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Annie Baker calls Pulitzer drama win 'amazing'

Tuesday - 4/15/2014, 6:38pm  ET

This publicity photo released by The Publicity Office shows, from left, Louisa Krause, Matthew Maher and Aaron Clifton Moten, in a scene from Annie Baker’s play, "The Flick." Baker's The Flick” has won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for drama, a play set in a run-down movie theater that was hailed by the judges as a “thoughtful drama with well-crafted characters” which created “lives rarely seen on the stage.” (AP Photo/The Publicity Office, Joan Marcus)

MARK KENNEDY
AP Drama Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- 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 theater's biggest honors -- 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 honor. "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 theater. 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 theater 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 theater'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."

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Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits


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