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The Ferryman and Tootsie Win The New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards

The Ferryman and Tootsie Win The New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards

The New York Drama Critics’ Circle met on May 6, 2019, to determine the winners of its 84th annual awards. The results were as follows:

Best Play: The Ferryman (Jez Butterworth)
Best American Play: What the Constitution Means to Me (Heidi Schreck)
Best Musical: Tootsie (David Yazbek and Robert Horn)
Special Citations: Irish Repertory Theatre; Page 73; Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish

The awards will be presented at a private cocktail reception on Monday, May 13. The award for best play carries a cash prize of $2,500; the award for best American play is a cash prize of $1,000. The prizes are made possible by a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

The Ferryman, written by Jez Butterworth and directed by Sam Mendes, had its world premiere at London’s Royal Court Theatre on April 24, 2017, then transferred to the West End’s Gielgud Theatre on June 29, 2017 and closed on May 19, 2018. The production received its U.S. premiere at Broadway’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on October 21, 2018 where it currently plays.

Tootsie, book by Robert Horn, music and lyrics by David Yazbek, directed by Scott Ellis, had its world premiere at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre on September 29, 2018, and its New York premiere at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre on April 23, 2019 where it currently plays.

What the Constitution Means to Me, written by Heidi Schreck and directed by Oliver Butler, had its Off Broadway premiere at New York Theatre Workshop on September 12, 2018 and closed on November 4, 2018, before moving to the Greenwich House Theater on November 27, 2018 where it closed December 30, 2018. The play had its Broadway premiere on March 31, 2019 at the Hayes Theatre where it currently plays.

The New York Drama Critics’ Circle comprises 19 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 special achievements), is the nation’s second-oldest theater award, after the Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Adam Feldman, theater critic and editor for Time Out New York, has served as president of the NYDCC since 2005. Joe Dziemianowicz serves as vice president; Zachary Stewart is treasurer. In addition to Feldman, Dziemianowicz and Stewart, the members of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle are: David Cote, Michael Feingold, David Finkle, Jeremy Gerard, Sara Holdren, Charles Isherwood, Christopher Kelly, David Rooney, Frank Scheck, Barbara Schuler, Helen Shaw, David Sheward, Marilyn Stasio, Terry Teachout, Elisabeth Vincentelli and Matt Windman. Emeritus members include Melissa Rose Bernardo, Robert Feldberg, Elysa Gardner, Brian Scott Lipton, Jesse Oxfeld, John Simon, Michael Sommers, Steven Suskin, Linda Winer and Richard Zoglin.

On the first ballot for Best Play, no play received a majority among the 18 active members voting this year. A second vote was then taken to determine whether an award would be given at all. Having agreed that one should, the Circle moved to a weighted third ballot, with 26 points required to win. The Ferryman cleared that threshold with 27 points; What the Constitution Means to Me placed a close second with 24 points.

Having awarded Best Play to a work by a foreign author, the Circle then considered an award for Best American Play. What the Constitution Means to Me received 9 votes on the first ballot. just shy of the 10 required for a majority. After agreeing to give an award in this category, the Circle moved to a third 
ballot, which What the Constitution Means to Me won handily with 34 points, besting Fairview (12 points), To Kill a Mockingbird (11 points) and Dance Nation (9 points). 

No show received more than 5 votes on the first ballot for Best Musical. After agreeing that an award should be given in this category, the Circle moved to a weighted third ballot, on which Tootsie earned 25 points, just below the 26 points it needed to win. The top four vote-getters then proceeded to a weighted fourth ballot. With the proxy voters no longer voting, only 11 members cast ballots, lowering the winning threshold to 17 points. Tootsie won with 25 points, followed by The Prom (14 points), Girl from the North Country (14 points) and Twelfth Night (13 points).

The Circle also voted to award three Special Citations: to the Irish Repertory Theatre; to Page 73; and to National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene’s revival of Fiddler on the Roof.

The awards will be presented at a private ceremony at Feinstein’s/54 Below on May 13, 2019.

Best Play, first ballot:

David Cote (proxy): Plano
Joe Dziemianowicz: What the Constitution Means to Me 
Adam Feldman: Dance Nation 
David Finkle (proxy): The Ferryman
Jeremy Gerard: The Ferryman
Sara Holdren (proxy): What the Constitution Means to Me
Charles Isherwood: What the Constitution Means to Me
Christopher Kelly (proxy): Slave Play
David Rooney: The Ferryman 
Frank Scheck:  The Ferryman 
Barbara Schuler: What the Constitution Means to Me
Helen Shaw (proxy): Fairview
David Sheward:  The Ferryman 
Marilyn Stasio (proxy): The Ferryman
Zachary Stewart:  What the Constitution Means to Me
Terry Teachout (proxy): Mary Page Marlowe
Elisabeth Vincentelli:  Fairview
Matt Windman: The Ferryman

Best Play, third ballot:

David Cote (proxy):
Plano
What the Constitution Means to Me
Ain’t No Mo’

Joe Dziemianowicz:
What the Constitution Means to Me
The Ferryman
Ink

Adam Feldman:
Dance Nation
The Ferryman 
Fairview

David Finkle (proxy):
The Ferryman
White Noise
To Kill a Mockingbird

Jeremy Gerard (proxy):
The Ferryman
What the Constitution Means to Me
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

Sara Holdren (proxy):
What the Constitution Means to Me
Fairview
Hurricane Diane

Charles Isherwood:
What the Constitution Means to Me
The Ferryman
Lewiston/Clarkston

Christopher Kelly (proxy):
Slave Play
The Lehman Trilogy
What the Constitution Means to Me

David Rooney:
The Ferryman
What the Constitution Means to Me 
The Lehman Trilogy

Frank Scheck:
The Ferryman
The Lifespan of a Fact
Lewiston/Clarkston

Barbara Schuler:
What the Constitution Means to Me
Dance Nation
The Ferryman

Helen Shaw (proxy):
Fairview
Plano
Pass Over

David Sheward: 
The Ferryman
What the Constitution Means to Me
Dance Nation

Zachary Stewart: 
What the Constitution Means to Me
The Ferryman
Usual Girls

Terry Teachout (proxy):
Mary Page Marlowe
The Hard Problem
Nantucket Sleigh Ride

Elisabeth Vincentelli:
Fairview
Ink
Dance Nation

Matt Windman:
The Ferryman
Ink
The Lehman Trilogy

Best American Play, first ballot:

David Cote (proxy): Plano
Joe Dziemianowicz: What the Constitution Means to Me
Adam Feldman: Dance Nation
David Finkle (proxy): White Noise
Jeremy Gerard: What the Constitution Means to Me
Sara Holdren (proxy): What the Constitution Means to Me
Charles Isherwood: What the Constitution Means to Me
Christopher Kelly (proxy): Slave Play
David Rooney: What the Constitution Means to Me
Frank Scheck: Lewiston/Clarkston
Barbara Schuler: What the Constitution Means to Me
Helen Shaw (proxy): Fairview
David Sheward: What the Constitution Means to Me
Marilyn Stasio (proxy): What the Constitution Means to Me
Zachary Stewart: What the Constitution Means to Me
Terry Teachout (proxy): Mary Page Marlowe
Elisabeth Vincentelli: Fairview
Matt Windman: To Kill a Mockingbird

Best American Play, third ballot:

David Cote (proxy):
Plano
What the Constitution Means to Me
Ain’t No Mo’

Joe Dziemianowicz:
What the Constitution Means to Me
Pass Over
Lewiston/Clarkston

Adam Feldman:
Dance Nation
Fairview
Plano

David Finkle (proxy):
White Noise
To Kill a Mockingbird
What the Constitution Means to Me


Jeremy Gerard:
What the Constitution Means to Me
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
White Noise

Sara Holdren (proxy):
What the Constitution Means to Me
Fairview
Hurricane Diane

Charles Isherwood:
What the Constitution Means to Me
Lewiston/Clarkston
Mary Page Marlowe

Christopher Kelly (proxy):
Slave Play
What the Constitution Means to Me
To Kill a Mockingbird

David Rooney:
What the Constitution Means to Me
Mockingbird
Lewiston/Clarkston

Frank Scheck:
Lewiston/Clarkston
The Lifespan of a Fact
To Kill a Mockingbird

Barbara Schuler:
What the Constitution Means to Me
Dance Nation
White Noise

Helen Shaw (proxy):
Fairview
Plano
Pass Over

David Sheward:
What the Constitution Means to Me
Dance Nation
Fairview

Marilyn Stasio (proxy):
What the Constitution Means to Me
To Kill a Mockingbird
Mary Page Marlowe

Zachary Stewart:
What the Constitution Means to Me
Usual Girls
Fairview

Terry Teachout (proxy):
Mary Page Marlowe
Nantucket Sleigh Ride
Noura

Elisabeth Vincentelli:
Fairview
Dance Nation
White Noise

Matt Windman
To Kill a Mockingbird
What the Constitution Means to Me
White Noise 

Best Musical, first ballot:

David Cote (proxy): The Prom 
Joe Dziemianowicz: The Hello Girls
Adam Feldman: Tootsie
David Finkle (proxy): Girl from the North Country
Jeremy Gerard: Twelfth Night
Sara Holdren (proxy): The Prom
Charles Isherwood: Girl from the North Country
Christopher Kelly (proxy): The Prom
David Rooney: Girl from the North Country
Frank Scheck: Tootsie
Barbara Schuler: Girl from the North Country
Helen Shaw (proxy): Tootsie
David Sheward: The Prom
Marilyn Stasio (proxy): no award 
Zachary Stewart: Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
Terry Teachout (proxy): Girl from the North Country
Elisabeth Vincentelli: Tootsie
Matt Windman: Be More Chill

Best Musical, third ballot:

David Cote (proxy):
The Prom
Head Over Heels
Tootsie

Joe Dziemianowicz:
The Hello Girls
Twelfth Night
Girl from the North Country

Adam Feldman:
Tootsie
The Appointment
The Prom

David Finkle (proxy):
Girl from the North Country
The Hello Girls
Be More Chill


Jeremy Gerard:
Twelfth Night
Tootsie
Beetlejuice

Sara Holdren (proxy):
The Prom
Head Over Heels
Be More Chill

Charles Isherwood:
Tootsie
Girl from the North Country
The Cher Show

Christopher Kelly (proxy):
The Prom
Tootsie
Be More Chill

David Rooney:
Girl from the North Country
Tootsie
Twelfth Night

Frank Scheck:
Tootsie
The Prom
Girl from the North Country

Barbara Schuler:
Girl from the North Country
Tootsie
Twelfth Night

Helen Shaw (proxy):
Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
Tootsie
The Appointment

David Sheward:
The Prom
Tootsie
Twelfth Night


Zach Stewart:
The Prom
Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future
The Hello Girls

Terry Teachout (proxy):
Girl from the North Country
Be More Chill
The Prom

Elisabeth Vincentelli:
Tootsie
Girl from the North Country
Midnight at the Never Get

Matt Windman:
Be More Chill
Girl From the North Country
Twelfth Night

Best Musical, fourth ballot:

Joe Dziemianowicz:
Twelfth Night
Girl from the North Country
Tootsie

Adam Feldman:
Tootsie
The Prom
Girl from the North Country

Jeremy Gerard:
Tootsie
Twelfth Night
The Prom


Charles Isherwood:
Tootsie
Girl from the North Country 
Twelfth Night

David Rooney:
Tootsie
Girl From North Country
Twelfth Night

Frank Scheck:
Tootsie
The Prom
Girl from the North Country

Barbara Schuler:
Tootsie
Girl from the North Country 
Twelfth Night

David Sheward:
The Prom
Tootsie
Twelfth Night

Zachary Stewart:
The Prom
Twelfth Night
Tootsie

Elisabeth Vincentelli:
Tootsie 
The Prom
Girl from the North Country

Matt Windman
Girl from the North Country
Twelfth Night
The Prom

For more information on the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, please visit www.dramacritics.org.

Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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