bio

Quiara Alegría Hudes

 
 

    Quiara Alegría Hudes is most recently the author of The Elliot Plays, three standalone dramas that trace the coming of age of a bright, charismatic, and haunted young man who escapes “el barrio” in Philadelphia, becomes a Marine, and after his service in Iraq finds 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 two Off-Broadway premieres at Second Stage Theatre, and productions in Armenia, Germany, Brazil, Puerto Rico, and beyond.

    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. In the Heights has been produced around the globe including London’s Southwark Playhouse, Puerto Rico’s Centro Bellas Artes, LA’s Pantages, Tokyo’s International Forum, and Atlantis Productions in the Phillippines.

    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 group 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.