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The work was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. "The play appropriates both the comedy and cruelty of professional wrestling in order to explore the complex dance America does with its minorities," said Sylviane Gold, selection committee chair. "We were floored by its swaggering language, vivid theatricality and sheer energy."
In addition to Gold, the members of the selection committee are Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Richard Greenberg, James Lapine and Lynn Nottage and, from The New York Times, writers and editors Scott Heller, Sam Sifton and Andrea Stevens.
The playwright Edward Albee, who is also a committee member, was unable to participate in this year's judging.
The award, created in 2009, was established "to encourage and support an American playwright whose work recently received its professional debut in New York." The past winners are Tarell Alvin McCraney for The Brothers Size and Dan LeFranc for Sixty Miles to Silver Lake.
Diaz said in a statement, "It's an incredible honor to receive this year's New York Times Outstanding Playwright Award. I'm joining some awfully good company in Tarell McCraney and Dan LeFranc. I've been blessed with great good fortune and support throughout the Chad Deity process, and being recognized by The Times is a humbling continuation of a wild ride."
The prize will be presented on July 12 at a ceremony held at TheTimesCenter in Manhattan.