Who'll Get the 2012 Pulitzer for Drama? Other Desert Cities? Prophet? Speculation Swirls

By Robert Simonson
06 Apr 2012

Santino Fontana and Yusef Bulos in Sons of the Prophet.
photo by Joan Marcus

Two titles regularly came up as likely runners-up: Sons of the Prophet and 4000 Miles. Both plays are by young, relatively unknown authors. And both came out of the blue to impress critics with the maturity of their message and craftsmanship.

Sons, by Stephen Karam, is a loosely structured, contemplative look at a Lebanese-American Pennsylvania family struggling to contend with the confusing, comic-tragic hand fate has dealt them. Critics lauded it for its humane voice and refusal to offer easy answers. It was produced Off-Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company last fall and proved one of the bright spots of the first half of the theatre season.

4000 Miles, by Amy Herzog, is a gentle, warm drama about a troubled young man who crashes at the Manhattan apartment of his aged grandmother to piece together the parts of his recently shattered life and world view. Critics found Herzog's naturalistic tapestry touching, compassionate and authentically felt. Opening last summer at the Duke on 42nd Street, the work was a surprise critical hit. Lincoln Center Theater, the producer, recently reopened it at the larger Newhouse.

But, wait! — here we go again. A Lincoln Center spokesman said 4000 Miles will be submitted for the calendar year 2012 so it won't be eligible for the award that's announced this month. One guesses LCT doesn't want to pit two of its Pulitzer-bait properties against one another. 

Read the Playbill Vault entry about the 2011 winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Clybourne Park, currently playing on Broadway.