Hilton Als, the theatre critic for The New Yorker, has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.
Als became a staff writer for The New Yorker in 1994 and a theatre critic in 2002. Week after week, he brings to the magazine a rigorous, sharp, and lyrical perspective on acting, playwriting, and directing. With his deep knowledge of the history of performance—not only in theatre but in dance, music, and visual art—he not only shows us how to view a production but how to place its director, its author, and its performers in the ongoing continuum of dramatic art. His reviews are not simply reviews; they are provocative contributions to the discourse on theatre, race, class, sexuality, and identity in America.
Here are the ten pieces by Als, from 2016, that were part of the prize-winning submission to the Pulitzer committee:
“Dreamgirls”: John Doyle’s fresh and vital revival of “The Color Purple.”
“Bookworms”: A stage adaptation of “2666.”
“The Night Crawlers”: Down and out in Eugene O’Neill’s “Hughie.”
“Betrothed”: A marriage of cultures in “Familiar.”
“My Old Sweetheart”: Revisiting the traumas of the past in “Blackbird.”
“Legends”: Recriminations and regrets in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night.”
“Conversation Piece”: Two shows raise questions about the value of speech in storytelling.
“Showoffs”: Life, death, and telling all, in “Duat,” “A Life,” “The Front Page,” and “Falsettos.”
“Worked”: In “Sweat,” Lynn Nottage makes the recognizable unrecognizable—which is to say, she makes it art.
“Bullies”: The musical “Dear Evan Hansen,” directed by Michael Greif, is a profound evocation of how the need to belong can be as ugly as the need to exclude.