noble Sissle, was named best musical. The selections were made at the organization’s 81st annual voting meeting.
The awards will be presented at a private cocktail reception on Tuesday, May 17.
The award for best play carries a cash prize of $2,500. The prize is made possible by a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation.
The Humans, by Stephen Karam, directed by Joe Mantello, opened at the Roundabout Theatre Company on October 25, 2015, and closed January 3, 2016. The production transferred to Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre on February 18, 2016 where it is currently playing.
Shuffle Along, or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, book by George C. Wolfe, music by Eubie Blake, lyrics by Noble Sissle, original book by F.E. Miller and Aubrey Lyles, directed by George C. Wolfe, currently plays at Broadway’s Music Box Theatre where it had its world premiere on April 28, 2016.
Special citations were voted to Oskar Eustis of the Public Theater; Lois Smith who appeared in the off-Broadway productions of John and Marjorie Prime; and Ivo van Hove and Jan Versweyveld, who were represented on Broadway this season by A View from the Bridge and The Crucible.
The New York Drama Critics’ Circle comprises 22 drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines, wire services and websites based in the New York metropolitan area. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, which has been awarded every year since 1936 to the best new play of the season (with optional awards for foreign or American plays, musicals and performers), is the nation’s second oldest theater award, after the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Adam Feldman, theater critic for Time Out New York, has served as president of the NYDCC since 2005. Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post serves as vice president; Joe Dziemianowicz of the Daily News is treasurer.
In addition to Feldman, Vincentelli, and Dziemianowicz, the members of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle are: Hilton Als, The New Yorker; Melissa Rose Bernardo,Entertainment Weekly; David Cote, Time Out New York; Michael Feingold, TheaterMania; Robert Feldberg, Bergen Record; Elysa Gardner, USA Today; Jeremy Gerard, Deadline; Jesse Green, New York; Christopher Kelly, The Star-Ledger; David Rooney; Hollywood Reporter; Frank Scheck; New York Post; David Sheward, ArtsInNY; John Simon, Yonkers Tribune; Marilyn Stasio, Variety; Zachary Stewart, TheaterMania; Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal; Matt Windman, amNewYork; Linda Winer, Newsday; and Richard Zoglin,Time. Emeritus members include David Finkle, Brian Scott Lipton, Jesse Oxfeld, Michael Sommers and Steven Suskin.
For more information on the New York Drama Critics’ Circle and for details on the vote, please visit www.dramacritics.org.