Cost of Living
Written byMartyna Majok
Date premieredJune 29, 2016 (2016-06-29)
Place premieredWilliamstown Theatre Festival
SubjectRelationships between able and disabled persons
GenreDrama

Cost of Living is a 2016 play by playwright Martyna Majok. It premiered in Williamstown, Massachusetts at the Williamstown Theatre Festival on June 29, 2016, and had an Off-Broadway engagement in 2017. The play won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as two Lucille Lortel Awards, including Outstanding Play.

Plot

The play examines two pairs of relationships between disabled and able persons: one between a graduate student with cerebral palsy and his female caregiver and the other between a quadriplegic woman and her ex-husband.[1] Eddie is an unemployed truck driver whose ex-wife Ani became a quadriplegic following a tragic accident; while John has cerebral palsy and has hired Jess as his caregiver.[2]

Cast

Gregg Mozgala and Katy Sullivan, the actors who originated the disabled characters, have those disabilities in real life.[3]

The following tables show the casts of the principal original productions:

Role Williamstown Theatre Festival
2016[4]
New York City Center
2017[5]
Broadway
2022
Jess Rebecca Naomi Jones Jolly Abraham Kara Young
John Gregg Mozgala
Eddie Wendell Pierce Victor Williams David Zayas
Ani Katy Sullivan

Production history

Cost of Living was expanded from the 2015 two-character one-act Majok play John, Who's Here From Cambridge by adding a second couple.[6] John, Who's Here From Cambridge ran Off-Broadway from May 28 – June 20, 2015.[7] Cost of Living made its world premiere during a June 29 – July 10, 2016 run at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.[4] It then moved to New York City Center for a production by Manhattan Theatre Club that had previews beginning on May 16, 2017, and officially opened on June 7, 2017.[5] Williamstown Theatre Festival co-produced the Off-Broadway debut with the Manhattan Theatre Club.[8] In 2018, Williamstown Theatre Festival announced that they had commissioned a musical adaptation from Michael John LaChiusa.[9] The play will make its Broadway debut in fall of 2022 at Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.[10][11]

Theatre Opening Date Closing Date Perfs. Details
Williamstown Theatre Festival, Williamstown June 29, 2016 July 10, 2016 ? Premiere production
New York City Center, Off-Broadway June 7, 2017 July 16, 2017 ? Off-Broadway debut
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Broadway October 3, 2022 October 30, 2022 TBA Broadway debut

Awards and nominations

Cost of Living earned three Lucille Lortel Awards nominations on April 4, 2018.[12] It eventually won in two of the three categories, tying with School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play for Outstanding Play and earning Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Gregg Mozgala.[13] On April 16, the play earned Majok, a University of Chicago and Yale School of Drama graduate, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her work that explores "diverse perceptions of privilege and human connection through two pairs of mismatched individuals".[14] The play received 4 Outer Critics Circle Awards nominations.[15] It also received both a Drama Desk Award[16] and a Drama League Award nomination.[17] Although, Cost of Living received no Off Broadway Alliance Awards in 2018, Director Jo Bonney earned one of the Legend of Off Broadway Awards from the organization in 2018.[18]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2018 Lucille Lortel Awards Outstanding Play Martyna Majok,
Williamstown Theatre Festival,
Manhattan Theatre Club
Won
(tied with
School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play)
[12]
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Gregg Mozgala Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play Katy Sullivan Nominated
Pulitzer Prize Drama Martyna Majok Won [14]
Drama League Awards Distinguished Performance Award Katy Sullivan Nominated [17]
Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play Nominated [15]
Outstanding Actor in a Play Gregg Mozgala Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Play Katy Sullivan Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Play Jo Bonney Nominated
Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play Gregg Mozgala Nominated [16]

Notes

  1. ^ Green, Jesse (June 7, 2017). "Review: In 'Cost of Living,' a Familiar Alienation". The New York Times. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  2. ^ McPhee, Ryan (April 16, 2018). "Martyna Majok's Cost of Living Wins 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama". Playbill. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Clement, Olivia (June 13, 2017). "Why You Shouldn't Call These Actors "Differently Abled"". Playbill. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Cost of Living". WTFestival.org. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Vine, Hannah (May 31, 2017). "See the New York Premiere Martyna Majok's Cost of Living". Playbill. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  6. ^ Rooney, David (April 16, 2018). "'Cost of Living' Wins 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Collins-Hughes, Laura (June 3, 2015). "Review: At Ensemble Theater Studio. Men And Women Chatting Privately". The New York Times. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Clement, Olivia (June 7, 2017). "Cost of Living Opens June 7". Playbill. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  9. ^ Paulson, Michael (2018-07-12). "Pulitzer-Winning Play 'Cost of Living' Will Become a Musical". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-05-30.
  10. ^ Paulson, Michael (2022-04-28). "Pulitzer-Winning 'Cost of Living' Will Come to Broadway This Fall". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-05-30.
  11. ^ Kumar, Naveen (October 3, 2022). "Martyna Majok's Pulitzer-Winning Drama Makes Sensational Broadway Debut". Variety. Retrieved 2022-10-22.
  12. ^ a b Evans, Greg (April 4, 2018). "'Torch Song', 'Jerry Springer The Opera' Among Off Broadway's Lortel Awards Nominees – Complete List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  13. ^ McPhee, Ryan (May 6, 2018). "KPOP, Cost of Living, School Girls Among 2018 Lucille Lortel Award Winners". Playbill. Retrieved May 18, 2018.
  14. ^ a b Allen, Suzie (April 17, 2018). "Playwright Martyna Majok, AB'07, wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama". UChicago.edu. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "2018 Outer Critics Circle Nominations Announced". TheaterMania.com. 2018-04-24. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  16. ^ a b Cox, Gordon (April 26, 2018). "'Carousel,' 'SpongeBob SquarePants' Lead 2018 Drama Desk Nominations (Full List)". Variety. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Evans, Greg (April 18, 2018). "Broadway's 'Harry Potter', 'Mean Girls', 'Angels In America' Among Drama League Award Nominees – Complete List". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew (April 25, 2018). "Nominees Announced for 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Awards". Playbill. Retrieved May 2, 2018.