Quiara Alegría Hudes is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, a prior Page 73 playwriting fellow, and a current resident writer at New Dramatists, an organization of playwrights that both houses resident writers and holds workshops for aspiring young writers. Her play Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue was her first play to be Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama and also the first in a trilogy of plays centered around the character Elliot, who is based on her actual cousin Elliot Ruiz and his experiences as a marine, both fighting abroad and after returning home. The second play in the trilogy, Water by the Spoonful received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2012, and was followed up by The Happiest Song in 2013, the end to the trilogy, which follows Elliot as he tries to navigate his life after war.
Hudes has also collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the hugely successful musical In the Heights, for which Hudes wrote the book and Miranda wrote the music and lyrics. In the Heights received a number of accolades, including 9 Drama Desk Award nominations, winning two, 13 Tony Award nominations, winning four, including Best Musical, the Grammy Award for Best Musical Album in 2008, and becoming a Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama in 2009. The musical not only toured all over the U.S. but performed all over the world as well.
Hudes had originally studied music as an undergrad at Yale and after graduating went on to perform with a band, but went on to study playwriting at Brown after her mother convinced her she could make a greater impact as a writer, telling the stories of the people in her family and community, many of whom were struggling with poverty and addiction.