The Playgoer: more (non-)Pulitzer reactions

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

more (non-)Pulitzer reactions

LA Times follows up.

By the way, I now have a complete list of the jury (the vetting committee, if you will):
Chair: Linda Winer (NY Newsday); Kimberly W. Benston, (HaverfordCollege); Chris Jones,(Chicago Tribune); Anna Deavere Smith; Anne Marie Welsh (San Diego Union-Tribune).

The article reminds us that "Light in the Piazza" could have been a contender, supposedly. (Although I remember seeing it in Chicago in February, 2004!)

The wisest words come at the end, from Richard Nelson:

"It's not about support for new play development but new play production, which is somewhat different," Nelson said. "You're never going to get a Pulitzer for a play that is sitting in development."
However, Nelson also believes that not winning a Pulitzer can also have a beneficial effect — not for the disappointed finalists, but for the theater community at large.
"It sort of gets people thinking that maybe we're not quite giving the focus to new writing that we should in our theaters," he said. "Sometimes I think it galvanizes things in a healthy way."

Whether it's "healthy" or not will depend on who takes up the call.

UPDATE: Thanks to George Hunka for tracking down this Bloomberg article with a little more info. Good process details like:
"The finalists were selected from 27 plays, all of which were produced between March 2 and Dec. 31, 2005. None of the three received an endorsement from the majority of 17 voting members of the Pulitzer board. That group includes New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald

Gee, I'm surprised the Graham family couldn't cast a glance over at what New York Theatre Workshop was doing! Just kidding.

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