Is There a Pulitzer Prize for Audience Members?

I have to agree that the late August Wilson must be lauded for completing the wildly ambitious "Century Cycle"—ten full-length, sometimes epic, plays that depict African-American life in every decade of the 20th century.

But you know what? As difficult of an achievement it may have been to write those ten plays, I swear it's more difficult to coordinate seeing all ten plays as an audience member in the course of a lifetime.

I mean, first of all, you have to live in a city that has a theater scene or travel very often to New York. Second, companies within your city have to mount productions that happen to align with all the Wilson plays you haven't caught yet. (Or Broadway touring productions have to travel through your town.) Then, the various productions' schedules have to fit your play-going availability, providing you have the funds and the transportation. That's a huge undertaking!

This weekend I drove down to South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa to catch Fences, which is now the fourth August Wilson play I've seen, after Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, and Jitney (my favorite so far). For my age, that's a lot, isn't it? Where my freaking prize?!


  1. I have heard some very very good things about this cast. Should I go? I turn to you, Prince, to guide me in the spending of my entertainment dollar.

  2. There should be a prize for audience members--and readers, and museum-goers, and people who see films that have not been promoted on a gazillion billboards. An attention span and the will to make an effort are no small achievement these days.

  3. We should all pitch in and get Prince a trophy. One for discus or something, so he can ogle it, AND feel appreciated.