Katori Hall Wins Drama Pulitzer for ‘The Hot Wing King’

Katori Hall, who has advised stirring tales about Black life in America each onstage and onscreen, has gained the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for “The Hot Wing King,” a household dramedy that facilities on a person’s quest to make award-winning hen wings whereas private battle swirls round him.

The Off Broadway play — which had a truncated run at Pershing Square Signature Center in 2020 — drew reward for difficult typical conceptions of Black masculinity and fatherhood.

Its important character, Cordell, has lately moved into a house in Memphis together with his lover, Dwayne, whom Cordell enlists to assist him make his submission to the annual “Hot Wang Festival.” Things get sophisticated when Dwayne needs to absorb his 16-year-old nephew, whose mom died whereas being restrained by the police — a tragedy for which Dwayne blames himself.

Hall, 40, the writer of the Olivier Award-winning “The Mountaintop,” wrote a play that was stuffed with frenetic motion (stirring pots, dismembering chickens, spicing sauces), emotional exchanges and sitcom-style ribbing.

She additionally co-wrote the ebook for “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical,” which is nominated for quite a few Tony Awards (together with finest musical and finest ebook of a musical), and created the Starz drama “P-Valley,” which follows a crew of dancers at a strip membership within the Mississippi Delta. Hall is presently engaged on Season 2 of the collection, which relies on one in every of her performs.

With theaters throughout the nation closed in the course of the pandemic, the Pulitzer committee made some changes to its qualifications: Finalists have been allowed to incorporate works that have been carried out nearly or people who have been canceled or postponed in the course of the pandemic. “The Hot Wing King” opened at first of March 2020 however was not capable of end its run due to pandemic closures.

“What’s refreshing here,” Ben Brantley wrote in his assessment for The New York Times, “is the matter-of-fact depiction of Black gay characters who may be dissatisfied, to varying degrees, with their own behavior but not, ultimately, because of their sexuality.”

“Watching Cordell and Dwayne casually snuggle and kiss,” he went on, “draping their bodies over each other, you sense a bond in which erotic attraction has segued into something both more relaxed and more complex.”

The different two finalists for the prize have been “Circle Jerk,” by Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley, and “Stew,” by Zora Howard.