Announcing Special Honors Recipients for the 70th Annual OCC Awards


Musicals Moulin Rouge!, Jagged Little Pill, and The Secret Life of Bees lead with most honors, with The Sound Inside, The Inheritance, and The Height of the Storm among top awarded plays

Plus Four John Gassner Award Honors, for American Playwrights: Will Arbery, Eboni Booth, Catya McMullen and Alexis Scheer

70th Anniversary Season Honorees Announced Today By Kristin Chenoweth, Bryan Cranston, Patti LuPone, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Patrick Stewart

Watch the Announcement here: link

(NEW YORK, NY – Monday, May 11, 2020) The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, presents the recipients of this year’s special honors for the 2019-2020 Broadway and Off-Broadway season. Past OCC Award honorees Kristin Chenoweth, Bryan Cranston, Patti LuPone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Patrick Stewart, announced this season’s honorees by video feed today, Monday, May 11, 2020.

In light of the current and unprecedented period of suspension for live arts across the nation, the organization’s milestone 70th Anniversary is dedicated to celebrating widespread excellence in New York theater this season. In lieu of selecting traditional nominees with one winner from each category, the 70th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards is celebrating up to five honorees in each of its technical categories, and up to six honorees in acting categories. In addition, four artists receive the annual John Gassner Award this season, commemorating works by new American playwrights. The OCC is also making a donation to The Actors’ Fund in support of its emergency relief efforts.

Leading the pack with the most honors of the season are Moulin Rouge! and Jagged Little Pill with eleven and eight awards, respectively, including Outstanding New Broadway Musical. The Secret Life of Bees follows with seven honors, including Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. The most recognized play of the season is The Sound Inside with seven honors, closely followed by The Inheritance and The Height of the Storm, garnering five each.

The annual John Gassner Award — for an American play, preferably by a new playwright — will be presented to four recipients this season, each of whom will be awarded a monetary prize: Catya McMullen, for Georgia Mertching Is Dead; Will Arbery, for Heroes of the Fourth Turning; Alexis Scheer, for Our Dear Dead Drug Lord; and Eboni Booth, for Paris.

The 2019-2020 Outer Critics Circle Award Honorees are:


Grand Horizons

Written by Bess Wohl

Produced by Second Stage Theater

Developed in association with Williamstown Theatre Festival

The Height of the Storm

Written by Florian Zeller

Translated by Christopher Hampton

Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club, Simon Friend, Mark Goucher, Harold Panter, and Scott Landis

The Inheritance

Written by Matthew Lopez

Produced by Tom Kirdahy, Sonia Friedman Productions, Hunter Arnold, Elizabeth Dewberry & Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik, 1001 Nights Productions, Robert Greenblatt, Mark Lee, Peter May, Scott Rudin, Richard Winkler, Bruce Cohen, Mara Isaacs, Greg Berlanti & Robbie Rogers, Brad Blume, Burnt Umber Productions, Shane Ewen, Greenleaf Productions, Marguerite Hoffman, Oliver Roth, Joseph Baker/Drew Hodges, Stephanie P. McClelland, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Caiola Productions, Mary J. Davis, Kayla Greenspan, Fakston Productions, FBK Productions, Sally Cade Holmes, Benjamin Lowy, MWM Live, Lee & Alec Seymour, Lorenzo Thione, Sing Out, Louise! Productions, AB Productions/Julie Boardman, Adam Zell & Co./ZKM Media, Jamie deRoy/Catherine Adler, DeSantis-Baugh Productions/Adam Hyndman, Gary DiMauro/Meredith Lynsey Schade, John Goldwyn/Silva Theatrical Group, Deborah Green/Christina Mattsson, Cliff Hopkins/George Scarles, Invisible Wall Productions/Lauren Stein, Sharon Karmazin/Broadway Factor NYC, Brian Spector/Madeleine Foster Bersin, Undivided Productions/Hysell Dohr Group, UshkowitzLatimer Productions/Tyler Mount, and The Young Vic

Linda Vista

Written by Tracy Letts

Produced by Second Stage Theater and Steppenwolf Theatre Company, in association with Center Theatre Group

The Sound Inside

Written by Adam Rapp

Produced by Jeffrey Richards, Lincoln Center Theater, Rebecca Gold, Evamere Entertainment, Eric Falkenstein, Salman Vienn Al-Rashid, Spencer Ross, Filmnation Entertainment/Faliro House, Iris Smith, Jane Bergère, Caiola Productions, Mark S. Golub and David S. Golub, Ken Greiner, Gemini Theatrical Investors, LLC, Scott H. Mauro, Jayne Baron Sherman, Czekaj Productions, Wendy Morgan-Hunter, Kristin Foster, Brian Moreland, Sonia Mudbhatkal, Jacob Soroken Porter, and Williamstown Theatre Festival); Associate Producer: Haley McIntosh


Jagged Little Pill

Music by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard

Lyrics by Alanis Morissette

Book by Diablo Cody

Produced by Vivek J. Tiwary, Arvind Ethan David, Eva Price, Caiola Productions, Level Forward & Abigail Disney, Geffen Playhouse-Tenenbaum-Feinberg, James L. Nederlander, Dean Borell Moravis Silver, Stephen G. Johnson, Concord Theatricals, Bard Theatricals, M. Kilburg Reedy,, Betsy Dollinger, Sundowners, The Araca Group, Jana Bezdek, Len Blavatnik, BSL Enterprises, LLC, Burnt Umber Productions, Darren DeVerna & Jeremiah Harris, Daryl Roth, Susan Edelstein, FG Productions, Sue Gilad & Larry Rogowsky, Harmonia, John Gore Theatrical Group, Melissa M. Jones & Barbara H. Freitag, Stephanie Kramer, Lamplighter Projects, Christina Isaly Liceaga, David Mirvish, Spencer B. Ross, Bellanca Smigel Rutter, Iris Smith, Jason Taylor & Sydney Suiter, Rachel Weinstein, W.I.T. Productions/Gabriel Creative Partners, Independent Presenters Network, Jujamcyn Theaters, and The American Repertory Theatre

Moulin Rouge!

Book by John Logan
Based on the 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Motion Picture written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce

Produced by Carmen Pavlovic, Gerry Ryan, Global Creatures, Bill Damaschke, Aaron Lustbader, Hunter Arnold, Darren Bagert, Erica Lynn Schwartz/Matt Picheny/Stephanie Rosenberg, Adam Blanshay Productions/Nicolas & Charles Talar, Iris Smith, Aleri Entertainment, CJ ENM, Sophie Qi/Harmonia Holdings, Baz & Co./Len Blavatnik, AF Creative Media International Theatre Fund, Endeavor Content, Tom & Pam Faludy, Gilad-Rogowsky/InStone Productions, John Gore Organization, MEHR-BB Entertainment GmbH, Spencer Ross, Nederlander Presentations/IPN, Eric Falkenstein/Suzanne Grant, Jennifer Fischer, Peter May/Sandy Robertson, Triptyk Studios, Carl Daikeler/Sandi Moran, DeSantis-Baugh Productions, Red Mountain Theatre Company/, Candy Spelling/Tulchin Bartner, Roy Furman and Jujamcyn Theaters; By special arrangement with Buena Vista Theatrical

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Book by Katori Hall
With Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins

Produced by Stage Entertainment, James L. Nederlander, Tali Pelman, Feste Investment B.V., David Mirvish, Nattering Way, TEG Dainty, Katori Hall, Mark Rubinstein LTD, Warner Chappell, Peter May, Eva Price, No Guarantees, Caiola Productions, Jamie deRoy, Wendy Federman, Roy Furman, Independent Presenters Network, John Gore Organization, Marc Levine, Carl Moellenberg, Al Nocciolino, Catherine Adler, Tom Perakos, Iris Smith, Candy Spelling, Anita Waxman, Daryl Roth, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Universal Music Publishing Group; Produced in association with Tina Turner


Cambodian Rock Band

Written by Lauren Yee

Produced by Signature Theatre Company

Greater Clements

Written by Samuel D. Hunter

Produced by Lincoln Center Theatre

Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven+

Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Produced by Atlantic Theater Company and LAByrinth Theater Company

Make Believe

Written by Bess Wohl

Produced by Second Stage Theatre


Written by Theresa Rebeck

Produced by MCC Theater


Darling Grenadine

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company


Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dave Malloy

Produced by Signature Theatre Company

The Secret Life of Bees

Book by Lynn Nottage

Music by Duncan Sheik

Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead

Based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd

Produced by Atlantic Theater Company

Soft Power

Book and Lyrics by David Henry Hwang
Music and Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori

Produced by the Public Theater and Center Theatre Group

A Strange Loop

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

Produced by Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions


(Broadway or Off-Broadway)


Written by Harold Pinter

Produced by Ambassador Theatre Group, Benjamin Lowy Productions, Gavin Kalin Productions, Glass Half Full Productions, Annapurna Theatre, Hunter Arnold, Burnt Umber Productions, Rashad V. Chambers, Eilene Davidson Productions, KFF Productions, Dominick LaRuffa Jr., Antonio Marion, Stephanie P. McClelland, Richard Winkler/Alan Shorr, and The Jamie Lloyd Company

Fires in the Mirror

Written by Anna Deavere Smith

Produced by Signature Theatre

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf

Written by Ntozake Shange

Produced by the Public Theater

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune

Written by Terrence McNally

Produced by Hunter Arnold, Debbie Bisno, Tom Kirdahy, Elizabeth Dewberry & Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Caiola Productions, FedermanGold Productions, Invisible Wall Productions, John Gore Organization, Mike Karns, Kilimanjaro Theatricals, Peter May, Tyler Mount, Seriff Productions, Silva Theatrical Group, Cliff Bleszinski/GetterLazarDaly, Jamie deRoy/Gary DiMauro, Suzi Dietz & Lenny Beer/Sally Cade Holmes, Barbara H. Freitag/Ken Davenport, Barry & Kimberly Gowdy/Mabee Family Office, Kayla Greenspan/Jamie Joeyen-Waldorf, John Joseph/Broadway Factor, Tilted Windmills/John Paterakis, and The Shubert Organization

A Soldier’s Play

Written by Charles Fuller

Produced by Roundabout Theatre Company


(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Little Shop of Horrors

Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman

Music by Alan Menken

Produced by Tom Kirdahy, Robert Ahrens, Hunter Arnold, Mickey Liddell, Caiola Productions, Curt Cronin, John Joseph, DDM Productions, DeSantis-Baugh Productions, Elizabeth Dewberry & Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik, Wendy Federman, Roy Furman, Deborah Green, Kayla Greenspan, Marguerite Hoffman, Sally Cade Holmes, Latitude Link, Seriff Productions, Silva Theatrical Group, Eric Gelb/Oliver Roth

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson

Book and New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan

Based on the Original Book by Richard Morris

Music Adapted by Michael Rafter

Produced by Transport Group

West Side Story

Music by Leonard Bernstein

Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Arthur Laurents

Based on a Conception by Jerome Robbins

Produced by Scott Rudin, Barry Diller, David Geffen, Eli Bush, Adam Rodner, and James L. Nederlander


(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Georgia Mertching Is Dead by Catya McMullen

Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery

Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis Scheer

Paris by Eboni Booth


(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Diablo Cody, Jagged Little Pill

David Henry Hwang, Soft Power

Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Lynn Nottage, The Secret Life of Bees

Mark Saltzman, Romeo and Bernadette


(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Susan Birkenhead and Duncan Sheik, The Secret Life of Bees

Ross Golan, The Wrong Man

Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop

Dave Malloy, Octet

Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang, Soft Power


David Cromer, The Sound Inside

Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance

Kenny Leon, A Soldier’s Play

Jamie Lloyd, Betrayal

John Ortiz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven


Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop

Michael Mayer, Little Shop of Horrors

Diane Paulus, Jagged Little Pill

Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge!

Ivo van Hove, West Side Story


Sidi Larbi Cherakoui, Jagged Little Pill

Raja Feather Kelly, A Strange Loop


Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill

Alex Lacamoire, The Wrong Man

Justin Levine, with Matt Stine, Katie Kresek, and Charlie Rosen, Moulin Rouge!

Christopher Nightingale, A Christmas Carol

Duncan Sheik and John Clancy, The Secret Life of Bees


Ian Barford, Linda Vista

Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements

Raúl Esparza, Seared

Tom Hiddleston, Betrayal

Will Hochman, The Sound Inside

Jonathan Pryce, The Height of the Storm


Eileen Atkins, The Height of the Storm

Judith Ivey, Greater Clements

Joaquina Kalukango, Slave Play

April Matthis, Toni Stone

Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside

Portia, Stew


David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play

John Benjamin Hickey, The Inheritance

Paul Hilton, The Inheritance

Samuel H. Levine, The Inheritance

John-Andrew Morrison, Blues for an Alabama Sky

Chris Perfetti, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow


Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

Montego Glover, All the Natalie Portmans

Marsha Mason, Little Gem

Krysta Rodriguez, Seared

Lois Smith, The Inheritance

Jennifer Van Dyck, The Confession of Lily Dare


David Cale, We’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time

Laura Linney, My Name Is Lucy Barton

Aedin Moloney, Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom

Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.

Michael Benjamin Washington, Fires in the Mirror


Jonathan Groff, Little Shop of Horrors

Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man

Adam Kantor, Darling Grenadine

Larry Owens, A Strange Loop

Isaac Powell, West Side Story

Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge!


Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Janelle McDermoth, We’re Gonna Die

Karen Olivo, Moulin Rouge!

Shereen Pimentel, West Side Story

Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill

Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical


Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors

Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge!

Gus Halper, Sing Street

Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA

Francis Jue, Soft Power

Daniel J. Watts, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical


Eisa Davis, The Secret Life of Bees

Kathryn Gallagher, Jagged Little Pill

LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees

Judy McLane, Romeo & Bernadette

Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill

Saycon Sengbloh, The Secret Life of Bees


(Play or Musical)

Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol

Tim Mackabee, Seared

Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!

Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons

Anthony Ward, The Height of the Storm


(Play or Musical)

Vanessa Leuck, Emojiland

Jeff Mahshie, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Mark Thompson, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Rachel Townsend & Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare

Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!


(Play or Musical)

Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning

Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside

Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!

Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol

Hugh Vanstone, The Height of the Storm


(Play or Musical)

Luke Halls, West Side Story

Brad Peterson, Broadway Bounty Hunter

Lisa Renkel and Possible Productions, Emojiland

Aaron Rhyne, The Sound Inside

Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror


(Play or Musical)

Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol

Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.

Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!

Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room

Daniel Kluger, The Sound Inside

Productions with Multiple Honors

11: Moulin Rouge!

8: Jagged Little Pill

7: The Secret Life of Bees, The Sound Inside

5: The Inheritance, The Height of the Storm, A Strange Loop, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, West Side Story

4: A Christmas Carol, Little Shop of Horrors, Seared, Soft Power, The Wrong Man

3: Greater Clements, Fires in the Mirror

2: BetrayalThe Confession of Lily Dare, Dana H., Darling GrenadineGrand Horizons, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, Heroes of the Fourth Turning, Linda Vista, Octet, Romeo and Bernadette, The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Artists with Multiple Honors:

David Henry Hwang (Soft Power book and score)

Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop book and score)

Hugh Vanstone (lighting for A Christmas Carol and The Height of the Storm)

Bess Wohl (Grand HorizonsMake Believe)

With an eligibility cutoff of March 6, 2020, nearly 150 Off-Broadway productions were considered for the honors, in addition to the following eligible Broadway productions: Betrayal, A Christmas Carol, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Grand Horizons, The Great Society, The Height of the Storm, The Inheritance, Jagged Little Pill, The Lightning Thief, Linda Vista, Moulin Rouge!, My Name Is Lucy Barton, The Rose Tattoo, A Soldier’s Play, The Sound Inside, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, and West Side Story. Only new elements were considered for the following Broadway productions, which were eligible in previous seasons: Girl From the North CountrySea Wall/A Life and Slave Play.

OCC President David Gordon said, “The Outer Critics Circle has thought long and hard about a way to honor the nearly 200 productions that opened this year, while also respecting those shows that were canceled, postponed, or forced to close shortly after opening. This format allows us to celebrate the truncated theater season, and our 70th anniversary, by creating a sense of communal joy at a time when we all need it most.”

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 RobertsHarry Haun, Cynthia Allen, Richard Ridge, Janice Simpson and Stanley L. Cohen.