Between Riverside and Crazy Wins the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

News   Between Riverside and Crazy Wins the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
 
Between Riverside and Crazy by Stephen Adly Guirgis was named winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Stephen Adly Guirgis
Stephen Adly Guirgis Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

The prize, which is awarded to "a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life," includes a $10,000 cash prize.

The Pulitzer committee describes Guirgis' Between Riverside and Crazy as "a nuanced, beautifully written play about a retired police officer faced with eviction that uses dark comedy to confront questions of life and death."

Finalists included Marjorie Prime, by Jordan Harrison, "a sly and surprising work about technology and artificial intelligence told through images and ideas that resonate"; and Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, 3), by Suzan-Lori Parks, "a distinctive and lyrical epic about a slave during the Civil War that deftly takes on questions of identity, power and freedom with a blend of humor and dignity." 

This year's Pulitzer jury included Dominic P. Papatola, theatre critic, St. Paul Pioneer Press (Chair); Misha Berson, drama critic, The Seattle Times; Elysa Gardner, entertainment critic, USA Today; Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage, playwright, New York, NY; and Marc Robinson, professor of English and theatre studies, Yale University.

Between Riverside and Crazy premiered Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theatre Company July 31-Aug. 16, 2014. It proved so popular, it was brought back for a longer run, Jan. 16-March 22, 2015, at Second Stage Theatre near Times Square, in a co-production between Second Stage and the Atlantic. Directed by Austin Pendleton, both productions starred Stephen McKinley Henderson, who reprised his critically acclaimed performance as Walter "Pops" Washington. The Second Stage production also featured Almanzar (Repertorio Espanol, LAByrinth Theater), Elizabeth Canavan (The Little Flower of East Orange), Rosal Colón (The Motherf*cker with the Hat), Liza Colón-Zayas (Second Stage's Water by the Spoonful and Living Out), Ron Cephas Jones (Of Mice of Men and 2ST’s Wildflower) and Michael Rispoli (Between Riverside and Crazy at ATC).

According to production notes, "City Hall is demanding more than his signature, the Landlord wants him out, the liquor store is closed — and the Church won’t leave him alone. For ex-cop and recent widower Walter 'Pops' Washington and his recently paroled son Junior, the struggle to hold on to one of the last great rent stabilized apartments on Riverside Drive collides with old wounds, sketchy new houseguests, and a final ultimatum in this dark comedy. For Pops and Junior, it seems the Old Days are dead and gone — after a lifetime living Between Riverside and Crazy."

Guirgis, whose father is Egyptian and mother is Irish, is the author of numerous plays including The Little Flower of East Orange, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and The Motherfu**er With the Hat, which was seen on Broadway with Chris Rock and was nominated for the 2011 Tony Award as Best Play. Guirgis previously won the 2013 Windham–Campbell Literature Prize and the 2014 The Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.

The juries for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama have developed a taste for the small scale in recent years. The last three winners were The Flick by Annie Baker in 2014, Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar in 2013 and Water By the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes in 2012. Only the Baker play’s victory was even partly expected. The last time the trophy went to a high-profile work was in 2011, when Bruce Norris won it for Clybourne Park

The complete list of Pulitzer Prize in Drama winners is listed below:

2014: The Flick by Annie Baker
2013: Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar
2012: Water By the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes
2011: Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris
2010: Next to Normal by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey
2009: Ruined, by Lynn Nottage
2008: August: Osage County, by Tracy Letts
2007: Rabbit Hole, by David Lindsay-Abaire
2006: No award
2004-05: Doubt, by John Patrick Shanley
2003-04: I Am My Own Wife, by Doug Wright
2002-03: Anna in the Tropics, by Nilo Cruz
2001-02: Topdog/Underdog, by Suzan-Lori Parks
2000-01: Proof, by David Auburn
1999-00: Dinner with Friends, by Donald Margulies
1998-99: Wit, by Margaret Edson
1997-98: How I Learned To Drive, by Paula Vogel
1996-97: No award
1995-96: Rent, by Jonathan Larson
1994-95: The Young Man From Atlanta, by Horton Foote
1993 94: Three Tall Women, by Edward Albee
1992-93: Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, by Tony Kushner
1991-92: The Kentucky Cycle, by Robert Schenkkan
1990-91: Lost in Yonkers, by Neil Simon
1989-90: The Piano Lesson, by August Wilson
1988-89: The Heidi Chronicles, by Wendy Wasserstein
1987 88: Driving Miss Daisy, by Alfred Uhry
1986-87: Fences, by August Wilson
1985-86: No award
1984-85: Sunday in the Park With George, by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim
1983-84: Glengarry Glen Ross, by David Mamet
1982-83: 'night, Mother, by Marsha Norman
1981 82: A Soldier's Play, by Charles Fuller
1980-81: Crimes of the Heart, by Beth Henley
1979-80: Talley's Folly, by Lanford Wilson
1978-79: Buried Child, by Sam Shepard
1977-78: The Gin Game, by D.L. Coburn
1976-77: The Shadow Box, by Michael Cristofer
1975-76: A Chorus Line, by Michael Bennett, James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante, Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban
1974-75: Seascape, by Edward Albee
1973 74: No award
1972-73: That Championship Season, by Jason Miller
1971-72: No award
1970-71: The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, by Paul Zindel
1969-70: No Place To Be Somebody, by Charles Gordone
1968-69: The Great White Hope, by Howard Sackler
1967-68: No award
1966-67: A Delicate Balance, by Edward Albee
1965-66: No award
1964 65: The Subject Was Roses, by Frank D. Gilroy
1963-64: No award
1962-63: No award
1961-62: How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, by Abe Burrows and Frank Loesser
1960-61: All the Way Home, by Tad Mosel
1959-60: Fiorello!, by Jerome Weidman, George Abbott, Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock
1958-59: J.B., by Archibald MacLeish
1957-58: Look Homeward, Angel, by Ketti Frings
1956-57: Long Day's Journey Into Night, by Eugene O'Neill
1955-56: The Diary of Anne Frank, by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett
1954-55: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams
1953-54: The Teahouse of the August Moon, by John Patrick
1952-53: Picnic, by William Inge
1951-52: The Shrike, by Joseph Kramm
1950-51: No award
1949-50: South Pacific, by Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II and Joshua Logan
1948-49: Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller
1947-48: A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams
1946-47: No award
1945-46: State of the Union, by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
1944-45: Harvey, by Mary Chase
1943-44: No award
1942-43: The Skin of Our Teeth, by Thornton Wilder
1941-42: No award
1940-41: There Shall Be No Night, by Robert E. Sherwood
1939-40: The Time of Your Life, by William Saroyan
1938-39: Abe Lincoln in Illinois, by Robert E. Sherwood
1937-38: Our Town, by Thornton Wilder
1936-37: You Can't Take It With You, by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
1935-36: Idiot's Delight, by Robert E. Sherwood
1934-35: The Old Maid, by Zoe Akins
1933-34: Men in White, by Sidney Kingsley
1932-33: Both Your Houses, by Maxwell Anderson
1931-32: Of Thee I Sing, by George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin
1930-31: Alison's House, by Susan Glaspell
1929-30: The Green Pastures, by Marc Connelly
1928-29: Street Scene, by Elmer Rice
1927-28: Strange Interlude, by Eugene O'Neill
1926-27: In Abraham's Bosom, by Paul Green
1925-26: Craig's Wife, by George Kelly
1924-25: They Knew What They Wanted, by Sidney Howard
1923-24: Hell-Bent fer Heaven, by Hatcher Hughes
1922-23: Icebound, by Owen Davis
1921-22: Anna Christie, by Eugene O'Neill
1920-21: Miss Lulu Bett, by Zona Gale
1919-20: Beyond the Horizon, by Eugene O'Neill
1918-19: No award
1917-18: Why Marry?, by Jesse Lynch Williams
1916-17: No award

For more information, visit pulitzer.org.

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