Lucas Hnath’s agile writing ranges across genres and subjects with voracious curiosity; his wit, formal daring, and poetic precision crystallize dramas that are socially incisive and indelible.
Born in 1979 in Orlando, Florida, Lucas Hnath is the author of more than a dozen full-length plays, including A Doll’s House, Part 2 (2017), The Christians (2014), Red Speedo (2013), Death Tax (2012), and A Public Reading of An Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (2011). Hnath’s work confronts tough moral and philosophical questions—about topics as diverse as healthcare, capitalism, scientiﬁc rivalry, faith, and mortality—without sacriﬁcing complexity or compassion. With inﬂuences including Alfred Hitchcock, Caryl Churchill, and Gertrude Stein, Hnath’s plays often begin in small, mundane situations, that, through precisely calibrated motions of dialogue and plot, shatter outward, transforming ordinary characters into ﬁgures of near-mythic signiﬁcance. In Death Tax, for instance, an elderly woman bribes a nurse to keep her alive, while The Christians explores a crisis of leadership at a Christian megachurch. Hnath’s work has been produced nationally and internationally, including at the Playwrights Horizons, the Soho Rep, the Royal Court Theatre, the New York Theatre Workshop, and many others. A member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre and New Dramatists, and a winner of a Steinberg Playwright Award (2017), an Obie Award for Playwriting (2016), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015), he holds a BFA and an MFA from New York University, where he is an assistant professor in the Department of Dramatic Writing.
Over the past several years the Windham-Campbell Prize committee has recognized some of my favorite voices in literature. I’m simply honored and humbled to be included in their company.LUCAS HNATH