Larry Owens (center) in ‘A Strange Loop.’ (Photo: Joan Marcus)
Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The win is historic on several levels: the musical is the first to take top honors without appearing on Broadway, and its author is the first black writer to win for penning a musical.
Jackson’s musical joins an illustrious list including Hamilton, RENT, Sunday in the Park with George, among others.
“Jackson’s musical loop will hook you with rainbow brilliance — a multitude of intersecting and overlapping orbits that shatter and rebuild the LGBTQ experience,” wrote Broadway Blog critic Matthew Wexler. “A Strange Loop is a rare commodity. One can’t walk away from Jackson’s fearless work without one’s own loop spiraling in a new direction. He reminds us to stay the course and experience the ugly. Strange can be glorious.”
Wexler later interviewed director Stephen Brackett, who said, “Tonally, this piece is a wild ride to take on. Michael is a beautifully complex jumble of heart, intellect and empathy. It was important to balance all of that: the heart, yearning and ache of the piece with the fierce intellectual conversations Michael was having about identity, theater and representation on stage.”
In addition to the prestigious title, Pulitzer Prize winners also receive a $15,000 cash award. Finalists for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Drama include Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery and Soft Power by David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori. For the full list of this year’s winners, click here.