The Tom Killen Award is the highest honor the Connecticut Critics Circle bestows. It is for a lifetime of dedication to the theater and to theater in Connecticut. It is named after Tom Killen, a talented young critic who died at the age of 33 in August 1989 and who helped found the Connecticut Critics Circle.
The recipient for 2016-17 was Paulette Haupt.
Since 1978, Haupt has served as artistic director of the National Music Theater Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. In that capacity, she has selected and guided the development of more than 120 new musicals including Nine, Avenue Q, Violet, The Wild Party, In The Heights, and Darling Grenadine, which will be performed at Goodspeed Musicals’ Norma Terris Theatre in Chester later this summer.
An associate producer for Polly Pen’s Goblin Market Off Broadway, Haupt has commissioned, developed, and produced new works for OPERA America, the National Alliance for Musical Theater, and Columbia Artists Management.
Following her San Francisco Opera debut in Carmen, for more than three decades Haupt was a music director and conductor of numerous operas and musicals in the U.S. and abroad.
As a pianist, Haupt has appeared worldwide in concerts with renowned musical theater and opera singers and was the only ‘Plaidette’ ever to perform in Stuart Ross’s Forever Plaid in New York.
Since 2001, Haupt has commissioned, developed, and produced new works with her New York Company, Premieres, including several works by Richard Rodgers Award recipients, and a workshop of Lauren Robert’s .22 Caliber Mouth (New Millennium Theater Company, Chicago, 2004). She continues to develop Premieres and its very successful “Inner Voices” series.