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, John Earl Jelks, Michelle Wilson, Johanna Day and Alison Wright during a performance of Lynn Nottage's play, "Sweat," at Studio 54 in New York
Published: 11 April 2017

"Sweat," the searing new play on Broadway at Studio 54 (254 West 54th Street), is the recipient for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The Pulitzer Prize citation lauded Sweat, “For a nuanced yet powerful drama that reminds audiences of the stacked deck still facing workers searching for the American dream.”

With yesterday’s Pulitzer news, playwright Lynn Nottage becomes the first woman to win two Pulitzers for Drama. She joins an esteemed group of playwrights who have won multiple Pulitzers that includes theatre titans Edward Albee, Eugene O’Neill, Robert E. Sherwood, Thornton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, and August Wilson.

Playwright Lynn Nottage said, “I am grateful to the Pulitzer panel for recognizing my play. I share this honor with an amazing group of collaborators who poured their energy and passion into the making of Sweat. I am eternally thankful for their beautiful contributions – director Kate Whoriskey; Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arena Stages, which co-commissioned the play; producers Stuart Thompson and Louise Gund; The Public Theater; early support from the McCarter Theatre and The Lark; and the all of the casts, designers, and crew members.

However, this play would not exist if the good people of Reading, PA hadn't so generously invited me into their community to listen to their uncensored stories. The role of an artist is to witness and reflect, and to be in dialogue with the culture at large. As a woman of color, I feel an even greater urgency to flex my voice, and it is gratifying to know that there is an audience that will lean in and engage even when the stories are challenging.”

"Sweat," the play by newly minted two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, directed by Kate Whoriskey began performance at Studio 54 on March 4 and opened on March 26, 2017 to critical acclaim.

The full cast includes Carlo Albán (Oscar), James Colby (Stan), Khris Davis (Chris), Johanna Day (Tracey), John Earl Jelks (Brucie), Will Pullen (Jason), Lance Coadie Williams (Evan), Michelle Wilson (Cynthia), and Alison Wright (Jessie).

"Sweat" was chosen as one of the Best Plays of 2016 by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Time Out New York, The Star-Ledger, The Bergen Record, Deadline, The Wrap, The Huffington Post, New York Amsterdam News, Theatermania, and Broadway World.

"Sweat" was co-commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and D.C.’s Arena Stage. The play received its world premiere at OSF in July 2015, in a sold-out run. The production subsequently played an acclaimed run at Arena Stage in January 2016. Sweat played an acclaimed engagement at New York’s Public Theater in November 2016, where it was extended three times, with critics writing about the play’s breathtaking timeliness, compassion, and power. 

With warm humor and tremendous heart, Lynn Nottage’s Sweat tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the line of a factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in the hard fight to stay afloat.

Kate Whoriskey directs this stunning new play about the collision of race, class, family and friendship, and the tragic, unintended costs of community without opportunity.

Sweat is produced on Broadway by Stuart Thompson and Louise Gund.

The creative team for Sweat features John Lee Beatty (scenic design), Jennifer Moeller (costume design), Peter Kaczorowski (lighting design), Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (sound design), and Jeff Sugg (projection design).

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