The Broadway show Hamilton, which has taken the US (and the world) by storm since its opening in August 2015, has been awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for drama.
This makes it the first musical to do so since 2010, when the award was received by the writers of Next To Normal. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the show, and has been working on the project for approximately seven years now, has been nominated for the prize before – for his musical In the Heights, which was co-written with Quiara Alegria Hudes, but this is his first win.
Commenting to the press, Miranda said:
“It is a tremendous honour to even be considered for this very prestigious award. Quiara [Alegria Hudes] and I were elated to have been recognized as finalists for In The Heights, so to win today for Hamilton is beyond my wildest dreams. This award is for everyone who has been a part of Hamilton’s six plus year journey. To be the ninth musical to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in its 100 year history is truly humbling for all of us. For Hamilton to now be in the same company as Of Thee I Sing, South Pacific, Fiorello!,How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, A Chorus Line, Sunday in the Park with George, Rent, and most recently Next to Normal is outside of our own comprehension. Look at where we are. Look at where we started.”
Hamilton is an R’n’B and Hip-Hop musical, based around the life of America’s first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton. The show places enormous emphasis on his immigrant roots, as well as the role that others had in his story, and the relationship between him and other key figures in American History at the time. Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired to write the musical after he picked up and subsequently read Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton.
The show has done fantastically well; winning a Grammy for its best-selling soundtrack, being sold out for months on end, winning accolade upon accolade…. It seems that it’s success is ‘Non-Stop’ and people are just ‘Helpless’ for this show. After this award however, I hope that ‘That Would Be Enough’ and that they would finally be ‘Satisfied.’
The show is hopefully due to come to the West End in 2017, and is expected to take the opening left by Billy Elliot: The Musical at the Palace Theatre.