Quiara Alegría Hudes
Pulitzer Prize Winning Playwright
At A Glance
Quiara Alegría Hudes is most recently the author of The Elliot Trilogy, three standalone plays that trace the coming of age of a bright, charismatic, and haunted young man who escapes “el barrio” in Philadelphia, becomes a Marine, and in the… Read more
- A Woman's Journey
Hudes absorbed the stories of her second-grade educated grandmother, the spiritual teachings of her priestess mother, and the shrewd advice of her powerful female mentors, and forged a literary path all her own. In her own plays she has delved into the female body and spirit while in her life she has balanced changing diapers, building a marriage, service to the community, and leadership at the top of her field. In a searing, sensual, and personal presentation, Hudes discusses the spiritual and intellectual components of her feminine self and the wisdom she inherited from those who came before.
- A Writer’s Many Selves
Hudes grew up in an improbably diverse setting--a childhood and adolescence where many nationalities and religious practices intersected as a daily matter of course. How did she find the connective tissue between Vietnamese and Ethiopian neighbors, street performance artists, Quakerism, Santeria and Western classical music to forge a literary voice all her own? In a nation that is increasingly diverse and where check-boxes are incomplete tools of understanding, this bicultural artist finds energy and a new kind of American identity in the connective tissue between her many selves.
- Art and Commerce
How does an artist put food on the table? How do foundations, donors, and institutions help artists on their wildly unpredictable creative journeys? The needs of the artistic process--freedom, trial and error, long-term exploration--often conflict with the needs of foundations and institutions--return on investment, fiscal year budgeting, concrete reporting. With blatant honesty Hudes dissects the finances of a creative life and discusses how artists and their supporters can forge more organic and beneficial partnerships.
- The Latino Artist Today
How do you capture the essence of the wildly diverse, almost undefinable “Latino artist” of today? Through jokes, politics, statistics, anecdotes, and poetic passages, Hudes attempts to define the undefinable next wave of American art.
Quiara Alegría Hudes is most recently the author of The Elliot Trilogy, three standalone plays that trace the coming of age of a bright, charismatic, and haunted young man who escapes “el barrio” in Philadelphia, becomes a Marine, and in the aftermath of his service in Iraq must find his way to adulthood. Each play explores a different kind of music--Bach, Coltrane, and Puerto Rican folk music--to structure its narrative.Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue premiered at Page 73 Productions in 2006 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. Water by the Spoonful premiered at Hartford Stage Company in 2011 and won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Happiest Song Plays Last premiered at the Goodman Theatre in 2013. The plays have been produced around the country and internationally, including at Off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre.
Originally trained as a musician, Hudes has authored musicals as well, most notably the book for the Broadway musical In the Heights, which received the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical, and was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist. For the original Off-Broadway incarnation of Heights, Hudes won the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical. The touring companies of In the Heights have performed at Puerto Rico’s Centro Bellas Artes, LA’s Pantages, and Tokyo’s International Forum.
Other works include Barrio Grrrl!, a children’s musical that premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2009 and toured nationally, 26 Miles, which premiered at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2009 and was published in American Theatre Magazine, and Yemaya’s Belly, Hudes’ first play, which premiered at Portland Stage Company and received The Clauder Prize.
Hudes’s honors include the United States Artists Fontanals Fellowship, the Joyce Fellowship at the Goodman Theatre, the Aetna New Voices Fellowship at Hartford Stage, the Roe Green Award at the Cleveland Playhouse, fellowships at Sundance Theater Institute and the O’Neill Theater Center, and a residency at New Dramatists. March 16, 2014 was named “Quiara Alegría Hudes Day” in the City of Philadelphia and Mayor Rahm Emmanuel declared April 27, 2013 “Quiara Hudes Day” in Chicago.
After graduating from public school in Philadelphia, Hudes went on to receive a B.A. in music from Yale University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from Brown, where she studied with Paula Vogel. She was recently inducted into the Central High School Hall of Fame--in the first round of women to receive this honor since the school’s founding in 1836.
Hudes is on the board of Philadelphia Young Playwrights, which produced her first play in the tenth grade. She now lives in New York with her husband and children.
Quiara Alegria Hudes is no stranger to the world of music and literature. She is the author of the Tony Award-winning book for the Broadway musical “In the Heights” and recently wrote “The Elliot Trilogy,” which are three plays that follow a… Read more
Hudes studied music in college and spent a rowdy few years performing with a band before her mother sat her down and told her that she could make more impact as a writer, and that she had a duty to tell the… Read more
What’s the secret to becoming a successful playwright? A chronic case of the artistic fidgets can help — or so you might conclude after speaking with Quiara Alegría Hudes. “I’m a little restless as a writer,” the 36-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner admits,… Read more
"It was AMAZING! This was the best Harry Howard Lecture that I’ve been to, and we’ve had some great speakers. The students – even the ones who had to be there for class – all really seemed to be drawn into the world she painted... She truly was phenomenal and very kind and gracious."Terry Tripp, Vanderbilt University
"Quiara Hudes played an essential role in our convention this year, providing creative inspiration and the motivation to keep on building bridges in communities through the arts. She and her team were great to work with."Americans for the Arts