I can’t quite articulate exactly how humbling it was to read this comment on a recent NY Times website post on candidates for the Pulitzer Prize that will be announced tomorrow:
… and, oh, by the way, I just saw at Mixed Blood Theatre THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY by Kristoffer Diaz, Friday night, April 9. Welcome to the 21st Century and American Cultural Theatre. Bertolt Brecht crossed with Miguel Pinero. Bodies challenging space and object behind rhythms and poly-rhythms hurtling ideas about the American geo-political/neo-capitalism/hip hop energy with the speed and inventiveness of be bop. I know this ain’t Pulitzer fare at all but it is the future of the American theatre born and arrived full grown. Mr. Diaz and Mr. McCraney are, to paraphrase a saying, creating the path by walking it. After completing the first decade of the 21st Century a new generation is laying claim to the undiscovered territories of the imagination and finding a new kind of poetry. Steeped in the multi-cultural melting pot that has nothing to do with political correctness (an abhorrent phrase used to justify bad manners) and everything to do with all things Americana, these young brilliant writers with beautiful craft and language both pleasing to the ear and a punch in the gut, are creating a new vocabulary by asking new questions and seeking old truths. Give it to either one. If you don’t do it now, you will be trying to make up for the lack of vision the rest of their careers and they will have wonderful careers. Their audience is of age, has money, questions, and can recognize he difference between compost and just dirt. They have all arrived.
This is a follow-up, by the way, to his earlier comment about The Brother/Sister Plays. I’m honored to be connected with Tarell in this conversation. And as Marion says, Chad Deity “ain’t Pulitzer fare at all.” And to be completely honest, that saddens me to some extent. I’m not saying that I think my play is the best American play of the year. I’m saying that I don’t think my style of writing is the style of writing that is likely to even be seriously considered for an award like this. And that’s disappointing, not just to my ego, but to my sense of the kind of theater I’d love to see more often.
All that said…it’s pretty amazing to even be mentioned in this conversation, let alone by such an iconic figure in the American theater.