Bruce Norris, 50, has won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for Clybourne Park, a play about race relations in America. The announcement was made on Monday and included winners in 13 journalism categories and 7 arts categories.
The play enjoyed its West Coast premiere earlier this year at the American Conservatory Theater here in San Francisco.
From a statement just issued by A.C.T.: “This award doesn’t come as a big surprise to us at A.C.T. The play and the production were a critical favorite and a runaway hit with our audience, beating its goal by a record 140%. And it generated some of the liveliest postshow discussions and panels in recent A.C.T. history.”
Acclaimed local director Jonathan Moscone, who helmed A.C.T.’s production said: “I am over the moon about Bruce winning this award. Clybourne Park is one of the most piercingly intelligent, theatrically exciting and authentically provocative plays to be written in a long time, and I consider it a career highlight for me to have been able to work on it.”
According to the Pulitzer web site, the drama prize ($10,000) is awarded “for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.”
After seeing Clybourne Park back in January I wrote in my review, “must-see theater . . . squirminess never felt so entertaining.” It’s one of those plays that sneaks up on you, and it was quite memorable, not only the material — contemporary, edgy, jarring — but also the superb performances from a cast that pretty much blew me away on that evening. I awarded it 4.5 out of 5 stars (alas, with no cash prize) – I’m awaiting a call from the Pulitzer steering committee any moment now.
Congratulations to Bruce Norris, and also A.C.T. for staging such a ground-breaking piece of work.