Hamilton Wins Kennedy Prize For Drama
Broadway’s mega-hit Hamilton has managed to score another accolade months before the theatre awards season in New York City has even begun. Following a fresh win on The Grammy Awards live on national television, Hamilton has been awarded yet another award that is only fitting for such a musical. The award, recognizing specifically productions about American history, also honors a late politician well-known in the United States. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that Hamilton is the 2016 recipient of the Kennedy Prize For Drama!
Created in 2013 by Columbia University and Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to honor the life of the late Senator Ted Kennedy (Pictured Right), The Kennedy Prize For Drama Inspired By American History is awarded annually to a new play or musical that enlists theater’s power to explore the past of the United States. This year, the Kennedy Prize For Drama is awarded to Hamilton, Broadway’s blockbuster hit that follows the life and legacy of founding father Alexander Hamilton. The award comes with a cash prize of $100,000. The award comes less than two weeks after Hamilton received the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album and performed via satellite on the live telecast.
The Kennedy Prize for Drama was first awarded in 2013 to Robert Schenkkan’s All The Way and Dan O’Brien’s Body Of An American. In 2014, the award was presented to Detroit ’67 by Dominique Morisseau and last year was awarded to Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3 by Suzan-Lori Parks. This year, Hamilton was nominated against An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Indecent by Paula Vogel, Sweat by Lynn Nottage and Vietgone by Qui Nguyen.
Luner Lowdown: American history and theatre have often found themselves combined bringing various tales from our nation’s past to the stage. From the founding fathers to more recent politics, the theatre has proved itself as a great setting for audiences to examine the history not only of our nation but its leading figures, known and unknown to us. It invites audiences to sit back and look on just how far we have come as a nation and yet how far we still can go. I find many people don’t realize they attend shows related to our American history. But even recently aside from Hamilton, Broadway is no stranger to musicals and plays about America’s history. Some of our most beloved theatre productions come based off of history from our nation’s past. A few examples just to make a point; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Ragtime, The Scottsboro Boys, 1776, Assassins and most recently, Hamilton. What does is say about our history musicals that have trouble surviving on stage? Is our past too hard to look at? Or are we not doing enough while writing the story of our nation?
Congratulations to Hamilton on winning the 2016 Kennedy Prize for Drama! We’re looking forward to kicking off our 2015-16 awards season soon here on the blog as the New York theatre awards season consumes our site and productions beginning lining up their accolades this season! Thanks to Joan Marcus for the photo used below! For more information, visit Hamilton’s Official Website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. (Please note; Unless a photo is noted to be taken by Luner on Theatre, we do not own/claim ownership for any photos used in this post.) And of course, check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all your theatre news you don’t only need but want to know and so much more!