50 Years of Pulitzer Prize for Drama Winners: A By The Numbers Infographic

My staff and I got into a conversation at our last Fun Food Friday (every so often, we order pizza on Fridays and shoot the sausage and peppers) all about the Pulitzer.

What kind of shows win the Pulitzer?  Did shows have to play on Broadway to win the Prize?  Who wrote them?  Is there a trend that we could discover that could help all those writers out there that want the coveted award?

And when there are this many questions, that can only mean one thing!


We googled like crazy and crunched up the data and out came the infographic below all about the most coveted prize in Drama.

And now I’m going to shut up and let the infographic speak for itself.

Enjoy everything you ever wanted to know about the last 50 Years of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama!


50 Years of Pulitzer Winners (6)


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

– – – – –


– Need help Getting Your Show Off the Ground? Sign up for my online seminar on 7/15! Click here to purchase a participant spot. Click here to purchase an audit spot.

– Win 2 tickets to see Amazing Grace on Broadway!  Click here.

– Sign up for our annual Collaborator Speed Date!  Click here.
  • Daniel says:

    I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to say that no woman has won the award more than once, given that only two playwrights ever have. It’s probably more interesting to point out that the first time a woman won was only the third time it was awarded.

    I am heartened to see, though, that the proportion of female winners since the turn of the century has improved. Dare we hope for parity by mid-century?

  • To follow up on Daniel’s comment, it’s good to see things are improving in this millenium not just for women, but people of color. Perhaps not surprisingly, way more plays than musicals have won. Wikipedia shows 8 (?) musicals have won and it’s interesting to see which ones have the “dramatic” appeal. Thanks for this post!

  • David Merrick Jr says:

    You guys sure do have a lot of time on your hands…

  • Joe Marino says:

    While this is a fun infographic, I’m perplexed why did you guys only look at the last 50 years. I have read and/or seen all of the award winners. The award was originally started in 1917 (but no one won that year- FUN FACT). As a matter of fact, there have been (15) years when no award was given. Also, by only going back 50 years, your info is misleading. America’s greatest author, Eugene O’Neill won the award 4 times (!) in his career. You’d also see that Thorton Wilder and Tenessee WIlliams won the award twice as well not to mention perhaps lesser known names today as George Kaufman and Robert Sherwood (who won 3 times).
    The earlier works are a treasure trove of American theater and I emplore you to seek some of them out. There’s gold in them there… libraries… and I bet people would love them. Ken, here’s my personal challenge to you to find one of these buried treasures and revive it on Broadway . (Contact me: I’ve got suggestions).

  • I checked the Pulitzer website and in fact 8 musicals have won the prize. So I’m curious if and how that would change the Infographic at all…?

    Of Thee I Sing (1932)
    South Pacific (1950)
    Fiorello! (1960)
    How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1962)
    A Chorus Line (1976)
    Sunday in the Park with George (1985)
    Rent (1996)
    Next to Normal (2010)

  • Dan Radakovich says:

    Why limit it to just the past 50, it was not begun too long before then and via revivals many are redone in the period covered[but are ineligible to win again then]. For example, the other book by the guy whose novel I adapted, Vern Sneider, won it in 1952 for Teahouse of the August Moon[the late John Patrick adapted that one], I believe it falls inyo ye same essential parameters though. Of course King from Ashtabula was a better book, but JP was spooked from doing it then by rumours Sneider was a communist sympathizer from his second novel on Taiwan and how the Nationalists brutally treated the natives, doing exactly what Mao was doing on the mainland to them. However it can be argued he regrettably got unspooked for the musical variant 6 years later-grin! But it would be interesting to see whether more of the earlier choices got made into films thanthe later set.

  • Craig says:

    Robert Sherwood and Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams also won multiple Pulitzers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *