Jordan Harrison has just been named a Finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in the playwriting category. That in itself is cool enough, but time now for the extra-cool local spin: Jordan’s from Bainbridge Island Washington, just a hop, skip, no jump necessary from the personal HQ of our Beloved Leader, LB. When are we going to have a Pulitzer Prize winner posting on TVWriter™, boss? Huh? Huh?
by Seraine Page
Jordan Harrison still isn’t sure he’s made it big in the writing field.
That idea may seem ludicrous to most writers considering the fact that Harrison, 37, recently scored a slot among the crème de la crème in playwriting. In April, he learned his play, “Marjorie Prime,” was selected as one of the finalist pieces in the 2015 Pulitzer Prize playwriting category.
The surprise came after the playwright had already felt the success of “Marjorie Prime,” which hit the stage in Los Angeles starring big-name actress Lois Smith in the title role.
“There was no hint for it being a finalist. It was an enormous surprise,” he said in a recent telephone interview from his current location in L.A.
The play is loosely based on real-life events, but ultimately focuses on an 86-year-old woman whose dead husband ends up visiting her as a hologram. It runs 80 minutes long, allowing the audience to experience some of “the growing pains of humanity and technology” challenges.
“’Marjorie Prime is compassionate, troubling and (as anyone familiar with Jordan’s work has come to expect) beautifully written,” said Sarah Lunnie, Literary Manager of Playwrights Horizons, which will run off-Broadway performances of “Marjorie Prime” starting in November through January 2016.
“The play grapples with difficult facts of the human condition — chiefly, that the people we love and on whom we come to depend eventually will die — and explores how we might one day seek recourse in technology to stem the pain of our humanity, the pain of loss, regret and the passing of time. It’s a play that’s interested in what makes us human, and the ways in which technology does or doesn’t make it more possible to be human.”
Six months out of the year he lives in Los Angeles, and the other half is spent in Brooklyn, New York, with his husband and cat. And in addition to the Pulitzer nomination, Harrison currently writes for the popular television show “Orange Is the New Black.”