Bruce Norris’s Downstate and Tom Stoppard’s Leopoldstadt were named this season’s Best Play and Best Foreign Play, respectively, by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle today.
Downstate opened last October in an Off Broadway production at Playwrights Horizons. Set at a downstate Illinois group home for men convicted of sex crimes, the play explored what the theater company called “the limits of compassion and forgiveness” when a man shows up at the home to confront his childhood abuser.
Leopoldstadt, inspired by Stoppard’s family history, chronicles a wealthy Jewish family in Vienna throughout the first half of the 20th Century. The well-reviewed play has been nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Play.
The Drama Critics’ Circle also announced the recipients of three Special Citations: The longstanding Off Off Broadway theater company La Mama; the Ohio State Murders playwright Adrienne Kennedy, who made her Broadway debut this year at the age 91; and the Broadway revival of Parade.
The critics organization did not issue an award this year for best new musical.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony on May 23.