From Brooklyn to Broadway: Playwright Lynn Nottage Makes History
Lynn Nottage joins an elite and exclusive group of multiple Pulitzer-winning American playwrights and debuts ‘Sweat’ on the Great White Way
Playwright Lynn Nottage made history this week as the first woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, as her play Sweat—her first to be produced on Broadway—was awarded the honor. She received her first Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for Ruined, which was produced off-Broadway.
Nottage joins an elite and exclusive group of multiple Pulitzer-winning American playwrights that includes August Wilson, Tennessee Williams, Eugene O’Neill, Edward Albee, Robert E. Sherwood, and Thornton Wilder.
During a recent interview at Columbia University, where she is an associate professor of theater, Nottage shared her elation with the Broadway debut of Sweat and her upcoming projects on a lunch break between classes. “It’s thrilling to be in the historic Studio 54 Theatre that moved from a television studio [CBS radio and television Studio 52] to a famous discotheque to a Broadway space that began with Cabaret [the musical],” says Nottage. “I also have enjoyed a much larger and diverse audience to speak to. It’s been an uphill battle to get the voices of women on stage and also the voices of African Americans on the large stage, so I feel like I’m there representing.”
Sweat first premiered and was co-commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. After a sold-out run at New York’s prestigious Public Theater, the critically acclaimed play moved to Broadway. Directed by Kate Whoriskey and produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson and Louise Gund, Sweat’s brilliant cast features Carlo Albán (Oscar), James Colby (Stan), Khris Davis (Chris), Johanna Day (Tracey), John Earl Jelks (Brucie), Will Pullen (Jason), Lance Coadie Williams (Evan), Michelle Wilson (Cynthia), and Alison Wright (Jessie).