Theatre News

Lynn Nottage becomes first woman to win Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice

The playwright was honoured for her play ”Sweat”

Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage
© David Gordon

American playwright Lynn Nottage has been awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, making her the first woman to win the award twice, having previously won for Ruined in 2009.

Nottage was awarded the prize for her play Sweat, about steelworkers in Pennsylvania who have been locked out of their factory. It was described by the panel as 'a nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream.'

Sweat premiered Off-Broadway in November 2016 and transferred to Broadway last month. On the announcement, Nottage said: "I feel forever indebted to the beautiful folks of Reading for being so generous and for allowing me to spend time in that town and interview them.

"Hopefully this prize will raise awareness about cities like Reading that are struggling with their identity."

In his review for TheaterMania, Zachary Stewart described the play as 'sweet relief to the American theater', adding Nottage's play was a good starting point for anyone 'struggling to understand the rage emanating from the American heartland.'

This year's Drama finalists were Taylor Mac's A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, and The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe.

Nottage joins recent winners including Lin-Manuel Miranda for Hamilton (2016), Stephen Adly Guirgis for Between Riverside and Crazy (2015), and Annie Baker for The Flick (2014).