The New York Drama Critics’ Circle has named Stephen Karam's drama The Humans as Best Play of 2016, and named George C. Wolfe's Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed as Best Musical.
The NYDCC gave awards only in those categories. No award for Best Foreign Play was made this year.
Special citations were given to Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis, veteran actress Lois Smith (this season’s John and Marjorie Prime), as well as director Ivo van Hove and production designer Jan Versweyveld.
The Humans, a deeply-felt family drama, debuted last fall at Roundabout's Laura Pels Theatre Off-Broadway and transferred to Broadway in January, marking the Broadway debut of 36-year-old playwright Karam.
Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed is Wolfe’s ambitious excavation of the hit 1920’s Broadway musical that was created by an all-black creative team. It stars Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Brandon Victor Dixon, Joshua Henry and Adrienne Warren.
Van Hove and Versweyveld, who are also partners, are longtime collaborators of the Netherlands’ Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Their work was represented on Broadway this season with A View from the Bridge and The Crucible, in addition to Antigone at BAM.
The selections were made at the organization’s 81st annual voting meeting May 5. The awards will be presented at a private cocktail reception 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 NYDCC comprises 22 drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines, wire services and websites based in the New York metropolitan area. Adam Feldman, theatre 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.
NYDCC members also include 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 dramacritics.org.