Downstate and Leopoldstadt Named Winners of 2023 New York Drama Critics Circle Awards | Playbill

Awards Downstate and Leopoldstadt Named Winners of 2023 New York Drama Critics Circle Awards

The New York Drama Critics Circle Awards is decided by theatre critics at 20 NYC publications.

Francis Guinan and K. Todd Freeman in Downstate Joan Marcus

The New York Drama Critics Circle has announced the recipients of its annual awards. The organization named Downstate by Bruce Norris as the Best Play of 2022-23. They also gave Best Foreign Play to Tom Stoppard for Leopoldstadt. And in an atypical move, the NYDCC did not name a recipient for Best Musical (the last time this happened was in the 2017-18 season). 

Downstate was presented Off-Broadway in late 2022, and follows a group of registered sex offenders. Leopoldstadt is still running on Broadway at the Longacre Theatre and follows a Jewish family through the first half of the 20th century.

The New York Drama Critics Circle Awards will be presented in a private ceremony on May 22. There is also a cash prize attached: $2,500 for Best Play and $1,000 for Best Foreign Play—made possible by a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

Even though there was not a Best Musical winner, the NYDCC did award a special citation to the Broadway revival of Parade. It also gave a lifetime achievement honor citation to Adrienne Kennedy—who made her much-belated Broadway debut in late 2022 with Ohio State Murders starring Audra McDonald. La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club was given an ongoing achievement citation, for its work in supporting Off-Off-Broadway theatre.

The New York Drama Critics' Circle Award is comprised of 20 theatre critics writing for outlets based in New York City. The awards was first distributed in 1936 and is the second-oldest playwriting award, after the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (which was also announced on May 8).

Adam Feldman of Time Out New York is the president of the NYDCC, Joe Dziemianowicz serves as vice president; Zachary Stewart is treasurer. The members of the New York Drama Critics' Circle also contain David Barbour, David Cote, Vinson Cunningham, Greg Evans, David Finkle, Elysa Gardner, Robert Hofler, Charles Isherwood, Chris Jones, Soraya Nadia McDonald, Johnny Oleksinski, Frank Scheck, Helen Shaw, David Sheward, Marilyn Stasio, Elisabeth Vincentelli and Matt Windman. Emeritus members include Melissa Rose Bernardo, Christopher Kelly, Brian Scott Lipton, David Rooney, Michael Sommers, Steven Suskin and Linda Winer.

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