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The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is one of the seven American
Pulitzer Prizes#REDIRECT Pulitzer Prize The Pulitzer Prize () is an award for achievements in newspaper, magazine and online journalism, literature and musical composition within the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of Joseph ...
that are annually awarded for Letters,
Drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a ...

Drama
, and
Music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated concepts , , and ...

Music
. It is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year."1917 Winners"
The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-12-20.
(No Drama prize was given, however, so that one was inaugurated in 1918, in a sense.) It recognizes a theatrical work staged in the U.S. during the preceding calendar year. Until 2007, eligibility for the Drama Prize ran from March 1 to March 2 to reflect the Broadway "season" rather than the calendar year that governed most other Pulitzer Prizes. The drama jury, which consists of one academic and four critics, attends plays in
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...

New York
and in regional theaters. The Pulitzer board can overrule the jury's choice; in
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1986
, the board's opposition to the jury's choice of ''
the CIVIL warS The Civil Wars were an American musical duo composed of Joy Williams (singer), Joy Williams and John Paul White. Formed in 2008, The Civil Wars won four Grammy Awards prior to their 2014 breakup. History 2008–2010 Both Williams and White h ...
'' resulted in no award being given. In 1955 Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. pressured the prize jury into presenting the Prize to ''
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ''Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'' is a three-act play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * Play (theatre), a work of drama Play may refer also to: Computers and technology * Google Play, a digital content ...

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
'', which the jury considered the weakest of the five shortlisted nominees ("amateurishly constructed... from the stylistic points of view annoyingly pretentious"), instead of
Clifford Odets Clifford Odets (July 18, 1906 – August 14, 1963) was an American playwright, director, screenwriter, and actor. In the mid-1930s, he was widely seen as the potential successor to Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, No ...
' ''
The Flowering Peach ''The Flowering Peach'' is a 1954 dramatic play by American playwright Clifford Odets with music by Alan Hovhaness. The plot is a modern take on the Bible stories of Noah In the traditions of Abrahamic religions, Noah ''Nukh''; am, ኖህ, ''N ...
'' (their preferred choice) or ''The Bad Seed'', their second choice.
Edward Albee Edward Franklin Albee III ( ; March 12, 1928 – September 16, 2016) was an American playwright known for works such as ''The Zoo Story 333px, ''The Zoo Story''; photograph from a Luxembourgish production ''The Zoo Story'' is a one-act play by ...

Edward Albee
's ''
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? ''Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?'' is a play by Edward Albee first staged in October 1962. It examines the complexities of the marriage of a middle-aged couple, Martha and George. Late one evening, after a university faculty party, they receive ...
'' was selected for the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for Drama by that award's committee. However, the committee's selection was overruled by the award's advisory board, the trustees of
Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754 as King's College on the grounds of ...

Columbia University
, because of the play's then-controversial use of
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profanity
and sexual themes. Had Albee been awarded, he would be tied with
Eugene O'Neill Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was an American playwright and Nobel laureate Nobel laureates of 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Brian Kobilka, Robert J. Lefkowitz">Brian_Kobilka.html" ;"title="Alvin E. Roth, Brian Kobi ...

Eugene O'Neill
for the most Pulitzer Prizes for Drama (four).


Awards and nominations

In its first 105 years to 2020, the Drama Pulitzer was awarded 89 times; none were given in 15 years and it was never split. The most recipients of the prize in one year was five, when Michael Bennett,
James Kirkwood, Jr. James Kirkwood Jr. (August 22, 1924 – April 21, 1989) was an American playwright, author and actor. In 1976 he received the Tony Award The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, rec ...
,
Nicholas Dante Nicholas Dante (November 22, 1941 – May 21, 1991
from ''
,
Marvin Hamlisch Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only sixteen people to win Emmy, Grammy, Academy Awards, Oscar and Tony Awards, Tony awards. This collection of all four ...
, and
Edward Kleban Edward “Ed” Kleban (April 30, 1939 – December 28, 1987) was an American musical theatre Musical theatre is a form of theatre, theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content ...
shared the 1976 prize for the musical ''
A Chorus Line ''A Chorus Line'' is a musical Musical is the adjective of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societie ...

A Chorus Line
''.


Notes

marks winners of the
Tony Award for Best Play The Tony Award for Best Play (formally, the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) is an annual award given to the best new (non- musical) play on Broadway, as determined by Tony Award voters. There was no award in the Tonys' first yea ...
.
* marks winners of the
Tony Award for Best Musical The Tony Award The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League ...
.
marks
Tony Award The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre Broadway theatre,Although ''theater'' is the generally preferred spelling in the United Sta ...
winners/nominees in other categories


1910s


1920s


1930s


1940s


1950s


1960s


1970s


1980s


1990s


2000s


2010s


2020s


Musicals

Ten musicals have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, roughly one per decade from the 1930s to the 2020s¹. They are:
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George
and
Ira Gershwin Ira Gershwin (born Israel Gershowitz; December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983) was an American lyricist A lyricist or lyrist is a songwriter Songwriting partners Rodgers and Hart working on a song in 1936 A songwriter is a musician A mus ...
's ''
Of Thee I Sing ''Of Thee I Sing'' is a musicalMusicAL was a 24-hour Albania Albania ( ; sq, Shqipëri or Shqipëria), officially the Republic of Albania ( sq, Republika e Shqipërisë), is a country in Southeast Europe, Southeastern Europe. It is located ...

Of Thee I Sing
'' (1932),
Rodgers and Hammerstein Rodgers and Hammerstein refers to the theatre-writing team of composer Richard Rodgers Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902 – December 30, 1979) was an American Musical composition, composer, known largely for his work in musical ...
's ''
South Pacific The South Pacific is the Southern Hemisphere portion of the Pacific Ocean, Earth's largest oceanic division, and which includes several islands and archipelagos. It may also refer to: Arts and entertainment * South Pacific (novel), ''South Paci ...
'' (1950),
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& 's ''
Fiorello! ''Fiorello!'' is a musical about New York City New York City (NYC), often simply called New York, is the List of United States cities by population, most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2019 population of 8,336,817 di ...
'' (1960),
Frank Loesser Frank Henry Loesser (; June 29, 1910 – July 28, 1969) was an American songwriter who wrote the music and lyrics for the Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (disambiguation) * Broadway theatre, theatrical productions ...
's ''
How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying ''How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: The Dastard's Guide to Fame and Fortune'' is a humorous 1952 book by Shepherd Mead Shepherd Mead, born Edward Mead (April 26, 1914 – August 15, 1994) was an American writer and is best kno ...
'' (1962),
Marvin Hamlisch Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only sixteen people to win Emmy, Grammy, Academy Awards, Oscar and Tony Awards, Tony awards. This collection of all four ...
,
Edward Kleban Edward “Ed” Kleban (April 30, 1939 – December 28, 1987) was an American musical theatre Musical theatre is a form of theatre, theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content ...
,
James Kirkwood, Jr. James Kirkwood Jr. (August 22, 1924 – April 21, 1989) was an American playwright, author and actor. In 1976 he received the Tony Award The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, rec ...
, and
Nicholas Dante Nicholas Dante (November 22, 1941 – May 21, 1991
from ''
's ''
A Chorus Line ''A Chorus Line'' is a musical Musical is the adjective of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all human societie ...

A Chorus Line
'' (1976),
Stephen Sondheim Stephen Joshua Sondheim ( ; March 22, 1930 – November 26, 2021) was an American composer and lyricist. Among the most important figures in 20th-century musical theater Musical theatre is a form of theatre, theatrical performance that combi ...
's and
James Lapine James Elliot Lapine (born January 10, 1949) is an American stage director, playwright, screenwriter, and librettist A libretto (Italian for "booklet") is the text used in, or intended for, an extended musical work such as an opera Opera ...
's ''
Sunday in the Park with George ''Sunday in the Park with George'' is a musical Musical is the adjective of music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of ...
'' (1985),
Jonathan Larson Jonathan David Larson (February 4, 1960 – January 25, 1996) was an American composer, lyricist, and playwright who explored the social issues of multiculturalism The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of ...
's ''
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'' (1996),
Brian Yorkey Brian Yorkey is an American playwright and lyricist. His works often explore dark and controversial subject matter such as mental illness A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pat ...

Brian Yorkey
and Tom Kitt's ''
Next to Normal ''Next to Normal'' (styled as ''next to normal'') is a 2008 American rock musical with book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt (musician), Tom Kitt. The story centers on a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the ...
'' (2010),
Lin-Manuel Miranda Lin-Manuel Miranda (; born January 16, 1980) is an American actor, songwriter, singer, playwright, producer, and film director. He is best known for creating and starring in the Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (d ...

Lin-Manuel Miranda
's ''
HamiltonHamilton may refer to: * Alexander Hamilton (1755–1804), first American Secretary of the Treasury and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States **Hamilton (musical), ''Hamilton'' (musical), a 2015 Broadway musical written by Lin-Manuel Mira ...
'' (2016), and Michael R. Jackson's '' A Strange Loop'' (2020). Though it did not win for Drama, ''
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'' was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize in 1944. ''Sunday in the Park with George'' and ''Next to Normal'' are the only musicals that won the Pulitzer Prize and did not also win the
Tony Award for Best Musical The Tony Award The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League ...
; the latter won the Tonys for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations. ''Of Thee I Sing'' opened before the
Tony Awards The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Broadway Theatre, more commonly known as the Tony Award, recognizes excellence in live Broadway theatre Broadway theatre,Although ''theater'' is the generally preferred spelling in the United St ...
existed while ''A Strange Loop'' opened
Off-Broadway An off-Broadway theatre is any professional theatre venue in Manhattan in New York City with a seating capacity Seating capacity is the number of people A people is any plurality of persons considered as a whole. Used in politics and l ...
at
Playwrights Horizons Playwrights Horizons is a not-for-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or soci ...
and thus was ineligible for the Broadway-based Tony Awards. The award goes to the playwright, although production of the play is also taken into account. In the case of a musical being awarded the prize, the composer, lyricist and book writer are generally the recipients. An exception to this was the first Pulitzer ever awarded to a musical: when ''Of Thee I Sing'' won in 1932, book authors George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, as well as lyricist Ira Gershwin, were cited as the winners, while composer George Gershwin's contribution was overlooked by the committee. The reason given was that the Pulitzer Prize for Drama is a ''dramatic'' award, and not a ''musical'' one. However, by 1950 the Pulitzer committee included composer Richard Rodgers as a recipient when ''South Pacific'' won the award, in recognition of music as an integral and important part of the theatrical experience.Flinn, Denny Martin. ''Musical! A Grand Tour''. Schirmer, first edition (April 17, 1997), pages 230–31. Additionally, since 1983, when the identity of finalists was first disclosed, five musicals have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. They are:
Lee Breuer Esser Leopold Breuer (February 6, 1937 – January 3, 2021) was an American playwright, theater director, academic, educator, filmmaker, poet, and lyricist. Breuer taught and directed on six continents. Career Breuer was a founding co-artistic ...
and
Bob Telson Robert "Bob" Eria Telson (born May 14, 1949) is an American composer, songwriter, and pianist best known for his work in musical theater and film, for which he has received Tony Award, Tony, Pulitzer Prize, Pulitzer, and Academy Award nominations. ...
's ''
The Gospel at Colonus ''The Gospel at Colonus'' is an African-American musical version of Sophocles's tragedy, ''Oedipus at Colonus. '' The show was created in 1983 by the experimental-theatre director Lee Breuer, one of the founders of the seminal American avant-garde ...
'' (1985);
Lin-Manuel Miranda Lin-Manuel Miranda (; born January 16, 1980) is an American actor, songwriter, singer, playwright, producer, and film director. He is best known for creating and starring in the Broadway Broadway may refer to: Theatre * Broadway Theatre (d ...

Lin-Manuel Miranda
and Quiara Alegría Hudes' ''
In the Heights ''In the Heights'' is a musical Musical is the adjective of music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common eleme ...
'' (2009);
Jeanine Tesori Jeanine Tesori (known earlier in her career as Jeanine Levenson)Jeanine Tesori” ''Masterworks Broadway''. ''(Retrieved 2010-03-29.)'' is an United States, American composer and Arrangement, musical arranger. She is the most prolific and honored ...
and
Lisa Kron Elizabeth S. "Lisa" Kron (born May 20, 1961) is an Americans, American actress and playwright. She is best known for writing the lyrics and book to the musical ''Fun Home (musical), Fun Home'' for which she won both the Tony Award for Best Original ...
's ''
Fun Home ''Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic'' is a 2006 graphic memoir A memoir (; from French: ''mémoire'': ''memoria'', meaning ''memory'' or ''reminiscence'') is any nonfiction narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of re ...
'' (2014);
Taylor Mac Taylor Mac (born August 24, 1973) is an American actor, playwright, performance artist, director, producer, and singer-songwriter active mainly in New York City. In 2017, Mac was the recipient of a "Genius Grant" from the John D. and Catherine T ...
's ''A 24-Decade History of Popular Music'' (2017); and
David Henry Hwang David Henry Hwang (born August 11, 1957) is an American playwright, librettist, screenwriter A screenplay writer (also called screenwriter for short), scriptwriter or scenarist, is a writer who practices the craft of screenwriting, writing ...

David Henry Hwang
and
Jeanine Tesori Jeanine Tesori (known earlier in her career as Jeanine Levenson)Jeanine Tesori” ''Masterworks Broadway''. ''(Retrieved 2010-03-29.)'' is an United States, American composer and Arrangement, musical arranger. She is the most prolific and honored ...
's ''
Soft Power In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distr ...
'' (2020). ¹All listed dates are Prize years. Generally, the musical in question opened in New York during either the preceding calendar year or the preceding Broadway season.


Multiple wins and nominations

The following individuals received two or more Pulitzer Prizes for Drama: The following individuals received two or more nominations: Lynn Nottage is the only female playwright to win the prize twice. She and August Wilson are the only playwrights of color to accomplish this feat. Jon Robin Baitz, Gina Gionfriddo, John Guare, A.R. Gurney, Richard Greenberg, Tina Howe, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Stephen Karam, and Sarah Ruhl have each been named finalists twice without winning. David Henry Hwang is the only person to have been named a finalist thrice without winning. Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeanine Tesori are the only people to be named as a finalist twice for writing and composing a musical, with Miranda winning in 2016.


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Pulitzer Prize For Drama
Drama Drama is the specific Mode (literature), mode of fiction Mimesis, represented in performance: a Play (theatre), play, opera, mime, ballet, etc., performed in a theatre, or on Radio drama, radio or television.Elam (1980, 98). Considered as a ...
American literary awards American theater awards Dramatist and playwright awards Awards established in 1918