The 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama has been awarded to Jackie Sibblies Drury for her work Fairview.
The play premiered at Off-Broadway’s Soho Rep last year in a sold-out, extended run. The production, directed by Sarah Benson with choreography by Raja Feather Kelly, will return to the New York stage at Brooklyn’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center beginning June 2.
In Fairview, the Frasier family prepares for Grandma’s birthday—but not all is going according to plan, and things quickly go in unexpected directions for both the characters and the audience. The new work is an investigation into the ways in which we observe and judge each other every day, as well as examination of race and privilege in America.
Following its premiere, Fairview played at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, which co-commissioned and helped develop the piece with Soho Rep. The play is also set to receive its U.K. premiere at the Young Vic in November.
The Pulitzer Prize board named two finalists in the category: Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me (now playing on Broadway), and Clare Barron’s Dance Nation, seen Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons last spring.
Drury is a Brooklyn-based playwright whose plays include Marys Seacole (seen Off-Broadway in a world premiere from LCT3 earlier this year); We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884–1915 (also seen at Soho Rep.); Really; and Social Creatures. She is the recipient of a 2015 Windham-Campbell Literary Prize in Drama, a 2012-2013 Van Lier Fellowship at New Dramatists, and was the inaugural recipient of the 2012-2014 Jerome Fellowship at The LARK.
This marks the fourth time the winning play and all announced finalists were written by female playwrights, following 2014 (Annie Baker for The Flick, finalists Madeleine George for The Watson Intelligence and Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori for Fun Home); 2009 (Lynn Nottage for Ruined, finalists Gina Gionfriddo for Becky Shaw and Quiara Alegría Hudes for In the Heights with Lin-Manuel Miranda); and 2002 (Suzan-Lori Parks for Topdog/Underdog, finalists Rebecca Gilman for The Glory of Living and Dael Orlandersmith for Yellowman).
Additional 2019 Pulitzer Prize winners in Letters, Drama, and Music included Ellen Reid for her opera prism, which premiered at Los Angeles Opera.