The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, are pleased to announce the nominees for the 71st Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, honoring the 2021-2022 Broadway and Off-Broadway season.
Leading the pack with the most honors of the season is the Broadway play The Lehman Trilogy with nine nominations, followed by the Off-Broadway musicals Harmony and Kimberly Akimbo which earned eight nods each. The most recognized Broadway musicals of the season are MJ the Musical and Paradise Square, with seven nominations each.
Nominees for the annual John Gassner Award — for a new American play, preferably by a new playwright — are Erika Dickerson-Despenza for Cullud Wattah, Sanaz Toossi for English, Sylvia Khoury for Selling Kabul, Dave Harris for Tambo and Bones, and Keenan Scott II for Thoughts of a Colored Man.
Returning to an in-person ceremony this spring after the 2020 virtual honors, the Outer Critics Circle Award winners will be announced on Monday, May 16, with a ceremony honoring the award recipients on Thursday, May 26 at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.
Special Achievement Awards will be presented to How I Learned to Drive stars Johanna Day, David Morse, and Mary-Louise Parker, as well as Lackawanna Blues star Ruben Santiago-Hudson, to mark their outstanding returns to roles they originated two decades ago.
Additionally, the Outer Critics Circle presents commendations to two groups whose contributions to the 2021-22 season were immeasurable: the Standbys, Understudies, and Swings, as well as the Covid-19 Safety Officers.
The 2021-2022 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations
Outstanding New Broadway Musical
Outstanding New Broadway Play
Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical
Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
John Gassner Award (presented to a new American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Outstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Outstanding Actor in a Play
Outstanding Actress in a Play
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Outstanding Solo Performance
Outstanding Director of a Play
Outstanding Director of a Musical
Outstanding Book of a Musical
Outstanding Scenic Design (Play or Musical)
Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical)
Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)
Outstanding Sound Design (Play or Musical)
Outstanding Video/Projection Design (Play or Musical)
Special Achievement Awards are presented to:
Outer Critics Circle Commendations are presented to:
· The Standbys, Understudies, and Swings of the theatrical community who step up to perform, often on hours’ notice, to keep their shows running.
· To the Covid Safety Supervisors, Managers, and Compliance Officers who put themselves in harm’s way eight times a week to keep the curtains up.
This season’s fully eligible Broadway productions included Pass Over, Six, Lackawanna Blues, Chicken & Biscuits, Thoughts of a Colored Man, The Lehman Trilogy, Caroline, or Change, Diana, Trouble in Mind, Clyde’s, Mrs. Doubtfire, Company, Flying Over Sunset, Skeleton Crew, MJ the Musical, The Music Man, Plaza Suite, Paradise Square, Take Me Out, Birthday Candles, The Little Prince, American Buffalo, The Minutes, How I Learned to Drive, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Funny Girl, The Skin of Our Teeth, Mr. Saturday Night, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive.
After consideration in previous seasons, only new elements of the following productions were eligible for awards: Girl from the North Country, Is This A Room, Dana H., Hangmen, A Strange Loop.
By mutual agreement with the production, owing to Covid-19-related delays, the Broadway revival of Macbeth will be considered for awards during the 2022-2023 season.
The following return engagements were not eligible for awards: Springsteen on Broadway, Waitress, American Utopia, Freestyle Love Supreme, Slave Play, Beetlejuice.
Founded during the 1949-50 Broadway season by respected theater journalist John Gassner, The Outer Critics Circle is an esteemed association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, broadcast stations, and online news organizations, in America and abroad. Led by its current president David Gordon, the OCC Board of Directors also includes Vice President Simon Saltzman, Recording Secretary Joseph Cervelli, Corresponding Secretary Patrick Hoffman, Treasurer David Roberts, Harry Haun, Cynthia Allen, Richard Ridge, Janice Simpson and Stanley L. Cohen.