The 1997 Pulitzer Prize for Drama will be given April 7. The award is given annually for outstanding new American plays, and aspires to the highest standards in its choices.
Please predict the American play you think will win this year. Please give title, author, and a brief summary of why you feel as you do.
This year's prize will be given for plays that open between March 2, 1996 and March 1, 1997.
The 1996 winner was Jonathan Larson's Rent; the 1995 winner was Horton Foote's The Young Man From Atlanta.
A complete list of winners can be found in Theatre News.Please e-mail your reviews to Playbill On-Line managing editor Robert Viagas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Answers will be posted as they come in. Here are the results so far:
I don't know if the Pulitzer voters got to the West Coast, but I can't imagine another play being as moving, timely and theatrical as "Pride's Crossing" It would truly honor an already distinguished list of winners. (4/7/97)
I have seen "A Question of Mercy," and I did admire it. However, another off-Broadway play is more deserving: "Stonewall Jackson's House" by Jonathan Reynolds. No play has challenged and excited me more this past year. (4/3/97)
From Josh Israel:
While I realize this isn't likely to happen (especially since musicals rarely win the Pulitzer and RENT won just last year), I'd suggest that RAGTIME merits some consideration... it is a show with an American themee which masterfully tells the story of an era. I hope that it is at least looked at by those making the decision. (4/3/97) From David Krasner, Long Island, N.Y.:
1. I haven't seen it, but based on the reviews it looks like Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive is a strong Pulitzer contender.
2. I attended a preview of An American Daughter tonight. It is an ambitious, fairly good play, with some excellent acting, and some very exciting moments. However, its goals are so great and its peaks so high, that the inevitable weak spots and contrivances are all the more noticable. Wasserstein has written some highly specific, interesting characters, who only rarely, lapse into being preachy and one-sided. Kate Nelligan is wonderful, moving, and brilliant and it was thrilling to see her character deepen and strengthen throughout the play. Unfortunately, Hal Holbrook, playing her father, was awful, at the preview I saw. I am unsure whether or not the senator he plays is meant to be drunk, senile, or just overly distracted, but from the non-performance Holbrook gave, I am just completely baffled. He was especially weak in the very well-written last scene. Perhaps it was just a bad night for him, but it affected everything about the play. Otherwise the set costumes, and most of the supporting cast was excellent. (4/4/97)
I, too, third the motion for A QUESTION OF MERCY. It does what all great drama should. It's one of the most thought-provoking and haunting plays in recent years. I hear it was just extended, too, (thry March 30) so perhaps the Pulitzer committee will actually get a chance to see it. (3/8/97)
From Joe Bravaco:
Hands down A QUESTION OF MERCY. David Rabe is back on track with a powerful, disturbing and haunting drama... everything he does best. There is so much in this play that once more offers evidence of what qualifies him as a great playwright. I don't know what's floating around the regional theatres, but nothing in NYC comes close to MERCY this year. (2/28/97)
"A Question of Mercy" should win The Pulitzer because it is an extraordinarily powerful exploration of the very socially relevant and contraversial issue, assisted suicide. It explores many complexities of this topic, forcing this over-40 (like the Pulitzer committee members) baby boomer, at least, to ponder what they may mean very personally to me one day.
The climactic suicide scene was one of the most riveting, yet gut wrenching (and I mean that only in a positive way), experiences I've ever had in the theater. "A.Q.O.M." is a great American play, and I haven't seen one to rival it yet this season. (2/26/97)