Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Goes to Drama About Family Weathering Croatian Political Turmoil

News   Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Goes to Drama About Family Weathering Croatian Political Turmoil The 2014-15 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which honors female playwrights, was awarded March 2 to Tena Štivičić for her play 3 Winters.

The awards ceremony, which marks the 37th anniversary of the international prize, was held in New York. Pulitzer prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman ('night, Mother; The Bridges of Madison County) opened the ceremony with a speech about the prize's impact on playwright.

Rebecca Hall, who starred in the Broadway revival of Sophie Treadwell's play Machinal, presented Tena Štivičić with an award of $25,000 and a signed and numbered print by artist Willem de Kooning.

Here's how 3 Winters is described: "Premiered by London's National Theatre, 3 Winters is a sweeping family saga set in Zagreb, Croatia, in the years 1945-2011. 3 Winters creates a portrait of an eclectic family held together by generations of formidable women. Through the lens of one family's struggle and triumphs, we witness the story of Croatia, from the remnants of monarchy to Communism, democracy, war and the EU."

The finalists, who each receive an award of $5,000, also included:

Lisa D'Amour (U.S.) - Airline Highway
Alice Birch (U.K.) - Revolt. She said. Revolt again.
Alecky Blythe (U.K.) - Little Revolution
Clare Barron (U.S.) - You Got Older
Clara Brennan (U.K.) - Spine
Katherine Chandler (U.K.) - Parallel Lines
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (U.S.) - The World of Extreme Happiness
Lindsey Ferrentino (U.S.) - Ugly Lies the Bone
Zodwa Nyoni (U.K.) - Boi Boi Is Dead
Heidi Schreck (U.S.) - Grand Concourse
Ruby Rae Spiegel (U.S.) - Dry Land Read Playbill.com's interview with D'Amour, about bringing New Orleans to New York in Airline Highway, here.

Co-founded by Emilie S. Kilgore and William Blackburn, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honors new English-language plays by women on an annual basis. It reflects the values and interests of Blackburn, an American actress and writer who lived in London during the last 15 years of her life.

Previous winners include Lucy Kirkwood's Chimerica, Annie Baker's The Flick, Jennifer Haley's The Nether, Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, Chloe Moss's This Wide Night, Katori Hall's Hurt Village, Judith Thompson's Palace of the End, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's Behzti (Dishonour), Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House, Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman, Julia Cho's The Language Archive, Gina Gionfriddo's U.S. Drag, Bridget Carpenter's Fall, Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy, Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare, Wendy Kesselman's My Sister in this House, Jessica Goldberg's Refuge, Moira Buffini's Silence and Caryl Churchill's Serious Money.

The international panel of judges for the 2014-15 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize includes, in the U.S., actor Carmen Herlihy, director Liesl Tommy and Chay Yew, artistic director of Chicago's Victory Gardens Theatre. U.K. judges are BAFTA and Emmy award-winning actor Rebecca Hall, playwright Rona Munro and National Theatre associate director Bijan Sheibani.

Co-founded by Emilie S. Kilgore and William Blackburn, the award honors outstanding new English-language plays by women. Many of the winners have gone on to receive other honors, including Olivier, Lilly, Evening Standard and Tony Awards for Best Play. Eight Blackburn finalist plays have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Visit blackburnprize.org for more information.

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