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April 14, 2016

Pulitzer Prize in Drama: 100 Years and Counting


The Pulitzer Announcement is coming! The Pulitzer Announcement is coming!

Am I the only one who has this reaction?

I love the theatrical awards season. It’s the time of year when a national spotlight shines on theatre and where the achievements of creative teams and individuals who are advancing this art form are recognized. The Pulitzer Prize announcement ceremony helps to kick off that award season on Monday, April 18 at 3pm EST. According to the Pulitzer website, the prizewinners in all 21 categories will be revealed via livestream.

The Pulitzer Prize in Drama, administered by Columbia University in New York City, is awarded “for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.” The award was not given out at the first Pulitzer ceremony, which was held 99 years ago in 1917. That’s right – this year marks the centennial anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize! In honor of this, we’ve decided to highlight some winners and finalists of the Pulitzer Prize in Drama who will be celebrating major anniversaries during the 2016-17 season. These titles are presented below, with a few fun annotations as well. Once we’ve tackled the chronology, you can also find a few title categorizations that include cast size and genre.

So whether you’re an avid script reader, a teacher looking for a new script for your class, an actor in search of a monologue or scene work, or an artistic director looking to build the right season, there’s something here from the theatrical canon that will definitely suit your needs.

Pulitzer Prize in Drama Winners and Finalists
Celebrating Major Anniversaries in the 2016-17 Season
Listed by Anniversary

95 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1921, 1922)

Miss Lulu Bett by Zona Gale
Anna Christie by Eugene O’Neill

90 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1926, 1927)
Craig’s Wife by George Kelly
In Abraham’s Bosom by Paul Green

85 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1931, 1932)
Alison’s House by Susan Glaspell
Of Thee I Sing by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, and Ira Gershwin

Did You Know: Of Thee I Sing was the first musical granted the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

80 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1936, 1937)
Idiot’s Delight by Robert E. Sherwood
You Can’t Take It With You by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman

There Shall Be No Night by Robert E. Sherwood

State of the Union by Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay

The Shrike by Joseph Kramm

60 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1956, 1957)
The Diary of Anne Frank by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich
Long Day’s Journey Into Night by Eugene O’Neill

55 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1961, 1962)
All The Way Home by Tad Mosel
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying by Frank Loesser and Abe Burrows

A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel

40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1976, 1977)
A Chorus Line by Michael Bennett, James Kirkwood, Marvin Hamlisch, Edward Kleban, and Nicholas Dante
The Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer

35 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1981, 1982)
Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley
A Soldier’s Play by Charles Fuller

Fences by August Wilson
A Walk in the Woods by Lee Blessing*
Broadway Bound by Neil Simon*

25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1991, 1992)
Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon
Prelude to a Kiss by Craig Lucas*
Six Degrees of Separation by John Guare*

The Kentucky Cycle by Robert Schenkkan
Conversations with My Father by Herb Gardner*
Miss Evers’ Boys by David Feldshuh*
Sight Unseen by Donald Margulies*
Two Trains Running by August Wilson*

20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (1996, 1997)
Rent by Jonathan Larson
A Fair Country by Jon Robin Baitz*
Old Wicked Songs by Jon Marans*

Collected Stories by Donald Margulies*
Pride’s Crossing by Tina Howe*
The Last Night of Ballyhoo by Alfred Uhry*

15 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (2001, 2002)
Proof by David Auburn
The Play About the Baby by Edward Albee*
The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan*

Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks
The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman*
Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith*

10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (2006, 2007)
Miss Witherspoon by Christopher Durang*
Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp*
The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow by Rolin Jones*

Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
Bulrusher by Eisa Davis*
Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue by Quiara Alegria Hudes*
Orpheus X
by Rinde Eckert*

5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY (2011, 2012)
Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
A Free Man of Color by John Guare*
Detroit by Lisa D’Amour*

Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz*
Sons of the Prophet by Stephen Karam*

Looking ahead? These titles will be celebrating anniversaries in the 2017-18 season.

Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams (100 years)
by Owen Davis (95 years)
Strange Interlude by Eugene O’Neill (90 years)
Both Your Houses by Maxwell Anderson (85 years)
Our Town by Thornton Wilder (80 years)
The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder (75 years)
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams (70 years)
Picnic by William Inge (65 years)
Look Homeward, Angel by Ketti Frings (60 years)

Did You Know: Though no award was officially granted in 1963, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was selected by the Pulitzer’s drama jury that year. Unfortunately, the play’s subject matter was deemed too risqué by the trustees of Columbia University, who subsequently rejected the selection. We love Edward Albee and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is one of my favorite plays. It’s staying on my list and it’s celebrating its 55th anniversary.

That Championship Season by Jason Miller (45 years)
The Gin Game by D.L. Coburn (40 years)
‘Night, Mother by Marsha Norman (35 years)

Did You Know: 1983 was the first year that the concept of Pulitzer finalists was introduced. True West by Sam Shepard was a finalist for the award. Additional finalists will be marked by an asterisk.

Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry (30 years)
Boy’s Life by Howard Korder*
Talk Radio by Eric Bogosian*

Angels in America: Millennium Approaches by Tony Kushner (25 years)
Fires in the Mirror by Anna Deavere Smith*
The Destiny of Me by Larry Kramer*

How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel (20 years)
Freedomland by Amy Freed*
Three Days of Rain by Richard Greenberg*

Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (15 years)
Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg*
The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee*

August: Osage County by Tracy Letts (10 years)
Dying City by Christopher Shinn*
Yellow Face by David Henry Hwang*

Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar (5 years)
4000 Miles by Amy Herzog*
Rapture, Blister, Burn by Gina Gionfriddo*

And a bonus, here’s the list of winners and finalists (from 2016-17 and 2017-18) listed by genre and cast size!

A Free Man of Color
Both Your Houses
Boy’s Life
Broadway Bound
Clybourne Park

Conversations with My Father

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
Idiot’s Delight
Miss Witherspoon

Of Thee I Sing
Rapture, Blister, Burn
State of the Union

Talk Radio
The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow

The Last Night Ballyhoo
The Skin of Our Teeth
The Waverly Gallery

True West
Why Marry?
Yellow Face
You Can’t Take It With You

‘Night, Mother
A Delicate Balance
A Fair Country

A Soldier’s Play
A Streetcar Named Desire
A Walk in the Woods
Alison’s House
All The Way Home

Angels in America: Millennium Approaches
Anna Christie
Anna in the Tropics
Collected Stories
Craig’s Wife

Driving Miss Daisy
Dying City
Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue
Fires in the Mirror
How I Learned to Drive
In Abraham’s Bosom
Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Look Homeward, Angel
Miss Evers’ Boys
Old Wicked Songs

Orpheus X
Our Town
Pride’s Crossing

Rabbit Hole
Red Light Winter

Strange Interlude
Take Me Out
That Championship Season
The Destiny of Me
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

The Glory of Living
The Kentucky Cycle
The Play About the Baby

The Shadow Box
The Shrike
There Shall Be No Night

Three Days of Rain
Two Trains Running
Water by the Spoonful
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

4000 Miles
A Chorus Line
August: Osage County
Crimes of the Heart
Lost in Yonkers
Miss Lulu Bett

Other Desert Cities
Prelude to a Kiss

Sight Unseen
Six Degrees of Separation

Sons of the Prophet
The Gin Game
The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

‘Night, Mother (2f)
4000 Miles (1m, 3f)
A Walk in the Woods (2m)
Collected Stories (2f)
Driving Miss Daisy (2m, 1f)
Dying City (1m, 1f)
Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue (3m, 1f)
Fires in the Mirror (1f)
Old Wicked Songs (2m)
Orpheus X (2m, 1f)
Proof (2m, 2f)
Red Light Winter (2m, 1f)
Sight Unseen (2m, 2f)
The Gin Game (1m, 1f)
The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (3m, 1f)
The Play About the Baby (2m, 2f)
Three Days of Rain (2m, 1f)
Topdog/Underdog (2m)
True West (3m, 1f)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (2m, 2f)
Yellowman (1m, 1f)

A Delicate Balance (2m, 4f)
A Fair Country (6m, 2f)
A Streetcar Named Desire (6m, 6f)
Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (5m, 3f)
Anna in the Tropics (5m, 3f)
Boy’s Life (4m, 5f)
Broadway Bound (4m, 2f)
Bulrusher (3m, 3f)
Clybourne Park (4m, 3f)
Crimes of the Heart (2m, 4f)
Detroit (3m, 2f)
Disgraced (3m, 2f)
Fences (5m, 2f)
Freedomland (3m, 4f)
How I Learned to Drive (2m, 3f)
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (3m, 2f)
Lost in Yonkers (4m, 3f)
Miss Evers’ Boys (6m, 1f)
Miss Lulu Bett (3m, 3f)
Miss Witherspoon (1m, 4f)
Other Desert Cities (2m, 3f)
Pride’s Crossing (4m, 3f)
Rabbit Hole (2m, 3f)
Rapture, Blister, Burn (1m, 4f)
Rent (5m, 3f)
Sons of the Prophet (5m, 3f)
Strange Interlude (5m, 3f)
That Championship Season (5m)
The Destiny of Me (5m, 2f)
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (5f)
The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (3m, 3f)
The Last Night of Ballyhoo (3m, 4f)
The Shadow Box (5m, 4f)
The Skin of Our Teeth (4m, 4f)
The Waverly Gallery (3m, 2f)
Two Trains Running (6m, 1f)
Water by the Spoonful (4m, 3f)
Yellow Face (5m, 2f)

A Chorus Line (14m, 12f)
A Free Man of Color (16m, 6f)
A Soldier’s Play (13m)
Alison’s House (5m, 6f)
All The Way Home (6m, 7f, 1 boy)
Anna Christie
(8m, 2f)
August: Osage County (6m, 7f)
Both Your Houses (13m, 3f)
Conversations with My Father (9m, 2f, 2b)
Craig’s Wife (5m, 6f)
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (6m, 4f)
Icebound (6m, 6f)
Idiot’s Delight (17m, 10f)
In Abraham’s Bosom (9m, 3f)
Look Homeward, Angel (10m, 8f)
Of Thee I Sing (14m, 5f)
Our Town (17m, 7f)
Picnic (4m, 7f)
Prelude to a Kiss (9m, 5f)
Six Degrees of Separation (13m, 4f)
State of the Union (11m, 6f)
Take Me Out (11m)
Talk Radio (7m, 2f)
The Diary of Anne Frank (5m, 5f)
The Glory of Living (5m, 5f)
The Kentucky Cycle (14m, 6f)
The Shrike (17m, 5f)
There Shall Be No Night (13m, 4f)
Why Marry? (7m, 3f)
You Can’t Take It With You (9m, 7f)

Photo: Of Thee I Sing, the first musical granted the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.