"Sweat" marks the fourth play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright to be produced at the Goodman. Here is a look back at her previous works.
Lynn Nottage sets her play "Sweat" in Reading, Pennsylvania—a once-prosperous city 48 miles northwest of Philadelphia—captivated by its early 21st century economic struggles. Reading’s story, from its earliest pre-Revolutionary beginnings to its apex in the 1930s to its current state of economic decline, mirrors that of many cities across the nation that have undergone sweeping changes in their economic landscapes.
As historians often try to make clear, the us-and-them divisiveness that defines American life today did not spring full-blown from the election of 2016: our cultural discord goes back decades. And while its causes are varied, the threads of race and the economy are woven deep into the fabric of this dilemma. With "Sweat"—for which she won her second Pulitzer Prize—playwright Lynn Nottage unravels these knots and reminds us that so much of what sets us at odds is often beyond our control.