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

1990 Jonathan Reinis, Producer

1991 Carole Shorenstein Hays, Producer

1992 William Ball, Founder, American Conservatory Theater (awarded posthumously)

1993 Jean Shelton, Founder, Jean Shelton Actors Lab

1994 San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum

1995 Berkeley Repertory Theatre & TheatreWorks for community outreach programs


1996 California Shakespeare Company & San Jose Repertory Theatre for community outreach programs

1997 Sharon Ott, Artistic Director, Berkeley Repertory Theatre

1998 Theatre Bay Area

1999 Z Space Studio

2000 John Lion, founder of the Magic Theatre (awarded posthumously)

2001 Theatre Bay Area's Mary Mason Lemonade Fund

2002 Eugene Price, SFBATCC and Mayor Shirley Dean & City of Berkeley

2003 Robert Kelley, TheatreWorks

2004 A.C.T.'s Young Conservatory

2005 Jo Schuman Silver, Beach Blanket Babylon's 30th anniversary

2006 Lee Sankowich

2007 New Conservatory Theatre Center and A Traveling Jewish Theatre

2008 Lorraine Hansberry Theatre

2009 Robert Cole, Cal Performances (20 years)

2010 PlayGround

2011 Central Works

2013 Exit Theatre

2014 The African-American Shakespeare Company

2015 Pear Avenue Theatre

2016 Custom Made Theatre Company


2017 Ray of Light Theatre


2018 San Jose Stage Company


2019 Shotgun Players


2020 Carla Befera & Co.


2021 No Award given


2022 No Award given


2023 The Playwrights' Center of San Francisco


2024 No Award given


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.)

(1996 to Present)

1996 Barbara Oliver, Actor and Director

1997 Joy Carlin, Actor and Director

1998 John B. Wilson, Set Designer

1999 Berle Davis, Choreographer

2000 Ken Ruta, Actor

2001 Beaver Bauer, Costume Designer

2002 Patrick Dooley, Artistic Director, Actor and Director with Shotgun Players

2003 Charles Dean, Actor

2004 Liebe Wetzel, Artistic Director, Lunatique Fantastique, found objects puppetry

2005 Fumiko Bielefeldt, Costume Designer

2006 Carla Befera, Publicist

2007 Kim Taylor, Publicist

2008 James Carpenter

2009 Dan Hiatt

2010 Octavio Solis

2011 Jerry Friedman

2012 James Dunn

2013 James Carpenter, Actor

2014 Elly Lichenstein, Cinnabar Theater

2015 Margie Belrose, Belrose Theatre

2016 Robert and Lesley Currier


2017 Robert Kelley


2018 Margo Hall


2019 Meredith Hagedorn


2020 Carl Jordan


2021 No Award given.


2022 No Award given


2023 Ed Decker


2024 No Award given

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

1990 Val Diamond, Actor; Joegh Bullock, Founder, Climate Theater

1991 The Ensemble Theatre Company; The Mountain Play Association

1992 Jim & Harriet Schlader, Producers, Woodminster Summer Musicals; Stephanie Weisman, AD The Marsh

1993 James Haire, Stage Manager, A. C. T.; Ken Holamon, Scenic Designer (awarded posthumously)

1994 Genevieve Hustead, Theater Usher; Climate Theatre for the Solo Mio Festival

1995 Chanticleer for staging Benjamin Britten's Curlew River; Barbara Bladen, Theatre Critic/Circle member

1996 42nd Street Moon

1997 Christina Augello and Richard Livingston, Artistic Directors, EXIT Theatre and SF Fringe Festival

1998 Word for Word; Children's Theatre Association of San Francisco

1999 East Bay Children's Theatre; Afro Solo Festival

2000 Rhodessa Jones, Founder/ AD, The Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women

2001 Albert Takazauckas, Director and Actor (awarded posthumously)

2002 S.F. Shakespeare Festival

2003 James Dunn, Mountain Play director

2004 Theater of Yugen and The Lysistrata Project

2005 Lee Sankowich and The Dominican Players

2006 Jay Manley

2007 Cal Performances and Ross Valley Players

2008 David Hyry, publicist

2009 Debbie Chinn, Executive Director Cal Shakes, and Charles Zukow, publicist

2010 San Francisco Playhouse

2011 Mike Ward

2012 Tom Kelly

2013 Kim Taylor, Publicist

2014 Bill English, Susi Damilano, San Francisco Playhouse

2015 Marga Gomez

2016 Melissa Hillman


2017 Jasson Minadakis


2018 Eric Chazankin


2019 Richard Connema


2020 Loretta Greco


2021 No Award given


2022 No Award given


2023 Lily Janiak


2024 No Award given


The Annette Lust Award is 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.

2015 Dezi Gallegos

2016 Ubuntu Theatre Project (renamed Oakland Theater Project)


2017 3Girls Theatre


2018 FaultLine Theater


2019 Bay Area Musicals


2020 Indra's Net Theater Co.


2021 No Award given


2022 No Award given


2023 No Award given


2024 No Award given



Print | Sitemap
Maintained by SFBATCC CIO Harry Duke / Updated 07/16/24