Cynthia Nixon and John Slattery in Rabbit Hole
(© Joan Marcus)
Cynthia Nixon and John Slattery in Rabbit Hole
(© Joan Marcus)
David Lindsay-Abaire's drama Rabbit Hole, which debuted last year at Manhattan Theatre Club's Biltmore Theatre, has won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play concerns a middle-aged couple coping with the accidental death of their young son.

Lindsay-Abaire's other works include Kimberly Akimbo, Fuddy Meers, and Wonder of the World, all of which were also produced Off-Broadway at MTC. The Biltmore production of Rabbit Hole starred Cynthia Nixon (who won the Tony Award for Best Actress for her performance), John Slattery, and Tyne Daly. It was directed by Daniel Sullivan.

Three lesser-known plays, Orpheus X by Rinde Eckert, Bulrusher by Eisa Davis, and Elliot, a Soldier's Fugue by Quiara Alegria Hudes, were named as finalists. However, the Pulitzer Board overruled the jury's decision after none of those three plays received the majority of votes. The jury included Ben Brantley (chief drama critic, New York Times), Kimberly W. Benston (professor of English at Haverford College), Karen D'Souza (Drama Critic for the San Jose Mercury News), Rohan Preston (theater critic for the Star Tribune of Minneapolis-St. Paul), and Paula Vogel (playwright, professor of English at Brown University).

In an interview with TheaterMania, Lindsay-Abaire said he was shocked to win the award, in part because someone told him that if he had been a finalist, he would have received a call on Friday. As for winning the Pulitzer in such an unusual fashion -- which required receiving three-quarters of the votes from the Pulitzer Board -- he says, "I've sat on boards where you have to pick plays, and I know how arbitrary it can be. This time, I just got lucky. And, in some ways, not being a finalist makes it sweeter that I won."

Lindsay-Abaire was in the middle of his work day, which currently consists of getting ready for a workshop reading of the musical Shrek and working on the screenplay for Rabbit Hole (which will star Nicole Kidman), when he received the news via phone from publicist Chris Boneau. "I have no idea how this will change my life, though I imagine my obituary will now be different," he says. "I am going to just keep doing work. But I don't any see downside to being a Pulitzer winner."

In other Pulitzer news, Lawrence Wright won in the Non-Fiction category for The Looming Tower, which is the basis of his recent solo show My Trip to Al-Qaeda; Cormac McCarthy won in the Fiction category for The Road; and Ornette Colman won in the Music category for Sound Grammar. Special citations were given to author Ray Bradbury and musician John Coltrane. The New York Times, The Daily News, Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and The Miami Herald all picked up awards in journalism categories.

For a complete list of winners, visit www.pulitzer.org.