Blog About the Playwright — Lynn Nottage
Jan 5, 2024

About the Playwright — Lynn Nottage

Playwright and screenwriter Lynn Nottage is the first, and remains the only, woman to have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice: in 2009 for her play Ruined, and in 2017 for her play Sweat. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world – including here, at Arizona Theatre Company. ATC co-produced Crumbs From The Table of Joy in 2000 with Dallas Theatre Center, for which Nottage did a Phoenix residency.

Most recently, Nottage premiered MJ the Musical at the Neil Simon Theater on Broadway, Clyde’s at Second Stage Theater on Broadway, and an opera adaptation of her play Intimate Apparel commissioned by The Met/Lincoln Center Theater.

Her other work includes Floyd’s (retitled Clyde’s) (Guthrie Theater), the musical adaptation of Sue Monk Kidd’s novel The Secret Life of Bees, (The Almeida Theatre/The Atlantic Theater), Mlima’s Tale (Public Theater), By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Lilly Award, Drama Desk Nomination; Second Stage/Signature Theater), Ruined (Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Lucille Lortel, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, Audelco, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Award; MTC/Goodman Theater); Intimate Apparel (American Theatre Critics and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Play; Center Stage/SCR/Roundabout Theater); Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine (OBIE Award; Playwrights Horizons/Signature Theater); Crumbs from the Table of Joy; Las Meninas; Mud, River, Stone; Por’knockers; and POOF!

Her play Sweat (Pulitzer Prize, Evening Standard Award, Obie Award, Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Tony Nomination, Drama Desk Nomination) moved to Broadway after a sold-out run at The Public Theater. It premiered and was commissioned by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival American Revolutions History Cycle/Arena Stage. Inspired by her research for Sweat, Nottage developed This is Reading, a performance installation based on two years of interviews at the Franklin Street Reading Railroad Station in Reading, Penn., in July 2017.

She is the co-founder of the production company Market Road Films, whose most recent projects include the award-winning documentary Takeover (NY Times, Op-doc), the Peabody nominated podcast Unfinished: Deep South (Stitcher), The Notorious Mr. Bout (Premiere; Sundance 2014), First to Fall (Premiere; IDFA 2013) and Remote Control (Premiere; Busan 2013, New Currents Award). Over the years, she has developed original projects for Amazon, HBO, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Showtime, This is That and Harpo. She was a writer and producer on the Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It directed by Spike Lee, and she was a consulting producer on the third season of Dickinson (Apple TV+).

Nottage is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, Steinberg “Mimi” Distinguished Playwright Award, PEN/Laura Pels Master Playwright Award, William Inge Festival Distinguished Playwright, TIME 100 (2019), (among other awards). She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama. She is also a Professor of Theatre Arts in the Theatre Department at Columbia School of the Arts. She is currently an artist-in-residence at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.