Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, which was staged at the Royal Court theatre last year and is currently playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London, has won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
The prestigious award for drama was announced alongside the other prizes at a press conference today, 18 April 2011. The prizes will be awarded at a luncheon in late May in the Low Library on the Columbia University campus.
The Prize comes after the play has won every major Best Play award in the UK, including an Olivier Award, Evening Standard Theatre Award and South Bank Sky Arts Award.
The Pulitzer awards committee said that Clybourne Park was “a powerful work whose memorable characters speak in witty and perceptive ways to America’s sometimes toxic struggle with race and class consciousness.”
It beat nominated plays A Free Man of Color by John Guare and Detroit by Lisa D’Amour. Last year’s prize went to Broadway rock musical Next to Normal, with music by Tom Kitt, book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey.
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is awarded to a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life. The prize is $10,000.
Clybourne Park is running in London for a strictly limited season at the Wyndham’s Theatre, staring Sophie Thompson and Stephen Campbell Moore, and is directed by Dominic Cooke. Bruce Norris’s bitingly funny satire is about property and racial tensions in America. The first act is set in 1959, when a black family buys a house in a white Chicago suburb. Act two sees the actors take on different roles and the story reverse to the same house but in 2009. The modern-day neighbourhood is now predominantly black, and a white couple are trying to buy the same house.