"The Kentucky Cycle," an epic work covering 200 years in the life of an Appalachian family, was awarded the 1992 Pulitzer Prize today as best play of the year.
The gripping nine-part, six-hour drama, written by actor-playwright Robert Schenkkan, had its world premiere last June at Intiman Theatre in Seattle and played to excellent reviews. It was staged by resident director Warner Shook and funded in part by a large grant from the Fund for New American Plays.
"The Kentucky Cycle" has also been seen this year in Los Angeles, in a well-received production at the Mark Taper Forum that closed in March. According to sources at the Intiman, possible productions in London and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., are under discussion.
The play has not appeared in New York, marking what apparently is a first. "It is safe to say that this is the first time that a play that has not played in New York has won the prize," said Osborne Elliot, acting secretary of the Pulitzer board.
Among other awards, the Pulitzer for fiction went to Jane Smiley for "A Thousand Acres."
For history, Mark E. Neely Jr. won for "The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties." The winner for general nonfiction went to Daniel Yergin for "The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power."
The Pulitzer in biography went to Lewis B. Puller Jr. for "Fortunate Son: The Healing of a Vietnam Vet." The poetry award was given to James Tate for "Selected Poems," and the music prize went to Wayne Peterson for "The Face of the Night, The Heart of the Dark."
A special Pulitzer went to Art Spiegelman for "Maus."
The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism were awarded to the following:
-- The Sacramento Bee won the 1992 Pulitzer for public-service journalism for "The Sierra In Peril." The reporter was Tom Knudson.
-- The Pulitzer for spot news reporting was awarded to the staff of New York Newsday for coverage of the subway derailment that left five passengers dead and more than 200 injured.
-- Lorraine Adams and Dan Malone of The Dallas Morning News won the investigative-reporting prize for reports that charged Texas police with extensive misconduct and abuses of power.
-- The prize in explanatory journalism was awarded to Robert S. Capers and Eric Lipton of The Hartford (Conn.) Courant for a series about the flawed Hubble space telescope.
-- Deborah Blum of The Sacramento Bee won the beat-reporting prize for her series, "The Monkey Wars," which explored the complex ethical and moral questions surrounding primate research.
-- Jeff Taylor and Mike McGraw of The Kansas City Star won the Pulitzer for national reporting for their critical examination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
-- The international reporting prize went to Patrick J. Sloyan of Newsday for his reporting on the Persian Gulf War. The reporting was conducted after the war was over and revealed new details of "friendly fire" incidents.
-- Howell Raines of The New York Times won in feature writing for "Grady's Gift," an account of the writer's childhood friendship with his family's black housekeepers. The story appeared in The New York Times Magazine.
-- Anna Quindlen of The New York Times won the commentary prize for her columns on a range of personal and political topics.
-- There was no award for criticism.
-- The Pulitzer for editorial writing was awarded to Maria Henson of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader for her editorials about battered women in Kentucky.
-- The editorial-cartooning prize was won by Signe Wilkinson of the Philadelphia Daily News.
-- The spot news photography prize was awarded to the staff of The Associated Press for photos of the attempted coup in Russia and the collapse of the Communist regime.
-- John Kaplan of Block Newspapers of Toledo, Ohio, won the feature-photography prize for his photos depicting the diverse lifestyles of seven 21-year-olds across the nation.
The winners were announced by Columbia University, which administers the Pulitzer competition. Each award carries a cash prize of $3,000 except the public-service award, which comes with a gold medal. It was the 76th year the prizes were given.
Material from The Associated Press and Reuters is included in this story.