Quiara Alegría Hudes

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Quiara Alegría Hudes
Meet Quiara Alegría Hudes with her new book, My Broken Language 15m.jpg
Born1977 (age 44–45)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Notable worksIn the Heights
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize for Drama
2012 Water by the Spoonful
Years active2003–present

Quiara Alegría Hudes (born 1977) is an American playwright, producer, lyricist and essayist. She is best known for writing the book for the musical In the Heights, and screenplay for its film adaptation. Hudes' play Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue was a finalist for the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; she received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hudes was born in 1977 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[2] to a Jewish father and a Puerto Rican mother.[3] They raised her in West Philadelphia, where she began composing music and writing.[4] She studied at the Mary Louise Curtis Branch of Settlement Music School, taking piano lessons with Dolly Krasnopolsky.[5] She has stated that although she is of "Puerto Rican and Jewish blood", she was "raised by two Puerto Rican parents." Her step-father was a Puerto Rican entrepreneur.[6]

Hudes graduated from Philadelphia's Central High School. She studied music composition at Yale University, where she earned her BA in 1999.[7] She subsequently attended Brown University, where she received an MFA in playwriting in 2004.[8] She is a resident writer at New Dramatists and a previous Page 73 Playwriting Fellow.

In 2012, Hudes was a visiting playwright at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. She returned in 2014, serving as the Shapiro Distinguished Professor of Writing and Theater until 2017.[9]


The original Off-Broadway production of In the Heights received the Lucille Lortel Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical.[10] It was named Best Musical of 2007 by New York Magazine and Best of 2007 by The New York Times, and garnered Hudes an HOLA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors.

In 2010, she was named a Fellow by United States Artists.[11] Hudes's first children's book, In My Neighborhood, was published by Arthur Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc, in 2010.

On October 27, 2011, Quiara Alegría Hudes was the first Latin woman to be inducted into Central High School's Alumni Hall of Fame. In October 2016, a new musical Hudes wrote along with singer/songwriter Erin McKeown titled Miss You Like Hell opened at the La Jolla Playhouse directed by Lear deBessonet and starring Daphne Rubin-Vega.[12]

On December 14, 2016,[13] Hudes was announced as the screenwriter for Lin-Manuel Miranda's animated movie Vivo.

Plays and musicals[edit]

Yemaya's Belly[edit]

Hudes' first play, Yemaya's Belly, received the 2003 Clauder Competition for New England Playwriting, the Paula Vogel Award in Playwriting, and the Kennedy Center/ACTF Latina Playwriting Award and had productions at the Portland Stage Company (2005), the Signature Theatre (2005),[14] and Miracle Theatre (2004).[15][16]

Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue[edit]

Elliot, a Soldier's Fugue was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2007.[17] The play premiered at Page 73 Productions at the Off-Broadway Culture Project in 2006,[18] and ran at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia in 2006.[19][20] The New York Times reviewer wrote that the play was a "rare and rewarding thing: a theater work that succeeds on every level, while creating something new."[18]

26 Miles[edit]

Her play 26 Miles received its world premiere at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta in March 2009, directed by Kent Gash.[21]

Barrio Grrrrl![edit]

Her children's musical Barrio Grrrrl! appeared at The Kennedy Center in 2009.

In the Heights[edit]

The hit Broadway musical with lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical and was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[17] Hudes also wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation, which premiered in 2021.

Water by the Spoonful[edit]

In 2012, Water by the Spoonful, which returns to the characters in Elliot, won the Pulitzer Prize after its premiere at the Hartford Stage Company.[22][17] In this play Hudes attempts to bring two worlds together through technology and reality. Water by the Spoonful consists of multiple scenes that take place in an online chat room and in the real world with face to face interaction. As the play develops, Hudes brings the two worlds together by creating turning points in the play along with connecting characters from different worlds to each other in different ways.

The Happiest Song Plays Last[edit]

The Happiest Song Plays Last, the third in the Elliot trilogy, received its world premiere at the Goodman Theater in Chicago on April 13, 2013,[23][24] and Off-Broadway at Second Stage in March 2014.[25] The production then moved to Second Stage Theatre, and the production team included Ruben Santiago-Hudson as director, Michael Carnahan as set designer, Karen Perry as costume designer, Rui Rita as lighting designer, and Leon Rothenberg as sound designer.[26]

Lulu's Golden Shoes[edit]

Lulu's Golden Shoes was produced by Flashpoint Theater Company in Philadelphia in 2015.[27]

The Good Peaches[edit]

Originally performed by 56 orchestral musicians, three actors, and eight dancers, The Good Peaches is a "girl versus nature musical play."[28] It was performed in April 2016 at the Cleveland Play House.[29]

Daphne's Dive[edit]

Daphne’s Dive premiered Off-Broadway at the Signature Theater on May 16, 2016, directed by Thomas Kail and featuring Samira Wiley, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Vanessa Aspillaga and Carlos Gomez.[30]

Miss You Like Hell[edit]

A musical by Quiara Alegría Hudes and Erin McKeown, Miss You Like Hell premiered at La Jolla Playhouse in fall of 2016. Called "An immigration musical for the new Trump era..." by the LA Times,[31] the play is about a mother and daughter traveling across the country for seven days and addressing their fractured relationship.


Hudes was the screenwriter for Lin-Manuel Miranda's animated musical movie Vivo which was released on Netflix on August 6, 2021.


Year Title Writer Producer Notes
2021 In the Heights Yes Yes Based on the musical book by her and Lin-Manuel Miranda; also cameos in "Finale"
Vivo Yes No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gardley, Marcus (August 1, 2012). "Music is her Muse: Quiara Alegría Hudes and her Path to the Pulitzer". The Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  2. ^ Soloski, Alexis (2012-11-28). "A Family's Story Spans a Trilogy, and Beyond". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  3. ^ Jones, Kenneth (September 17, 2013), "26 Miles, Quiara Hudes' Mother-Daughter Road-Trip Tale, Gets Chicago Premiere Starting Oct. 16", Playbill.com: News: U.S./Canada, Playbill, Inc., archived from the original on September 21, 2010, retrieved December 15, 2016
  4. ^ Pincus-Roth, Zachary. "ASK PLAYBILL.COM: Those Pulitzer Finalists." Archived December 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Playbill.com April 20, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2010.
  5. ^ Interview with Settlement alum and Pulitzer winner Quiara Hudes, September 20, 2012, retrieved December 5, 2013
  6. ^ RedEye, Julia Borcherts, For. "Tale of two playwrights". RedEye Chicago. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  7. ^ pm, Larissa Jimenez 11:45; Jan 27; 2020 (2020-01-28). "Quiara Alegría '99 discusses art and disruption". Yale Daily News. Retrieved 2021-08-01.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ Saldana, Lois (2005-03-16). "Three alum playwrights chat about life, work and Brown's MFA program". Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  9. ^ "Pulitzer Prize-Winning Playwright Hudes Joins Faculty". News @ Wesleyan. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  10. ^ In the Heights Archived 2015-10-03 at the Wayback Machine lortel.org. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  11. ^ "Meet the USA Fellows". USA Fellows. United States Artists. Archived from the original on November 10, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  12. ^ "Know Before You Go: Miss You Like Hell". lajollaplayhouse.org. 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2016-10-27.
  13. ^ "Sony Animation Sets Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Vivo' For 2020 Bow". Deadline.
  14. ^ Pressley, Nelson. "Signature's 'Belly': Not Quite Full"The Washington Post, November 16, 2005
  15. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Caribbean Island Boy Comes of Age in Quiara Alegria Hudes' Award-Winning 'Yemaya's Belly', at Portland Stage" playbill.com, March 2, 2005.
  16. ^ Alegría Hudes, Quiara. "Introduction", Yemaya's Belly, Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 2007, ISBN 0822221950, p. 5
  17. ^ a b c Cox, Gordon (April 16, 2012). "Hudes scores Pulitzer: Playwright wins for 'Water'". Chicago Tribune: Featured Articles. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  18. ^ a b Hoban, Phoebe. "Theater Review. 3 Generations of Soldiers' Stories in a Melancholy Key" The New York Times, February 7, 2006
  19. ^ " 'Elliot, a Soldier's Fugue' Listing" newdramatists.org. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
  20. ^ Jones, Kenneth. "Atlanta's Alliance Announces New Season, Kicking Off With 'Spelling Bee'"[permanent dead link] playbill.com, February 28, 2006.
  21. ^ "Hudes Returns To Alliance Theater With 26 MILES, Opens 3/25". Atlanta.broadwayworld.com. February 19, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  22. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Biography". Pulitzer.org. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  23. ^ "Goodman Theatre Premieres The Happiest Song Plays Last By Pulitzer Prize-Winner Quiara Alegría Hudes April 13 - May 12, A Commissioned Work With Jíbaro Music From Legendary Cuatro Player Nelson Gonzáles" (Press release). Goodman Theatre. March 22, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-11-06. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  24. ^ Sullivan, Catey (March 22, 2013), "What Pulitzer Winner Quiara Alegria Hudes Loves About Chicago", Chicago Magazine: Arts & Culture, Chicago Magazine, retrieved November 1, 2013
  25. ^ Gordon, David. "Review. 'The Happiest Song Plays Last'" theatermania.com, March 3, 2014
  26. ^ Michael Gioia, "The Happiest Song Plays Last, Third in Pulitzer Winner Quiara Alegría Hudes' Trilogy, Begins Feb. 11 at Second Stage", Playbill, February 11th, 2014.
  27. ^ Shapiro, Howard. "Review: 'Lulu's Golden Shoes,' smothered in fantasy". Newsworks.org. Archived from the original on 2017-09-10. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  28. ^ "Plays & Musicals". Quiara Alegría Hudes. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  29. ^ "The Good Peaches | Cleveland Play House | 216.241.6000". www.clevelandplayhouse.com. Retrieved 2017-09-09.
  30. ^ Stasio, Marilyn. "Off Broadway Review: ‘Daphne’s Dive’ by Pulitzer Winner Quiara Alegria Hudes" Variety, May 16, 2016
  31. ^ "'Miss You Like Hell,' an immigration musical for the new Trump era". Los Angeles Times. 2016-11-14. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-09-09.

External links[edit]