Playwright Lynn Nottage is having the Best. Year. Ever! Fresh off the opening of her Broadway debut play, Sweat, the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner can now claim the title of two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, having newly claimed the prize for 2017 as well.

Now playing at Studio 54 after a sold-out run at The Public, Sweat dramatizes the realities of a dwindling American industry and economic uncertainty. Don’t be fooled though—this play isn’t about 2017. The story focuses on a group of blue-collar friends employed at a factory in Reading, Pennsylvania in 2000. The group’s dynamic changes when one of them is offered a promotion at the plant, and management decisions threaten their job security.

As the story unfolds, trust is questioned, fights are had, and both metaphoric and honest-to-goodness blood is shed. It boldly tackles the fear of being left behind in a broken economy, industrial decline and gives voice to middle-to-low income earners, who are rarely represented on stage.

Nottage’s second win is historical in itself: She is the first female playwright to win the esteemed award twice. Like the story behind Sweat, history often repeats itself.

With slick direction by Kate Whorisky—a frequent collaborator of Nottage—and featuring a strong and electrifying ensemble cast, Sweat is one of the timeliest pieces on Broadway this season. It’s not to be missed!

 

Photos: Joan Marcus