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Bruce Norris' 'Clybourne Park' wins Pulitzer Prize for drama

April 18, 2011 | 12:43 pm


Bruce Norris' "Clybourne Park" -- a dramatic imagining of events taking place before and after Lorraine Hansberry's classic "A Raisin in the Sun" -- won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for drama. The award was announced Monday in New York.

"Clybourne Park" was produced at New York's Playwrights Horizons in 2010 and at the Royal Court Theatre in London. The  American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco produced the play this year. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Norris said that "people think that the only thing my plays are about is exposing hypocritical liberals.... And what's usually missing from this assessment, among other things, is that I'm something of a hypocritical liberal too. So I'm not just trying to unmask them. I'm trying to unmask me."

Times theater critic Charles McNulty wrote in his review of "Clybourne Park" that Norris is "a realist with a chip on his shoulder, [who] doesn’t allocate much room for love, but his sneaky humor makes the disquieting truths he unearths easier to bear."

Norris has had a long association with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, which has produced many of his dramas.  His other plays include "The Pain and the Itch," "The Unmentionables" and "We All Went Down to Amsterdam."

The other finalists for this year's drama prize were: "Detroit" by Lisa D'Amour and "A Free Man of Color" by John Guare. Last year's prize went to the musical "Next to Normal."

-- David Ng

Photo: Bruce Norris. Credit: Evren Odcikin / ACT