The winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the oldest and largest prize awarded exclusively to women playwrights, is revealed March 6 at a ceremony at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. The ten finalists were chosen from more than 150 nominated plays.
The 2017 finalists are Clare Barron for Dance Nation; Zinnie Harris for This Restless House; Amy Herzog for Mary Jane; Charlene James for Cuttin’ It; Charley Miles for Blackthorn; Dominique Morisseau for Pipeline; Lizzie Nunnery for Narvik; Somalia Seaton for Fall of the Kingdom, Rise of the Foot Soldier; Jen Silverman for The Moors; and Penelope Skinner for Linda.
Skinner’s play Linda, about a successful female executive navigating a new phase of her life, kicked off its New York premiere with Manhattan Theatre Club February 7, starring Olivier Award winner Janie Dee in the title role. Silverman’s play The Moors, inspired by the Bronte sisters, is also making its Off-Broadway debut this month in a production from the Playwrights Realm.
The winner is awarded a cash prize of $25,000, and a signed custom print by artist Willem de Kooning. Each of the additional finalists will receive an award of $5,000.
The judges for the 2017 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize were, in the U.K., director Maria Aberg, actor Nina Sosanya, and writer and dramaturg Jenny Worton. U.S. judges are director Evan Cabnet, actor Sarah Paulson, and playwright and director Robert O'Hara.
Last year’s winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize was Lynn Nottage for her play Sweat, which is now in previews on Broadway and will officially open March 26.
(Updated March 6, 2017)