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UPDATE: Dec. 21, 2011:
Our Year in Theater article is now available here. Short link: http://bit.ly/Tt2011. Happy holidays!

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“It was a large room. Full of people. All kinds.
And they had all arrived at the same building
at more or less the same time.
And they were all free.
And they were all asking themselves the same question:

What is behind that curtain?
— Laurie Anderson

In each issue, the Independent’s critical crew is more than happy to answer Laurie’s question.

But when it comes to sizing up an entire year on the area’s stages…well, that take a little more time.

So we’ve been busy over the last two weeks, putting our heads together on what will be, by far, the region’s most comprehensive look at the year in local theater.

That sounds pretty confident, we’ll admit. But we say it because we’ve never settled for a single, arbitrary “top ten” list.

Our critics present the whole picture, instead: the best they saw in shows, in acting, in designs, original scripts—and 11 other theatrical categories. Because the region’s artists—and audiences—deserve no less.

That’s what’s behind our curtain.

Showtime’s next Wednesday, Dec. 21.

And best of all, admission’s free. At a newsstand and a website near you.

Say—who’s on your awards list this year?