brian yorkey

Rock musical Next to Normal, with music by Tom Kitt (left) and book/lyrics by Brian Yorkey (right), won the 2010 Pulitzer for best drama.

Before the rock musical Next to Normal was taking home Tonys (three, to be exact) and a drama Pulitzer (announced today), it was a 2002 Village Theatre creation, Feeling Electric, with book and lyrics by Issaquah’s Brian Yorkey. The story—about a bipolar mother and the effect the disease has on her family—is uncharacteristically dark for a musical…and that’s exactly why the Pulitzer board gave it top honors.

" Next to Normal grapples with mental illness in a suburban family and expands the scope of subject matter for musicals," the Pulitzer announcement reads. Village Theatre’s communications director Michelle Sanders issued a happy response to today’s news, noting that Yorkey played an integral role in VT’s recent past as associate artistic director from 2000 to 2007. The musical goes on a national tour in the next year; its run includes a stay at 5th Avenue Theatre from February 22-March 13, 2011.

Congratulations also to…

The Seattle Times staff, which won a Pulitzer for breaking news reporting for its "comprehensive coverage, in print and online, of the shooting deaths of four police officers in a coffee house and the 40-hour manhunt for the suspect."

And local finalists…

Lucia Perillo (of Port Townsend’s Copper Canyon Press), whose poetry collection Inseminating the Elephant—"often laced with humor, that examine popular culture, the limits of the human body and the tragicomic aspects of everyday experience"—won a Pulitzer.

Kirsten Grind, Jeanne Lang Jones and Alwyn Scott of the Puget Sound (Wash.) Business Journal, who won a Pulitzer for explanatory reporting for their "meticulous examination of the collapse of Washington Mutual, the biggest bank failure in U.S. history, plumbing causes and raising troubling questions about federal regulation."