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Soraya Nadia McDonald Wins Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism

Among other works, McDonald is recognized for her review of Broadway’s ‘King Kong.’

ITHACA, N.Y.: Cornell University has announced Soraya Nadia McDonald, cultural critic for the Undefeated, as the 2019-20 recipient of the George Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. She will receive a cash prize of $10,000.

Soraya Nadia McDonald.

The award, endowed by the late theatre critic George Jean Nathan, is administered by Cornell’s Department of English in the College of Arts and Sciences. The selection committee is made up of the heads of the English departments at Cornell, Princeton, and Yale Universities. In a joint statement, this year’s prize committee cited McDonald’s “ambitious reach and bracing common sense of her criticism.” The committee particularly praised McDonald’s review of King Kong, which addressed the casting of a Black actor as Ann Darrow.

Previous winners include Sara Holdren, Jill Dolan, Randy Gener, Alisa Solomon, Ben Brantley, Elinor Fuchs, Hilton Als, Cornell professor H. Scott McMillin, John H. Muse, and Helen Shaw.

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