The Big Ones: Pulitzers
You Can't Take it With You. Our Town. Harvey. A Streetcar Named Desire. How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Fences. Glengarry Glen Ross. Angels in America. Rent. August: Osage County. Clybourne Park. Disgraced. What makes a Pulitzer a Pulitzer? In this course we will take a close look at the kinds of plays that rise to the top of the top when it comes to critical acclaim and success as dramatic literature. We will cover a representative sampling of Pulitzer-Prize winning dramas between the award's inception in 1917 and the present. In addition to reading and discussing the plays, well look at their production histories, reviews, and scholarly reception.
Goals: By the time we're done with the course, we should be able to discuss the following with a fair degree of depth and specificity: What do awards committees look for in a prize-winning drama? What does the Pulitzer do to a playwright's career trajectory? How do issues of agency, access, power, and production come into play in order to enable some plays to win over others? How do individual prizewinners each speak to their own particular historical moment? What kinds of themes or issues do Pulitzer-winning plays take on, and how has this changed over the last century?