Vinson Cunningham
Vinson Cunningham joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2016. Since 2019, he has served as a theatre critic for the magazine. In 2020, he was a finalist for a National Magazine Award for his Profile of the comedian Tracy Morgan. His writing on books, art, and culture has appeared in the Times Magazine, the Times Book Review, Vulture, the Awl, The Fader, and McSweeney’s, where he wrote a column called “Field Notes from Gentrified Places.”
Cunningham previously served as a staff assistant at the Obama White House.
All Work
The TheatreOctober 11, 2021 Issue
The Precious Contingencies of Immigrants in “Sanctuary City”
Martyna Majok’s play, presented by New York Theatre Workshop at the Lucille Lortel, focusses on two precisely defined characters to explore the injustices experienced by Dreamers in America.
By Vinson CunninghamOctober 4, 2021
The TheatreSeptember 20, 2021 Issue
Shades of Beckett in “Pass Over”
The first play to open on Broadway since the shutdown, about two down-and-out young Black men on a barren block, is a strange fit for the moment at hand.
By Vinson CunninghamSeptember 13, 2021
The New Yorker Interview
Carmelo Anthony Still Feels Like He’s Proving Himself
A conversation with the N.B.A. star about growing up, getting painted as the villain, and being needed.
By Vinson CunninghamSeptember 12, 2021
The TheatreJuly 26, 2021 Issue
The Class Distinctions of Wallace Shawn
In new podcast versions of his plays “The Designated Mourner” and “Grasses of a Thousand Colors,” Shawn turns the upper-middle-class intellectual hero inside out to show the demon within.
By Vinson CunninghamJuly 19, 2021
The TheatreJuly 12 & 19, 2021 Issue
Aleshea Harris’s Ritual for the Living
In “What to Send Up When It Goes Down,” at BAM Fisher, Harris memorializes the deaths of Black people—Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, and many others—at the hands of the police and other awful actors.
By Vinson CunninghamJuly 5, 2021
Dept. of Returns
Knicks Fans Are Together Again, for Better and Worse
It feels good to be part of a crowd, but there is a desperate edge to that feeling after a year apart.
By Vinson CunninghamJune 2, 2021
The TheatreMay 24, 2021 Issue
Echoes of Trauma in Two Plays
For “Zoetrope,” viewers peer into a trailer to watch two lovers on lockdown talking past each other in well-educated millennialese; Bill Gunn’s “The Forbidden City” follows a Black middle-class family in 1936.
By Vinson CunninghamMay 17, 2021
The TheatreApril 19, 2021 Issue
Off Broadway Returns, with “Blindness”
Simon Stephens’s adaptation of José Saramago’s dystopian novel, about a sudden epidemic of blindness, is up—in person—at the Daryl Roth Theatre.
By Vinson CunninghamApril 12, 2021
The New Yorker Interview
Spike Lee Sees the Parallels
A conversation with the director about “Da 5 Bloods,” racial uprisings, and catching hell.
By Vinson CunninghamMarch 7, 2021
The TheatreJanuary 18, 2021 Issue
The Restlessly Inventive Plays of Adrienne Kennedy
A festival of readings of the playwright’s later works, from Round House Theatre, reveals a development in Kennedy’s thinking since her earlier, most famous play, “Funnyhouse of a Negro.”
By Vinson CunninghamJanuary 11, 2021
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