Samuel D. Hunter’s A Case for the Existence of God was named best play of the 2021-22 season today by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle, with David Lindsay-Abaire’s and Jeanine Tesori’s Kimberly Akimbo chosen as best musical.
Two special citations were awarded by the group, one to stage and film veteran Austin Pendleton, currently co-starring on Broadway in The Minutesand a citation for emerging talent to Sanaz Toossi for two plays produced this year, English and Wish You Were Here.
The selections skewed away from Broadway’s Tony Award contenders this year, at least in part because many of those shows – including The Lehman Trilogy, A Strange Loop, Hangmen and Skeleton Crew – were recognized or eligible by the Circle in previous years for productions outside of Broadway, and thus ineligible for consideration this year.
Kimberly Akimbo will be staged on Broadway in fall 2022.
The awards, which will be presented during a private ceremony on Friday, May 20, include a cash prize of $ 2,500 for Best Play, made possible by a grant from the Lucille Lortel Foundation.
A Case for the Existence of Godwritten by Hunter and directed by David Cromer, had its world premiere on May 2, 2022, at Signature Theater Company where it is currently playing. Kimberly Akimbo, book and lyrics by Lindsay-Abaire, music by Tesori, directed by Jessica Stone, had its world premiere at Atlantic Theater Company on December 8, 2021, and closed on January 15, 2022.
The New York Drama Critics’ Circle comprises 22 drama critics from daily newspapers, magazines, wire services and websites, including Deadline, based in the New York metropolitan area. The New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award 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), and is the nation’s second-oldest playwriting award after the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.