Lynn Nottage’s Sweat, a mystery play set in an economically deteriorating small town, has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Pulitzer Committee announced yesterday.
Sweat, which had a run at Arena Stage in January of 2016, won praise from DCTS Critic Alan Katz, who observed that “this production wields the hopeful social magic of the theater to create an agora where wealth pays to hear poverty’s politics and a forum for converting workers’ sweat and sorrows into stories.” The play is now onstage on Broadway at Studio 54 in New York, where it moved after opening at The Public.
Nottage won her first Pulitzer in drama for Ruined, a play about women dealing with rape and oppression in the war-torn Congo. Sweat had previously won the Susan Smith Blackburn Award.
The Pulitzer Committee also announced that Hilton Als, The New Yorker’s theater critic, has won the Pulitzer for Criticism, citing ten reviews he wrote in 2016. Als, a finalist for the 2016 award, is the first theater critic to win the Pulitzer for Criticism since Walter Kerr in 1978, and only the second in the history of the award. (Richard Eder, who did theater criticism for the New York Times for a year, won a Pulitzer for his work as a book critic.)
The Pulitzer Prize carries a $15,000 cash award and is administered by Columbia University.