The 28th annual honor — which includes a cash award of $10,000 — recognizes the women dramatist whose works represent outstanding quality for the English speaking theatre. A Special Commendation of $2,000 (as presented at last year's ceremony) can be awarded at the judges' discretion. Each finalists receives $1,000. The Awards will be presented in London or New York in late February.
The finalists (and works for which they are nominated for) are as follows:
Kira Obolensky - Modern House Judges for the 2006 awards include actors Blair Brown and Lindsay Duncan, Lincoln Center Theatre dramaturge Anne Cattaneo, Playwrights Horizons artistic director Tim Sanford, Royal National Theatre literary manager Jack Bradley and Newcastle's Northern Stage chief executive Erica Whyman.
Playwright Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti won last year's 27th annual Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her work Behzti (Dishonour). Other recipients of the honor include Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House, Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman, Susan Miller's A Map of Doubt and Rescue, Gina Gionfriddo's U.S. Drag, Bridget Carpenter's Fall, Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy, Jessica Goldberg's Refuge, Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive and Moira Buffini's Silence. The Susan Smith Blackburn Award, named for the noted American actress and writer, was established in 1978. Submissions for this year's prize include works penned in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
Plays are eligible whether or not they have been produced, but any first production must have taken place within the preceding twelve months. This year's finalists were chosen from approximately 90 submissions.