Last week’s Pulitzer win for Annie Baker’s play The Flick got theatre people talking more than the annual announcement of the prize usually does.
Some of the discussions centered of it being a conspicuous victory for the controversial play, which was critically praised but divided audiences due to its length (three hours), plot (seemingly none, to the eyes of detractors) and staging (so realistic as to be barely separable from the humdrum of daily life). But other observers noted that the win put Playwrights Horizons, the nonprofit that staged the work, in rarified territory.
The Flick marks the sixth production to have its premiere at the theatre prior to taking the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Other Playwrights Horizons works to win the Pulitzer include: Clybourne Park (2011); I Am My Own Wife (2004); The Heidi Chronicles (1989); Driving Miss Daisy (1988); and Sunday in the Park With George (1985). (The theatre was founded in 1971.)
The only other producing entity to have won the Pulitzer as many times is Manhattan Theatre Club, which produced, or co-produced, Ruined (2009), Rabbit Hole (2007), Doubt (2005), Proof (2001), The Piano Lesson (1990) and Crimes of the Heart (1980).
This achievement has been pointed out to Tim Sanford, Playwrights Horizons’ long-serving artistic director.
“There are people who count,” he told Playbill.com, “including my managing director.”
Sanford has been artistic director during three of those triumphs (Andre Bishop was artistic director when the first three were collected), but he’s been with the company long enough to have remembered all six.
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