Annie Baker's 'The Flick' Wins 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
UPDATED: The unconventional play about the directionless employees of an obsolete single-screen Massachusetts movie house will return to New York this year, produced by Scott Rudin.
NEW YORK -- One of the most critically lauded playwrights to emerge on the New York theater scene in the past ten years, Annie Baker, has been awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her intimate epic about a rudderless generation, The Flick.
Running three hours and made up of seemingly insignificant conversational exchanges among the employees of an under-attended single-screen New England movie house between film showings, the play sharply divided audiences when it premiered in Sam Gold's Off Broadway production at Playwrights Horizons in March last year.
Dates have not yet been announced, but producer Scott Rudin confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he is teaming with Barrow Street Theatre to bring The Flick to that Greenwich Village playhouse for a commercial run this year.
While many rave reviews hailed it as an insightful metaphor for the chaos of contemporary life experienced by young outsiders struggling to keep up with a world in constant change, others scratched their heads, dismissing it as a marathon of banal talk and extended silences.
Reviewing the production in The New York Times, Charles Isherwood called the play "moving, beautifully acted and challengingly long." He continued, "If you have any feeling for ordinary people in furtive search of those extraordinary things -- requited love, true friendship, a sustaining belief in man's humanity to man -- that can ennoble any life (or blight it, should they be lost), this lovingly observed play will sink deep into your consciousness, and probably stay there for a while."
The Playwrights Horizons production featured Alex Hanna, Louisa Krause, Matthew Maher and Aaron Clifton Moten, all of whom are expected to return for the Barrow Street run. Baker's previous plays, seen in New York to wide acclaim, have included Body Awareness, Circle Mirror Transformation, The Aliens and a new adaptation of Uncle Vanya. The Massachusetts-born playwright is 33.
Other 2014 finalists in the Drama category, all written by women, included The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, by Madeleine George, and Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron's musical Fun Home.
Recent winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama have included Ayad Akhtar's Disgraced (2013), Quiara Alegria Hudes' Water By the Spoonful (2012), Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park (2011), Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey's musical, Next to Normal (2010), Lynn Nottage's Ruined (2009) and Tracy Letts' August: Osage County (2008).