SPECIAL AWARD WINNERS  

In addition to the 60+ performance award categories for excellence in Bay Area productions,  the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle also presents four Special Awards. These are our prior award winners: 

The Paine Knickerbocker Award is named for the former theatre critic of The San Francisco Chronicle and presented to an organization that has made a continuing contribution to Bay Area theatre. 

(1978 to Present)

1978 Edwin Lester, Founder, San Francisco Civic Light Opera
1979 Julius Irving, Co-founder, The Actor's Workshop

1980 Lamplighters Musical Theatre 
1981 Cyril Magnin, Philanthropist
1982 Nora B. Vaughn, Executive Director, Black Repertory Group
1983 Michael Leibert, Founder and Artistic Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
1984 Steve Silver, Creator of Beach Blanket Babylon
1985 Marrian Walters, Actor
1986 William Paterson, Actor
1987 Edward Hastings, Artistic Director, American Conservatory Theater
1988 Charles H. Duggan, Actor
1989 Jonathan Reinis, Producer

1990 Carole Shorenstein Hays, Producer
1991 William Ball, Founder, American Conservatory Theater (awarded posthumously)
1992 Jean Shelton, Founder, Jean Shelton Actors Lab
1993 San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum
1994 Berkeley Repertory Theatre & TheatreWorks for community outreach programs
1995 California Shakespeare Company & San Jose Repertory Theatre for community outreach programs
1996 Sharon Ott, Artistic Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre
1997 Theatre Bay Area
1998 Z Space Studio
1999 John Lion, founder of the Magic Theatre (awarded posthumously)

2000 Theatre Bay Area's Mary Mason Lemonade Fund
2001 Eugene Price, BATCC and Mayor Shirley Dean & City of Berkeley
2002 Robert Kelley, TheatreWorks
2003 A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory
2004 Jo Schuman Silver, Beach Blanket Babylon's 30th anniversary
2005 Lee Sankowich
New Conservatory Theatre Center and A Traveling Jewish Theatre
2007 Lorraine Hansberry Theatre
2008 Robert Cole, Cal Performances (20 years)
2009 PlayGround

2010 Central Works
2012 Exit Theatre
2013 The African-American Shakespeare Company
2014 Pear Avenue Theatre
2015 Custom Made Theatre Company
2016 Ray of Light Theatre


The Jerry Friedman Award is named for the KGO Radio theatre critic who served as SFBATCC president for 22 years. This is a lifetime achievement award given to an individual who has furthered the creativity and growth of theater in the Bay Area throughout his/her career. (This award was known as the Barbara Bladen Porter award through 2010.)

(1995 to Present)

1995 Barbara Oliver, Actor and Director                                                                                                                                                     1996 Joy Carlin, Actor and Director                                                                                                                                                                        1997 John B. Wilson, Set Designer

1998 Berle Davis, Choreographer

1999 Ken Ruta, Actor

2000 Beaver Bauer, Costume Designer
2001 Patrick Dooley, Artistic Director, Actor and Director with Shotgun Players 
2002 Charles Dean, Actor
2003 Liebe Wetzel, Artistic Director, Lunatique Fantastique, found objects puppetry

2004 Fumiko Bielefeldt, Costume Designer
2005 Carla Befera, Publicist
2006 Kim Taylor, Publicist
2007 James Carpenter
2008 Dan Hiatt
2009 Octavio Solis

2010 Jerry Friedman
2011 James Dunn
2012 James Carpenter, Actor
2013 Elly Lichenstein, Cinnabar Theater
2014 Margie Belrose, Belrose Theatre
2015 Robert and Lesley Currier
2016 Robert Kelley


The Gene Price Award is named for the former arts editor and long-time theatre critic of the San Francisco Bay   Times and honors a person who embodies superlative professionalism and passion for Bay Area theatre.    

(1977 to Present)

1977 Paine Knickerbocker, Theatre Critic; 

          Beach Blanket Babylon Goes Bananas, Bullshot Crummond, and Evolution of the Blues for contributions to Bay Area theater.

1978 Fred Geick, House Manager, Geary Theater; Ina Claire, Actor
1979 San Francisco Mime Troupe

1980 Gene Angell, Architect for the new Berkeley Repertory Theatre
1981 Richard Reineccius, Artistic Director, Julian Theatre
1982 None awarded
1983 Russell Hartley, Founder, Archives of the Performing Arts (awarded posthumously);
           Playwrights Unlimited for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival
1984 College of Marin Drama Department; Theater Rhinoceros for The AIDS Show
1985 Danny Glover, Actor; One Act Theater Company
1986 Stephen Fritsch-Rudser, Performance Signer for the Deaf
1987 Berkeley Repertory Theatre, for its marking of the Eugene O'Neill Centennial;Hanns Kolmar, Publicist
1988 Tale Spinners Theatre: The Oral History Project; Don Johnson & Gary Menger, In Memory of Friends
1989 Val Diamond, Actor; Joegh Bullock, Founder, Climate Theater

1990 The Ensemble Theatre Company; The Mountain Play Association
1991 Jim & Harriet Schlader, Producers, Woodminster Summer Musicals; Stephanie Weisman, AD The Marsh
1992 James Haire, Stage Manager, ACT; Ken Holamon, Scenic Designer (awarded posthumously)
1993 Genevieve Hustead, Theater Usher; Climate Theatre for the Solo Mio Festival
1994 Chanticleer for staging Benjamin Britten's Curlew River; Barbara Bladen, Theatre Critic/Circle member
1995 42nd Street Moon
1996 Christina Augello and Richard Livingston, Artistic Directors, EXIT Theatre and SF Fringe Festival
1997 Word for Word; Children's Theatre Association of San Francisco
1998 East Bay Children's Theatre; Afro Solo Festival
1999 Rhodessa Jones, Founder/ AD, The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women

2000 Albert Takazauckas, Director and Actor (awarded posthumously)
2001 S.F. Shakespeare Festival
2002 James Dunn, Mountain Play director
2003 Theater of Yugen and The Lysistrata Project
2004 Lee Sankowich and The Dominican Players
2005 Jay Manley
2006 Cal Performances and Ross Valley Players
2007 David Hyry, publicist
2008 Debbie Chinn, Executive Director CalShakes, and Charles Zukow, publicist 
2009 SF Playhouse

2010 Mike Ward 
2011 Tom Kelly
2012 Kim Taylor, Publicist
2013 Bill English, Susi Damilano, SF Playhouse 
2014 Marga Gomez 
2015 Melissa Hillman
2016 Jasson Minadakis 


The Annette Lust Award, named for the late Dominican University professor and longtime Critics Circle member. In keeping with Dr. Lust's enthusiasm for new plays and her lifelong encouragement of fledgling playwrights through her "Fringe of Marin" festival, the Annette Lust Award is given to a promising new theatrical talent or organization.

2014 Dezi Gallegos

2015 Ubuntu Theatre Project

2016 3Girls Theatre Company