Katori Hall’s “The Hot Wing King” was awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Drama Friday.
The play, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, made its world premiere Off-Broadway in February 2020 at Signature Theatre Company, but had its run cut short by the pandemic. This year, the Pulitzer Prize board considered works that were postponed or cancelled as well as shows streamed online.
The streamed production of “Circle Jerk” by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley and Zora Howard’s “Stew,” which premiered at Soho Rep’s Walkerspace in January 2020, were finalists in the category.
This is the first Pulitzer Prize for Hall, who is also the book writer “Tina” on Broadway, playwright of “The Mountaintop” and executive producer and showrunner of television show “P-VALLEY.” “The Hot Wing King” centers on two gay, Black men who prepare to enter a wing festival in Memphis, Tenn.
The Pulitzer Prize board called the play “a funny, deeply felt consideration of Black masculinity and how it is perceived filtered through the experiences of a loving gay couple and their extended family as they prepare for a culinary competition.”
Recent winners in the Drama category include Michael R. Jackson’s “A Strange Loop,” which won the 2020 prize, “Fairview” by Jackie Sibblies Drury, “Cost of Living” by Martyna Majok and “Sweat” by Lynn Nottage.