The Playgoer: Pulitzer Watch: Stay Tuned

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Pulitzer Watch: Stay Tuned

3:00pm today is the announcement.

So if you're a betting man or woman, you still have a couple of hours. Meanwhile, consulte Playbill's Zachary Pincus-Roth for a refresher on how the game is played:

First, let's review the rules. According to the Pulitzer website, the award is "for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life" and "productions opening in the United States between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006 are eligible" (and opening does mean press opening, as opposed to simply beginning previews). This year is only the second year that the drama prize has used the calendar year, as opposed to the previous system of considering plays between March of one year and March of the next. A small committee of theatre critics and artists determines the nominated finalists, and the overall Pulitzer board picks a winner.

Turns out there are lots, and lots of competitors within those rules. And some surprising non-starters, by plays and playwrights that would normally be usual suspects. August Wilson's Radio Golf, for instance. Not because the playwright is dead, naturally, but because its first version already premiered in 2005, and its revision is only opening on Broadway now. (It's been submitted by Huntington Theatre who did it last year.) Also, Christopher Shinn's "Dying City" is only eligible for its New York run this year, not its London premiere last year. As for Stuff Happens David Hare is a limey.

But don't forget these rules allow for last February's already feted Rabbit Hole, as well as the hit Broadway musicals Grey Gardens and Spring Awakening. (So, does a Wedekind adaptation count as American subject matter just because it has rock music?).

Lots and lots of small shows mentioned, too. Stay tuned...

Oh, and, by the way--remember last year, there was no Pulitzer for drama. So the pressure's on.

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