Theater Talk: 'Award Season' canceled, on hold or streamed digitally

May 8, 2020

And the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for drama goes to.... a musical! (the 10th in Pulitzer history) A STRANGE LOOP, by  Michael R. Jackson, about a black, queer writer working as an usher writing a musical about a black, queer writer working as an usher writing a musical about (see above). While most spring and summer theater workshops and programs remain cancelled, a rich resource for parents is Playbill.com's "Online Resources for kids and families to get you through COVID-19" including Disney and Lincoln Center activities.


Michael R. Jackson, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his musical A STRANGE LOOP
Credit Marc J. Franklin in Playbill.com

While the Pulitzer Prizes were announced, other awards are on hold (The Tony Awards and The Chita Rivera Awards) and some are cancelled (London's Olivier Awards) and it's a mix of options including online for The Obies, the New York Drama Critics, the Lucille Lortell Awards, the Drama League, and the Bessies. And Buffalo's ARTIE Awards are "wait and see."   

Locally, the Theatre School at O’Connell & Company announced on Facebook a weekly "Table Read with a Twist" series of classic and contemporary works at 7 p.m. Thursdays in May and the Alleyway Theatre continues their live 11 a.m. "Sunday Brunch" series. 

For more about the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for drama going to a musical, A STRANGE LOOP, by Michael R. Jackson, we turn to Playbill.com to read that: "Michael R. Jackson has been named the winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his semi-autobiographical musical A STRANGE LOOP about a gay theater usher composing a musical about a gay theater usher. It's the 10th musical to win a Pulitzer following HAMILTON, NEXT TO NORMAL, RENT, SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, A CHORUS LINE, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, FIORELLO!, SOUTH PACIFIC, and OF THEE I SING. 

In addition to the Pulitzer, A STRANGE LOOP was named the Best Musical by the New York Drama Critics Circle, nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical and also recently earned six Drama Desk Award nominations. The two 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama finalists were Will Arbery's HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING and SOFT POWER (another semi-autobiographical musical) by playwright David Henry Hwang and composer Jeanine Tesori.

Additional 2020 recipients include composer Anthony Davis and librettist Richard Wesley for their opera The Central Park Five, about five young men of color wrongfully convicted of rape in 1989. (source: Playbill.com)