Apr 14, 2014

Shaking in the Grass

The 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Drama has just been announced, and I'm so happy to hear it went to Annie Baker's The Flick, I played I thoroughly enjoyed and admired. I don't know how Annie got the news or what she's up to today, but I happened to be interviewing Quiara Alegria Hudes recently for another publication; she was the only playwright on this year's Pulitzer committee, and she won the award, quite unexpectedly, in 2012 for Water by the Spoonful. Here's how she found out, and how she reacted:
The play had only been done at Hartford Stage Company. I guess maybe I asked, "Did you guys submit it?" But it was far from my radar. I didn't even know it was the day the Pulitzer was announced. I was at Wesleyan teaching, and my phone was off, which is when it got announced. My class was three hours long there. So everyone knew before me. I had so many voice mails from my husband and my agent. There are all these weird, hysterical messages--it's funny, I've saved them, and my husband gets so mad about that, he sounds like he's hyperventilating. The way he found out is he was looking at the New York Times site, and he was like, "Whaaat???" And his friend came in from the office next door and said, "I think I just saw your wife's name." He was like, "Oh my God!"

No one from the committee calls to tell you the news?

No, they just release it to the press. You find out when the world finds out, and in my case I found out after the world found out. Then everyone's calling me, and I'm in Connecticut and I have to drive home. And usually for me the drive is really relaxing; I put on music and I take the country roads. My husband was like, "You gotta come home, we gotta celebrate!" And I was like, "I can't come home right now, I will crash the car." So I just sat in the grass at Wesleyan for a few hours until I was kind of calmer, and then I got in the car and drove home. It was amazing. By the time I got home, a few friends were already here. We celebrated that night.

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