71st Annual Outer Critics Circle Winners Announced

The Outer Critics Circle (OCC), the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications, is pleased to announce the winners of the 71st Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards, honoring the 2021-2022 Broadway and Off-Broadway season.

The Broadway play The Lehman Trilogy leads the pack with six wins, including Outstanding New Broadway Play, followed by Kimberly Akimbo which earned four awards including Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical. The Marjorie Gunner Award for Outstanding New Broadway Musical is one of three honors awarded to Six, and taking home the prizes for Outstanding Revival of a Musical and Outstanding Revival of a Play are Company and Take Me Out, respectively. The annual John Gassner Award — for a new American play, preferably by a new playwright — is awarded to Sanaz Toossi for English.

Returning to an in-person ceremony this spring after the 2020 virtual honors, the 2022 Outer Critics Circle Award winners will be honored on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

Special Achievement Awards will be presented to How I Learned to Drive stars Johanna Day, David Morse, and Mary-Louise Parker, as well as Lackawanna Blues star Ruben Santiago-Hudson, to mark their outstanding returns to roles they originated two decades ago. Additionally, the Outer Critics Circle presents commendations to two groups whose contributions to the 2021-22 season were immeasurable: the Standbys, Understudies, and Swings, as well as the Covid-19 Safety Officers.

The 2021-2022 Outer Critics Circle Award Winners

The Marjorie Gunner Award for Outstanding New Broadway Musical

MJ the Musical

Mr. Saturday Night

Mrs. Doubtfire

Paradise Square

Six ***WINNER***

Outstanding New Broadway Play

Birthday Candles


Skeleton Crew

The Lehman Trilogy ***WINNER***

The Minutes

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical

Black No More


Intimate Apparel

Kimberly Akimbo ***WINNER***

Little Girl Blue

Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play

Morning Sun

On Sugarland

Prayer for the French Republic ***WINNER***

Sanctuary City

The Chinese Lady

John Gassner Award

(presented to a new American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Cullud Wattah by Erika Dickerson-Despenza

English by Sanaz Toossi ***WINNER***

Selling Kabul by Sylvia Khoury

Tambo and Bones by Dave Harris

Thoughts of a Colored Man by Keenan Scott II

Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway)


Caroline, or Change

Company ***WINNER***

The Music Man

The Streets of New York

Outstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway)

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

How I Learned to Drive

Take Me Out ***WINNER***

A Touch of the Poet

Trouble in Mind

Outstanding Actor in a Musical

Justin Cooley, Kimberly Akimbo

Myles Frost, MJ the Musical

Rob McClure, Mrs. Doubtfire

Jaquel Spivey, A Strange Loop ***WINNER***

Chip Zien, Harmony

Outstanding Actress in a Musical

Kearstin Piper Brown, Intimate Apparel

Victoria Clark, Kimberly Akimbo ***WINNER***

Sharon D Clarke, Caroline, or Change

Carmen Cusack, Flying Over Sunset

Joaquina Kalukango, Paradise Square

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical

Quentin Earl Darrington, MJ the Musical

Matt Doyle, Company ***WINNER***

Steven Pasquale, Assassins

A.J. Shively, Paradise Square

Will Swenson, Assassins

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical

Shoshana Bean, Mr. Saturday Night

Jenn Colella, Suffs

Judy Kuhn, Assassins

Patti LuPone, Company ***WINNER***

Bonnie Milligan, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Actor in a Play

Patrick J. Adams, Take Me Out

Simon Russell Beale, The Lehman Trilogy ***WINNER***

Adam Godley, The Lehman Trilogy

Adrian Lester, The Lehman Trilogy

Sam Rockwell, American Buffalo

Outstanding Actress in a Play

Betsy Aidem, Prayer for the French Republic

Stephanie Berry, On Sugarland

Edie Falco, Morning Sun

LaChanze, Trouble in Mind ***WINNER***

Debra Messing, Birthday Candles

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play

Chuck Cooper, Trouble in Mind

Brandon J. Dirden, Skeleton Crew

Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Take Me Out ***WINNER***

Michael Oberholzer, Take Me Out

Austin Pendleton, The Minutes

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play

Chanté Adams, Skeleton Crew

Uzo Aduba, Clyde's ***WINNER***

Francis Benhamou, Prayer for the French Republic

Phylicia Rashad, Skeleton Crew

Nancy Robinette, Prayer for the French Republic

Outstanding Solo Performance

Alex Edelman, Just For Us

Jenn Murray, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing

Arturo Luís Soria, Ni Mi Madre

Kristina Wong, Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord ***WINNER***

Outstanding Director of a Play

Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Scott Ellis, Take Me Out

Sam Mendes, The Lehman Trilogy ***WINNER***

Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Skeleton Crew

Anna D. Shapiro, The Minutes

Outstanding Director of a Musical

Warren Carlyle, Harmony

Moisés Kaufman, Paradise Square

Jessica Stone, Kimberly Akimbo ***WINNER***

Christopher Wheeldon, MJ the Musical

Jerry Zaks, Mrs. Doubtfire

Outstanding Choreography

Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Warren Carlyle, Harmony

Warren Carlyle, The Music Man

Bill T. Jones, Alex Sanchez, Garrett Coleman, and Jason Oremus, Paradise Square

Christopher Wheeldon and Rich + Tone Talauega, MJ the Musical ***WINNER***

Outstanding Book of a Musical

Billy Crystal, Lowell Ganz, and Babaloo Mandel, Mr. Saturday Night

Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell, Mrs. Doubtfire

David Lindsay-Abaire, Kimberly Akimbo ***WINNER***

Lynn Nottage, Intimate Apparel

Bruce Sussman, Harmony

Outstanding Score

Jason Howland, Nathan Tysen, and Masi Asare, Paradise Square

Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Doubtfire

Barry Manilow and Bruce Sussman, Harmony

Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, Six ***WINNER***

Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire, Kimberly Akimbo

Outstanding Orchestrations

John Clancy, Kimberly Akimbo

David Holcenberg and Jason Michael Webb, MJ the Musical

Greg Jarrett, Assassins

Jason Howland, Paradise Square ***WINNER***

Doug Walter, Harmony

Outstanding Scenic Design (Play or Musical)

Beowulf Boritt, Flying Over Sunset

Es Devlin, The Lehman Trilogy

Scott Pask, American Buffalo

Adam Rigg, The Skin of Our Teeth ***WINNER***

David Zinn, The Minutes

Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical)

Jane Greenwood, Plaza Suite

Santo Loquasto, The Music Man

Gabriella Slade, Six ***WINNER***

Emilio Sosa, Trouble in Mind

Catherine Zuber, Mrs. Doubtfire

Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical)

Jon Clark, The Lehman Trilogy ***WINNER***

Natasha Katz, MJ the Musical

Bradley King, Flying Over Sunset

Brian MacDevitt, The Minutes

Jen Schreiver, Lackawanna Blues

Outstanding Sound Design (Play or Musical)

Nick Powell and Dominic Bilkey, The Lehman Trilogy ***WINNER***

André Pluess, The Minutes

Ben and Max Ringham, Blindness

Dan Moses Schreier, Harmony

Matt Stine and Sam Kusnetz, Assassins

Outstanding Video/Projection Design (Play or Musical)

59 Productions and Benjamin Pearcy, Flying Over Sunset

Stefania Bulbarella and Alex Basco Koch, Space Dogs

Shawn Duan, Letters of Suresh

Luke Halls, The Lehman Trilogy ***WINNER***

Jeff Sugg, Mr. Saturday Night

Special Achievement Awards are presented to:

  • Johanna Day, David Morse, Mary-Louise Parker, and Ruben Santiago-Hudson for reprising their outstanding performances in How I Learned to Drive and Lackawanna Blues two decades later. All had been eligible in previous seasons.

Outer Critics Circle Commendations are presented to:

  • The Standbys, Understudies, and Swings of the theatrical community who step up to perform, often on hours' notice, to keep their shows running.
  • To the Covid Safety Supervisors, Managers, and Compliance Officers who put themselves in harm's way eight times a week to keep the curtains up.

Productins with Multiple Wins

The Lehman Trilogy – 6

Kimberly Akimbo - 4

Company – 3

How I Learned to Drive – 3 (special achievement awards)

Six – 3

Take Me Out - 2