NEW YORK, N.Y. – Annie Baker was teaching a playwriting class at New York University when her phone exploded with rings. Her students soon learned that their teacher had just won one of theatre’s biggest honours — the Pulitzer Prize for drama. But class wasn’t over.
“I love teaching so it was actually amazing to find out and then immediately go back to being a teacher,” Baker said Tuesday, a day after the honour. “It’s really amazing. I don’t even think I’ve fully absorbed it.”
Her winning play “The Flick,” which played off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons last year, features three low-paid employees of a rundown movie theatre. It was hailed by the judges as “a hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world.”
Plans are already in the works to remount “The Flick” again in New York: Film and theatre producer Scott Rudin, who owns the option on “The Flick,” hopes to stage the play at the Barrow Street Theater with the same cast from Playwrights Horizons and the same director, Sam Gold.
“That would be so exciting. The idea of reuniting with those actors and Sam, my director, and the design team and getting to do it again would just be absolutely thrilling,” Baker said. “I hope people get to see it. That would be fun.”
Baker, 33, has a residency at the Signature Theatre in New York and is working on two plays for it — one that takes place in a bed-and-breakfast in Gettysburg, Pa., and another that’s in its early stages.
A native of Amherst, Mass., Baker has built a name for herself by creating minutely detailed worlds filled with silences and minimal information. Her other plays include “Circle Mirror Transformation,” ”Body Awareness” and “The Aliens.”
She now joins theatre’s other Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights, including August Wilson, Edward Albee, Eugene O’Neill, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Suzan-Lori Parks and Tony Kushner.
Baker said she hopes next week to take the director and cast of “The Flick” out for celebratory drinks. “I really feel like your play is only as good as the production you get,” she said. “I got a perfect director and a perfect cast.”
Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits