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Columbia University Film Alumnus Wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Columbia University Film Alumnus Wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program graduate Ayad Akhtar ('02) has won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, for his play Disgraced.

"We are thrilled for Ayad," said Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty. "His achievement speaks to the level of writing coming out of the School of the Arts-crossing forms and disciplines."

The prize for drama is awarded to a distinguished play by an American author, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life. Disgraced tells the story of a successful corporate lawyer painfully forced to consider why he has camouflaged his Pakistani Muslim heritage for so long.

"We couldn't be more proud of Ayad's achievements since he graduated from our program," said Film Program Chair, Ira Deutchman. "As a writer, director and actor, he has proven himself to be a true renaissance man."

The other finalists nominated in the Drama category were Rapture, Blister, Burn, by Gina Gionfriddo, and 4000 Miles, by Amy Herzog. This year's judges were Peter Marks, drama critic for The Washington Post, Princeton Professor Jill Dolan, critics John Fleming and Alexis Soloski, and former Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies.

Last year, Columbia School of the Arts graduate Tracy K. Smith ('97) won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her book Life on Mars, and School of the Arts graduate Karen Russell ('06) was a finalist for the Fiction Prize.


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