With theaters shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Pulitzer Prize board is updating eligibility requirements for its 2021 prize for drama. The organization announced the amendments on September 10.
“The spread of the COVID virus has closed theaters but has in no way dampened the creativity of the nation’s playwrights,” said Pulitzer co-chairs Stephen Engelberg and Aminda Marqués Gonzalez in a statement. “In this year, of all years, we wanted to honor the work that is being done. The shows are going on, even if the audience is remote.”
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is presented to a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life. Per usual, eligible works include full-length dramas by American authors that opened in the United States between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. For the 2021 award, eligible entries may also include plays that were scheduled to be produced in theaters in 2020 but were postponed or canceled due to the pandemic. In addition, plays produced and performed in places other than theaters, including outside, in site-specific venues or online, will also be eligible. Head here for full submission details.
As previously reported, the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop, which made its world premiere off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 2019. It’s not often that the Pulitzer Prize for Drama goes to a musical; A Strange Loop joined other musical Pulitzer winners Hamilton, Rent, Next to Normal, Sunday in the Park with George, Fiorello, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Of Thee I Sing, South Pacific and A Chorus Line.