ITHACA, N.Y. -- Hilton Als, theater critic for The New Yorker magazine, is the winner of the 2002-03 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. The award, which carries a $10,000 prize, is administered by the Cornell University Department of English and is one of the most generous and distinguished in the American theater. Als was selected by a committee consisting of the chairs of the English departments of Cornell, Princeton and Yale universities, assisted by experts on the theater from those universities.
The Nathan committee citation reads: "Whether he's discussing the latest directorial interpretation ofGypsy, the formidable acting talent on display inVincent in Brixton , or the Harlem Renaissance background of Langston Hughes's Little Ham, Hilton Als offers his audience a lively mix of information and opinion in a literate style that cannot help but contribute to intelligent play-going."
Born in Brooklyn in 1961, Als currently resides in Manhattan. A frequent contributor to The New Yorker magazine's Talk of the Town section, Als joined the magazine's staff in 1996 and became one of its theater critics in 2002.
In 1997, Als won first place in two categories in the New York Association of Black Journalists Awards: "Magazine Critique/Review" and "Magazine Arts and Entertainment." He was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2000 for creative writing.
Als also is a former staff writer for The Village Voice and former editor-at-large at Vibe magazine, and his work has appeared in The Nation. He has written film scripts for "Swoon" and "Looking for Langston" and edited the catalog for the Whitney Museum of American Art's exhibition titled "Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art," which ran from November 1994 to March 1995. His first book, The Women (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1996), was a meditation on gender and race and their roles in the forging of personal identity. He also is co-writer (with artist Darryl Turner) of "Don't Explain," a screenplay being produced by Christine Vachon at Killer Films, producers of films "Boys Don't Cry" and "Hedwig and the Angry Inch."
Past recipients of the Nathan Award have included Walter Kerr (1963) and Mel Gussow (1978) of The New York Times, Albert Williams (2000) of the Chicago Reader, Kevin Kelly (1992) of The Boston Globe and Alisa Solomon (1998) of The Village Voice.