Eboni Booth's Primary Trust Wins 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Drama | Playbill

Awards Eboni Booth's Primary Trust Wins 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Finalists included Moisés Kaufman and Amanda Gronich's Here There Are Blueberries and Shayok Misha Chowdhury's Public Obscenities.

Jay O. Sanders, William Jackson Harper, and Eric Berryman in Primary Trust Joan Marcus

The 2024 Pulitzer Prizes were revealed May 6, with the Drama category going to Eboni Booth for her play Primary Trust. The work made its world premiere last year Off-Broadway via Roundabout Theatre Company.

Finalists for the honor included Moisés Kaufman and Amanda Gronich's Here There Are Blueberries and Shayok Misha Chowdhury's Public Obscenities.

Primary Trust centers on a recently laid-off bookstore employee who is encouraged by a tiki bar waiter to try something new. Knud Adams directed the 2023 staging, which starred William Jackson Harper, April Matthis, Eric Berryman, Jay O. Sanders, and Luke Wygodny.

Public Obscenities made its world premiere in 2023 as a co-production of Soho Rep and NAATCO, both of which also commissioned the work. The play follows a queer studies Ph.D. student named Choton who is visiting his aunt and uncle in Kolkata while on a research trip for an academic project recording the slang of Kolkata’s local queer community. The play explores the idea of what Chowdhury calls “quiet disorientation.”

Here There Are Blueberries, currently in previews Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, was first produced in 2022 at La Jolla Playhouse, and ran at Shakespeare Theatre Company in 2023. The work explores an album of never-before-seen World War II-era photographs found on the desk of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum archivist Rebecca Erbelding, and the shocking story of true events behind them intersecting with the Holocaust and the lives of Nazi descendants. Kaufman and Gronich are credited as co-authors. The project was devised with Scott Barrow, Amy Marie Seidel, Frances Uku, Grant James Varjas, and members of Tectonic Theatre Project.

The Pulitzer Prize for Drama most frequently is awarded to an American play, though 2019 winner A Strange Loop is one of 10 musicals to take the honor since it was first awarded in 1917. Last year's winner was Sanaz Toossi's English, which is scheduled to get a Broadway premiere in 2025 via Roundabout Theatre Company. Previous winners include James IjamesFat HamKatori Hall's The Hot Wing King, Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview, Martyna Majok's Cost of Living (also a 2023 Tony Award nominee for Best Play), and Lynn Nottage's Sweat.

The Drama prize is decided by a jury comprising three critics, an academic, and a playwright who attend plays in New York and at regional theatres across the country. The production is allowed to factor into the judges' decision-making, though the award is bestowed on the work's playwright alone. This year's jury included Janice Simpson (chair), Lisa Fung, Lily Janiak, Tracy Letts, and Chay Yew.

Check Out Photos of Roundabout Theatre Company's Primary Trust

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