Village Voice theatre critic Alisa Solomon has been named winner of the 1997-98 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. According to the Voice, Solomon won for her book, "Re-Dressing The Canon: Essays on Theatre and Gender," published by Routledge.
She'll receive the honor Mar. 8 at a ceremony held at NYC's P.S. 122.
The $10,000 prize honors "the best piece of dramatic criticism" published during the theatrical year." The awards committee praised Solomon's "thorough understanding of how meaning is communicated through theatrical performance, a solid grounding in theatrical history and dramatic criticism, and a sophisticated engagement with theoretical issues in a lively and accessible style."
Nathan panel head Jonathan Culler added that Solomon made this year's decision easy because there was "no need to choose between the brilliant reviewer and the brilliant scholar when they are both the same person."
Last year's Nathan Award was split among three critics: Ben Brantley, chief critic of the New York Times; and freelancers Elinor Fuchs and Todd London. George Jean Nathan, who joined the New York Herald in 1905, was a key figure in promoting Eugene O'Neill and Sean O'Casey. Previous Nathan Award winners include Eric Bentley, Robert Brustein and Robert Hurwitt.
-- By David Lefkowitz