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A Pulitzer juror speaks out against drama prize

April 12, 2010 |  3:26 pm
NTN It's not common, though not unheard of, for the Pulitzer judges to ignore the recommendations of the Pulitzer committee. This year's drama award did just that and the chair of this year's jury -- Times theater critic Charles McNulty -- is not happy about it.

In honoring “Next to Normal,” Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s musical about a household grappling with a mother’s mental illness, the mandarins at Columbia University’s Journalism School, where the prizes are administered, ignored the advice of its drama jury in favor of its own sentiments, McNulty writes.

In a frank column, McNulty says that two points, in particular, rankle: the blinkered New York mentality and the failure to appreciate new directions in playwriting. The board had an opportunity to correct these long standing shortcomings, and it blew it. 

Click here to read McNulty's entire column.

-- Sherry Stern

Photo: Aaron Tveit, left, Alice Ripley, center, and J. Robert Spencer in a scene from "Next to Normal," playing at Broadway's Booth Theatre in New York. Credit: AP Photo/Barlow Hartman Public Relations, Joan Marcus