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New York Drama Critics’ Circle names ‘Stereophonic’ best play of 2023-2024 season

The award for best musical went to “Dead Outlaw.”

A scene from “Stereophonic,” Broadway, 2024 (Credit: Julieta Cervantes)

The New York Drama Critics’ Circle has named David Adjmi’s new drama “Stereophonic” as the best play of the 2023-2024 season. The award for best musical went to “Dead Outlaw,” which features music and lyrics by David Yazbek and Erik Della Penna and a book by Itamar Moses. The selections were made at the organization’s 88th annual voting meeting.

The awards, which will be presented during a private ceremony on May 21, include a cash prize of $2,500 for best play, made possible by a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

In addition, a joint special citation was awarded to the revivals of “Merrily We Roll Along” and “Purlie Victorious.” A joint special citation was also awarded to actors Maryann Plunkett and Jay O. Sanders for lifetime achievement; Plunkett appeared this season in both Broadway’s “The Notebook” and Off-Broadway’s “Deep Blue Sound,” while Sanders was in both “Purlie Victorious” on Broadway and “Primary Trust” Off-Broadway. A third special citation was awarded to writer-composer Heather Christian, whose “Terce: A Practical Breviary” premiered Off-Broadway this season.

“Stereophonic,” directed by Daniel Aukin, had its world premiere on October 26, 2023, at Playwrights Horizons and closed on December 17, 2023. The play then opened at Broadway’s John Golden Theatre on April 19, 2024, where it currently runs.

“Dead Outlaw,” directed by David Cromer, received its world premiere at Off-Broadway’s Minetta Lane Theatre on March 10, 2024; it closed on April 14.

The New York Drama Critics’ Circle comprises 21 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 presented 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 playwriting award after the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (which was recently awarded to “Primary Trust”).

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 Barbour, David Cote, Vinson Cunningham, Greg Evans, David Finkle, Elysa Gardner, Robert Hofler, Sara Holdren, Charles Isherwood, Chris Jones, Soraya Nadia McDonald, Jackson McHenry, Johnny Oleksinski, Frank Scheck, Helen Shaw, David Sheward, Elisabeth Vincentelli and Matt Windman. Emeritus members include Melissa Rose Bernardo, Christopher Kelly, Brian Scott Lipton, David Rooney, Michael Sommers, Marilyn Stasio, Steven Suskin and Linda Winer.

A full breakdown of this year’s voting can be found here.