Kennedy Prize for Drama Goes to Hamilton

News   Kennedy Prize for Drama Goes to Hamilton
Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton, which tells the story of immigrant Founding Father Alexander Hamilton through the prism of a multi-ethnic cast and contemporary hip-hop music, has been named the 2015 winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, according to The New York Times.
Daveed Diggs and the company of <i>Hamilton</i>
Daveed Diggs and the company of Hamilton Joan Marcus

Miranda will receive an award of $100,000. The EMK Prize was created by Columbia University and Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to honor the life and legacy of her late brother, Senator Ted Kennedy. The award is presented each year on Kennedy's birthday to “a new play or musical that enlists theater’s power to explore the past of the United States.”

It's the third Kennedy Prize in a row for a play that originated at the Public Theater. Last year's winner was Suzan-Lori Parks' Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3. In 2014 it went to Dominique Morisseau's Detroit '67, which had its world premiere there, presented in association with the Classical Theater of Harlem and the National Black Theater.

The inaugural Kennedy Prize was awarded in 2013 to Robert Schenkkan's L.B.J. drama All The Way; tied with Dan O'Brien's Body of an American. Other finalists for the Kennedy Prize this year were An Octoroon by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Indecent by Paula Vogel, Sweat by Lynn Nottage and Vietgone by Qui Nguyen. The winner was determined by a jury of playwrights, musical theatre writers and scholars.

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