Pulitzer Win a ‘Total Surprise’ to ‘Heidi Chronicles’ Playwright

Winning the Pulitzer Prize for drama for her “Heidi Chronicles” was “a total surprise,” said Wendy Wasserstein in a brief telephone interview Thursday. “One doesn’t know how these things work. I didn’t even know if I was nominated.”

But she feels “really honored” by the award.

“The Heidi Chronicles,” which covers a woman art historian’s life from 1964 to the present, has been classified with several other plays in New York this year as “yuppie plays,” but Wasserstein, 38, drew a generational distinction between hers and the others. “Mine is more about the baby-boom generation, which is about 10 years older than the yuppies,” she said. “And I wrote one character who is an urban young professional, but no one likes him.”

There are no plans yet for a Los Angeles production of “The Heidi Chronicles,” but Wasserstein said Susan Dietz--who produced her plays “Uncommon Women and Others” and “Isn’t It Romantic?” here and now runs the Pasadena Playhouse--would be a likely producer. “I’ve always enjoyed L.A.,” she added.


Wasserstein’s plays haven’t found great favor with the Hollywood powers, either. “Uncommon Women” was staged for public television in 1978, but no movie has yet been made of the extremely popular “Isn’t It Romantic?,” which played here in 1984. Wasserstein views that neglect philosophically: “As my friend Christopher Durang says (about Hollywood): ‘It’s all random. . . .’ ”