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Quiara Alegría Hudes’s ‘Water by the Spoonful’ Wins Pulitzer for Drama

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Quiara Alegría Hudes’s ‘Water by the Spoonful’ Wins Pulitzer for Drama
Photo Source: Hartford Stage Company
The 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to “Water by the Spoonful,” a play by Quiara Alegría Hudes that tells the story of a young Iraq War veteran’s search for meaning after returning home to Philadelphia, on Monday. The play, which premiered in October 2011 at the Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut, was one of three finalists nominated for the award, along with Jon Robin Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities” and Stephen Karam’s “Sons of the Prophet.”

Hudes is perhaps best known for writing the book of the 2008 Broadway musical “In the Heights,” which won four Tony Awards in 2008 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer in 2009. But the 33 year-old playwright gained recognition even earlier with her 2006 play, “Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue.” That, too, was a finalist for the Pulitzer, and sparked “Water by the Spoonful,” the second play in a trilogy focusing on a 19 year-old Marine. Initially, Hudes had no intention of writing a trilogy, but after working on “In the Heights,” she decided to revisit the characters in “Elliot.”

“I started missing the work and the collaboration I had with ‘Elliot,’” she told the Hartford Courant in October, just one week after “Water by the Spoonful” premiered. “I knew the second part of the trilogy was going to be about addiction and recovery, but with an emphasis on recovery.”

The third play in the trilogy, “The Happiest Song Plays Last,” is slated to premiere in April 2013 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Hudes is reportedly working on a musical as well, an adaptation of Mexican writer Laura Esquivel’s 1989 novel, “Like Water for Chocolate.”

While Hudes has found success in regional theater, the other finalists for this year’s Pulitzer premiered in New York. Karam’s “Sons of the Prophet” enjoyed an Off-Broadway run at the Roundabout Theater in late 2011, while Baitz’s “Other Desert Cities” is currently playing at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. This was Karam’s first time as a finalist for the Pulitzer. Baitz was recognized as a finalist in 1996 for his play, “ A Fair Country.”

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