The Pulitzer Prize for Letters - Drama

The Pulitzer Prize is named in honor of Joseph Pulitzer a newspaper publisher in the late 19th century. The awards were established in 1917 and are governed by the Pulitzer Prize Board and awarded by Columbia University. Awards are given in 21 categories for journalism, drama, music, and letters.
Award Year Authors(s) Title
2012 Quiara Alegría Hudes Water by the Spoonful
2011 Bruce Norris Clybourne Park
2010 Paul Harding Tinkers On his deathbed, surrounded by his family, George Washington Crosby's thoughts drift back to his childhood and the father who abandoned him when he was twelve.
2009 Lynn Nottage Ruined Set in a small mining town in Democratic Republic of the Congo, this powerful play follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. But is she protecting or profiting by the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on human life?
2008 Tracy Letts August: Osage County A portrait of a dysfunctional American family. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed.
2007 David Lindsay-Abaire Rabbit Hole A story of loss, heartbreak, and forgiveness-told through daily moments and emotional hurdles-as a family moves on after the accidental death of their four-year-old.
2006 No Award Given
2005 John Patrick Shanley Doubt, A Parable In this brilliant and powerful drama, Sister Aloysius, a Bronx school principal, takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the young Father Flynn of improper relations with one of the male students.
2004 Doug Wright I Am My Own Wife Explores the astonishing true story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. A transvestite and celebrated antiques dealer who successfully navigated the two most oppressive regimes of the past century-the Nazis and the Communists--while openly gay and defiantly in drag, von Mahlsdorf was both hailed as a cultural hero and accused of colluding with the Stasi.
2003 Nilo Cruz Anna in the Tropics This poignant and poetic 2003 Pulitzer rize winning play captures 1929 Florida at a time when cigars are still rolled by hand and "lectors" are employed to educate and entertain the workers. The arrival of a new lector is a cause for celebration. But when he reads aloud from "Anna Karenina", he unwittingly becomes a catalyst in the lives of his avid listeners, for whom Tolstoy, the tropics, and the American dream prove a volatile combination.
2002 Suzan-Lori Parks Topdog/Underdog A darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity is Suzan-Lori Parks latest riff on the way we are defined by history. The play tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke, forettling a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.
2001 David Auburn Proof A devoted daughter who comes to terms with the death of her father, a brilliant mathematician whose genius was crippled by mental insanity, with the help of one of her father's former students.
2000 Donald Margulies Dinner With Friends Four close friends, two great couples, married for years, they planned on eating, drinking and parenting their way into old age. But at a dinner party, one friend shows up without their spouse, bearing the news that will test their friendship and their marriages. When a close friend leaves his wife for another woman, whose side do you take?
1999 Margaret Edson Wit At the start of Wit, Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliantly difficult metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to her illness is not unlike her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing, intensely rational, deeply witty. But during the course of her illness-and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital-Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and for the audience.
1998 Paula Vogel How I Learned to Drive The 1950s pop music accompanying Li'l Bit's excursion down memory lane cannot drown out the ghosts of her past. Sweet recollections of driving with her beloved uncle intermingle with lessons about the darker sides of life. Balmy evenings are fraught with danger; seductions happen anywhere. Li'l Bit navigates a narrow path between the demands of family and her own sense of right and wrong.
1997 No Award Given
1996 Jonathan Larson Rent Rent captures the heart and spirit of a generation, reflecting it onstage through the emotion of its stirring words and music, and the energy of its young cast.
1995 Horton Foote The Young Man from Atlanta In 1950s Houston, an affluent couple is transformed by tragedy when their son dies under mysterious circumstances and the husband loses his job of 40 years.
1994 Edward Albee Three Tall Women Recovering from the brink of death after venting her frustrations about an unjust world, a ninety-two-year-old woman recounts three stages of her painful life.
1993 Tony Kushner Angels in America: Millenium Approaches Prior is a man living with AIDS whose lover Louis has left him and become involved with Joe, an ex-Mormon and political conservative whose wife, Harper, is slowly having a nervous breakdown. These stories are contrasted with that of Roy Cohn and his attempts to remain in the closet while trying to find some sort of personal salvation in his beliefs.
1992 Robert Schenkkan The Kentucky Cycle An epic of 9 generations of two families in Kentucky.
1991 Neil Simon Lost in Yonkers A play about two young boys who are forced to live for a year with their domineering, ill-tempered grandmother while their father takes a job in another state.
1990 August Wilson The Piano Lesson Set in 1936, The Piano Lesson is a powerful new play from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Fences and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. A sister and brother fight over a piano that has been in the family for three generations, creating a remarkable drama that embodies the painful past and expectant future of black Americans.
1989 Wendy Wasserstein The Heidi Chronicles Wendy Wasserstein's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play is the tale of a baby-boomer's long, hard road from '60s confusion to '90s self-made woman ... or so she hopes.
1988 Alfred Uhry Driving Miss Daisy The story of Daisy, a Jewish woman in Atlanta, and her African-American driver Hoke and the friendship that develops between them over the years.
1987 August Wilson Fences The story of Troy, astrong black man who tries to keep up with the times, but can't escape his father's grip.
1986 No Award Given
1985 Stephen Sondheim (music/lyrics), James Lupine (book) Sunday in the Park With George A musical about the pointillist painter George Seurat.
1984 David Mamet Glengarry Glen Ross Business is not going well at a real estate office, then a daring robbery changes everything.
1983 Marsha Norman 'Night Mother Business is not going well at a real estate office, then a daring robbery changes everything.
1982 Charles Fuller A Soldier's Play A black army attorney is sent to Fort Neal, Louisiana near the end of WW II to investigate the murder of Sgt. Waters, a black man who was filled with hatred for his own race.
1981 Beth Henley Crimes of the Heart Deeply touching play about three eccentric sisters from a small Southern town rocked by scandal when Babe, the youngest, shoots her husband. Humor and pathos abound as the sisters unite with an intense young lawyer to save Babe from a murder charge.
1980 Lanford Wilson Talley's Folly One act romantic comedy about a couple settling their feelings for each other.
1979 Sam Shepard Buried Child
1978 Donald L. Coburn The Gin Game A bittersweet comedy that follows the relationship that develops between nursing home residents Fonsia Dorsey and Weller Martin during a series of gin games. As the games progress, their ailments, misfortunes, and losses are exposed in funny, honest, and increasingly heated moments, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns into a battle of wills.
1977 Michael Cristofer The Shadow Box
1976 Michael Bennett (conceived, choreographed and directed), James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante (book), Michael Bennett (conceived, choreographed and directed)James Kirkwood, Nicholas Dante (book)Marvin Hamlisch (music), Edward Kleban (lyrics) A Chorus Line
1975 Edward Albee Seascape Play is a literate and eloquent rumination on evolution and the meaning of life.
1974 No Award Given
1973 Jason Miller That Championship Season
1972 No Award Given
1971 Paul Zindel The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds Focuses on the ups and downs of the relationship between an embittered, eccentric woman and her two teenage daughters.
1970 Charles Gordone No Place to Be Somebody
1969 Howard Sackler The Great White Hope
1968 No Award Given
1967 Edward Albee A Delicate Balance A dark comedy about unfulfilled lives, broken promises, and family jealousies.
1966 No Award Given
1965 Frank D. Gilroy The Subject Was Roses
1964 No Award Given
1963 No Award Given
1962 Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
1961 Tad Mosel All the Way Home
1960 Jerome Weidman, George Abbot (book), Jerry Bock (music), Jerome Weidman, George Abbot (book)Jerry Bock (music)Sheldon Harnick (lyrics) Fiorello!
1959 Archibald MacLeish J.B.
1958 Ketti Frings Look Homeward Angel
1957 Eugene O'Neill Long Day's Journey Into Night This play is O'Neill's autobiographical masterpiece which he would not allow to be published until after his death. Set on a single day in August 1912, the play traces the disintegration of the Tyrone family.
1956 Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich Diary of Anne Frank Based upon the book, the Diary of Anne Frank, it tells the story of the Frank family who hide in an Amsterdam attic to escape the Nazis.
1955 Tennessee Williams Cat On a Hot Tin Roof A story of deception which is destroying a patriarchal Southern family as its' members gather for the imminent demise of their "Big Daddy."
1954 John Patrick The Teahouse of the August Moon Okinawa 1946- occupied by American troops whose assignment is to bring democracy to the inhabitants. The captain in charge is a well-meaning but inept loser, and faces a wily oriental interpreter and a determined geisha girl, along with villagers who know how to take advantage of foreign occupation.
1953 William Inge Picnic
1952 Joseph Kramm The Shrike
1951 No Award Given
1950 Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard RodgersOscar Hammerstein IIJoshua Logan
1949 Arthur Miller Death of a Salesman The tragedy of a typical American--a salesman who at the age of sixty-three is faced with what he cannot face; defeat and disillusionment.
1948 Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire The story of Blanche DuBois and her last grasp at happiness, and of Stanley Kowalski, the one who destroyed her chance.
1947 No Award Given
1946 Russell Crouse, Howard Lindsay State of the Union
1945 Mary Chase Harvey Elwood P. Dowd is a good-natured fellow whose constant companion is Harvey , a six-feet tall rabbit that only he can see. To his sister, Veta Louise, Elwood's obsession with Harvey has been a thorn in the side of her plans to marry off her daughter. But when Veta Louise decides to put Elwood in a mental hospital, a hilarious mix-up occurs.
1944 No Award Given
1943 Thorton Wilder The Skin of Our Teeth Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play brings to life the fate and foibles of the celebrated Antrobus family-- a bold and brassy embodiment of Wilder's vision of the American people. This eloquent comedy serves up an allegorical tale of one American family whose members must come to grips with their destinies. Having survived fire, flood, pestilence, seven-year locusts, the Ice Age and a dozen wars, the Antrobuses are as durable as radiators, and remain as optimistic as a spring day.
1942 No Award Given
1941 Robert E. Sherwood There Shall Be No Night
1940 William Saroyan The Time of Your Life Joe, a lovesome, fast-talking regular at the local saloon believes in encouraging everybody in their intoxicating dreams.
1939 Robert E. Sherwood Abe Lincoln in Illinois Views Lincoln's life, from his early days as a young woodsman to his election to the presidency in 1860. Includes his first love with Ann Rutledge, his marriage to Mary Todd, his early law practice, and his debates with Stephen Douglas.
1938 Thorton Wilder Our Town The drama of life in the small village of Grover's Corners.
1937 Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman You Can't Take It With You Comedy about the Sycamores, an eccentric family of free spirits, and the problems that arise when Alice, the one stable member, falls for her boss's son.
1936 Robert E. Sherwood Idiot's Delight
1935 Zoe Akins The Old Maid
1934 Sidney Kingsley Men in White
1933 Maxwell Anderson Both Your Houses
1932 George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, George S. KaufmanMorrie RyskindIra Gershwin Of Thee I Sing
1931 Susan Glaspell Alison's House
1930 Marc Connelly The Green Pastures
1929 Elmer L. Rice Street Scene
1928 Eugene O'Neill Strange Interlude
1927 Paul E. Green In Abraham's Bosom
1926 George Kelly Craig's Wife
1925 Sidney Howard They Knew What They Wanted
1924 Hatcher Hughes Hell-Bent Fer Heaven
1923 Owen Davis Icebound
1922 Eugene O'Neill Anna Christie The passion of a coal barge captain's daughter and a handsome sailor takes a tumultuous turn when secrets from her past are revealed.
1921 Zona Gale Miss Lulu Bett
1920 Eugene O'Neill Beyond the Horizon
1919 No Award Given
1918 Jesse Lynch Williams Why Marry
1917 No Award Given