Next to Normal, the rock musical by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, has beaten out all the expected winners for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and been named the winner of that award. The musical tells the story of a mother who struggles with bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family.
The award is given each year to a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life to new plays that opened during the preceding year and includes a $10,000 prize. Next to Normal joins a select few other musicals who have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama: these are RENT, Sunday in the Park With George, A Chorus Line, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Fiorello!, South Pacific and Of Thee I Sing.
Plays that led the race for the Pulitzer this year included: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph, and In the Next Room or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl. This years assessment panel consisted of Charles McNulty, John M. Clum, Nilo Cruz, David Rooney and Hedy Weiss.