NEW YORK (AP) — Annie Baker's "The Flick" has won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for drama, a play set in a rundown movie theater that was hailed by the judges as a "thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters" with "lives rarely seen on the stage."
The Columbia University's prize board on Monday gave the playwright, who is in her early 30s, the prize for her play about friendship, morality and loyalty. The university said it was "a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world."
It played off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons last year, becoming a topic of discussion when a small group of early theatergoers found it too long at 3 hours and 15 minutes and walked out. But critics found it challenging and rewarding, and it soon won over audience members, running for months.
In "The Flick," three relatively youthful, low-paid employees work together in a theater in Massachusetts that still shows 35-millimeter movies on film. Everyday jealousies, disappointments and anger share the stage with jokes, chit-chat, occasional poignant revelations and a lot of workplace tedium.
Baker, 33, beat out "The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence," by Madeleine George, which also played Playwrights Horizons, and "Fun Home," with a book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, which played the Public Theater. Baker was traveling on Monday and unreachable for comment about her win.
It was a big day for women in the theater — all four finalists are women — and it also was a big day for Playwrights Horizons, one of the most consistently exciting theater companies in the city.
"Doing new plays is always an adventure and you do your best on every single one of them. I kind of approach them the same, in a way, because it's so impossible to predict," said Tim Sanford, artistic director of Playwrights Horizons.
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