One of the great prizes awarded in theatre is The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, awarded annually. A jury of one academic and four critics reviews the theatrical works staged in the United States over the preceding calendar year, paring the list down to a handful of finalists. From there, a winner is selected. This year’s finalists include: The Minutes by Tracy Letts, Everybody by Branden Jacobs, and Cost of Living by Martyna Majok . The winner selected is Cost of Living.
Cost of Living is described as follows: “What is the road that brought us here? Unemployed truck driver Eddie sits at a bar alone, recalling his final moments with wife, Ani, when a car accident turned the focus of their relationship from divorcing to caregiving. Overworked, under-qualified, and nearly homeless, Jess takes on another job to make ends meet – this time, as a personal caregiver for a wealthy and beautiful graduate student named John, who has cerebral palsy. The histories, influences, and challenges of four lives converge in the meeting of two strangers in a small, empty apartment in Bayonne, NJ.” — from New Play Exchange’s website
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was established in 1917, but the first award was not-given until 1918. The prize recognizes a theatrical work staged in the U.S. during the preceding calendar year. The first play awarded was the 1918 play Why Marry? by Jesse Lynch Williams. A handful of musicals have won the coveted accolade including Of Thee I Sing, South Pacific, Fiorello!, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, A Chorus Line, Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, Next to Normal, and Hamilton. Among the plays that have been honored, Street Scene, You Can’t Take It with You, Our Town, A Streetcar Named Desire, Death of a Salesman, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Buried Child, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Piano Lesson, Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Three Tall Women, Doubt, and Sweat.
Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals and maintains a theater and entertainment blog at markrobinsonwrites.com