Why See ?
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Following its sell-out run at the Public Theater, Lynn Nottage sees her acclaimed drama and 2017 Tony Award nominee for Best Play about the decline of industry transfer to Broadway's Studio 54. A searing portrayal of a group of friends pitted against each other in order to save their jobs amidst cutbacks, Nottage's work has been described by critics as incredibly timely for the state of employment in America. Sweat was awarded the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, making Nottage the first female playwright to win the prestigious award twice, following her 2009 win for Ruined.
Part murder mystery, part human drama, Sweat is set against a backdrop of a rapidly changing America, flashing backwards and forwards over the course of eight years as it traces the socio-economic woes of a group of factory workers whose community is shaken by a brutal crime.
What is it about?
America at the start of 2000 is a landscape of industrial decay, with lay-offs and factory closures decimating working class communities across the country. It's a desperate situation which spurs on reckless actions, and two friends, Jason and Chris, are sent to jail for taking part in a violent crime. Eight years later they're released, and find their old hometown to be a very different place. The pair head to a local bar where they meet up with friends and family, and as they all discuss the economic woes of their hometown, the real story of Jason and Chris's crimes is revealed.
A runaway success
Sweat was co-commissioned by both DC's Arena Stage and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, debuting in Oregon in 2015. It was originally directed by Kate Whoriskey, who aided Nottage in interviewing many inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Reading in the course of researching the play, and who returns to direct this New York staging.
Performance date: 1 January 1970
Suitable for ages 14+
Two hours and 25 minutes, including one intermission
Cast and Creative
John Earl Jelks
Lance Coadie Williams
Written by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Kate Whoriskey
Produced by Stuart Thompson Productions
2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
2017 TONY AWARD NOMINATIONS
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play - Johanna Day
Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play - Michelle Wilson
2017 Drama Desk Nominations
Outstanding Fight Choreography
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