“Immensely haunting… The first of many great things about Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living… is the way it slams the door on uplifting stereotypes… Ms. Majok has engineered her plot to lead naturally to moments of intense and complicated pungency… If you don’t find yourself in someone in Cost of Living, you’re not looking.” —Jesse Green, New York Times
Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Cost of Living deftly challenges the typical perceptions of those living with disabilities and delves deep into the ways class, race, nationality, and wealth can create gulfs between people, even as they long for the ability to connect. Eddie, an unemployed truck driver, and his estranged ex-wife, Ani, find themselves unexpectedly reunited after a terrible accident leaves her quadriplegic. John, a brilliant PhD student with cerebral palsy, hires Jess, a first-generation recent graduate who has fallen on desperate times, as his new aide.
Martyna Majok was born in Bytom, Poland, and raised in Jersey and Chicago. She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cost of Living, which was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. She is the recipient of many awards including the Arthur Miller Foundation Legacy Award, a Steinberg, an Obie, a Lucille Lortel, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, a Champions of Change Award from New York City’s Mayoral Office, the Lanford Wilson Award, a Lilly Award, and the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. Martyna wrote the libretto for Gatsby, with music by Florence Welch and Thomas Bartlett. She has developed TV projects for HBO, and is writing feature films for Plan B/Pastel/MGM and Participant. lan B/Pastel/MGM and Participant.
"By toppling old prejudices, Majok forces us to revisit our easy assumptions about people who really don't want to be called "differently abled" and caregivers who could use a little love themselves."
"The characters, dialogue and situations resonate with emotional truth about loneliness, financial desperation and the vulnerability of disabled people forced to rely on others to assist them with basic human needs."
"Cost of Living is perfection. It reawakens my belief in the poetry of theater and highlights its purpose as the critical eye on our human existence... Ms. Majok brilliantly infuses her characters and dialogue with biting humor."
~New York Theatre Guide
"An honest, original work that invites audiences to examine diverse perceptions of privilege and human connection through two pairs of mismatched individuals: a former trucker and his recently paralyzed ex-wife, and an arrogant young man with cerebral palsy and his new caregiver."
~Pulitzer Prize committee