Lynn Nottage's Sweat Wins the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

The writer becomes the first female playwright to win the award twice. 

Lynn Nottage's Sweat Wins the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Yesterday the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to Lynn Nottage’s new play Sweat, making her the first female playwright to win the award for a second time.

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is awarded each year "for a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life". Nottage's new play, which is currently running on Broadway, is described as "a personal and political drama exploring America’s industrial decline". Nottage previously won the award for her play Ruined in 2009, and has made history as the first female playwright to win the prestigious award twice. She joins the ranks of writers such as Eugene O'Neill, Edward Albee, August Wilson and Tennessee Williams who have all won multiple awards.

Finalists in the Drama category in 2017 were Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves and Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.

Sweat is Nottage's first play to open on Broadway, where it officially opened at Studio 54 on 26 March 2017 in a production directed by Kate Whoriskey. Ruined was most recently performed in London at the Almeida Theatre in 2010, directed by Indhu Rubasingham and starring Jenny Jules, Lucian Msamati and Pippa Bennett-Warner.

Sweat takes place in Reading, Pennsylvania and portrays a meeting between a parole officer and two ex-convicts, and three women who were childhood friends working in the same factory. Nottage began working on the play in 2011 by interviewing residents of the town, which at the time was officially one of the poorest cities in America with a poverty rate of over 40%.

Read our 5-Star review of Sweat on Broadway.

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