July 30, 2021

Craig Noel Awards

Every February the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle hosts the Craig Noel Awards recognize excellence and the achievements of professional theatres throughout San Diego County.   The award nominees and winners are determined by the members of the Critics Circle who meet throughout the year to discuss the achievements in San Diego theatre.  The organization is an independent, nonprofit organization composed of people who write for newspapers, magazines, and online publications about theatre.

The Craig Noel Awards are named in honor of Craig Noel, a longtime artistic director at San Diego Old Globe Theatre and a champion of the arts in San Diego and nationwide.

The number of categories and winners may vary depending on the types of productions that opened in the calendar year and what work in the industry the critics deem extraordinary.

San Diego Theatre Critics Circle believes in the power of performance and has removed gender specificity from our awards. We recognize and honor all gender identities, making each performance award gender-neutral. We award the top two performances from the past years performances for the following categories:

Actors of the Year  – 2 winners

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical – 2 winners 

Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play – 2 winners 

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Musical – 2 winners

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play – 2 winners

Outstanding Direction of a Musical

Outstanding Direction of a Play

Outstanding Musical Direction

Outstanding Ensemble

Outstanding Costume Design

Outstanding Scenic Design

Outstanding Projection Design

Outstanding Solo Performance

Outstanding Choreography

Outstanding New Play

Outstanding Lighting Design

Outstanding Sound Design

Outstanding Resident Musical

Outstanding Dramatic Production

Specialist Awards

Outstanding Young Artist Award and the Sandra Ellis-Troy Scholarship  – Every year, we like to single out one upcoming young artist, and acknowledge excellence in performance at present and their notable potential for the future. 

Don Braunagel Award – This award is to acknowledge the exceptional achievements of a small theatre company

Director of the Year –  This award is presented only on the occasions when a director has shown an extraordinary breadth and quality of work within the qualifying year.

Outstanding Specialty Artist – This award is presented only when there is a specific talent from the year that is to be celebrated and is unique from any of the other category awards.

To see past winners please go to the awards tab at the top of the site.