By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
02 Mar 2011
The winner receives $20,000 as well as a signed print by renowned artist Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Prize. Each of the Finalists receives $1,000.
A ceremony honoring all finalists and announcing the winner was held in New York City on Feb. 28.
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize annually honors outstanding new English-language plays by women. For over three decades, the prize has honored and encouraged women playwrights, and raised the visibility of notable new works.
This year's finalists and their nominating theatres are:
Lisa D'Amour — Detroit, Steppenwolf Theatre Company (U.S.)
Sam Burns — Not the Worst Place, Paines Plough (U.K.)
Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig — Lidless, Marin Theatre Company (U.S.)
Georgia Fitch — Satellite Faith, The Royal Shakespeare Company (U.K.)
Lisa Kron — In the Wake, Berkeley Repertory Theatre (U.S.)
Tamsin Oglesby — Really Old, Like 45, The Royal National Theatre (U.K.)
Anne Washburn — Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company (U.S)
Joy Wilkinson — The Golden Age, Everyman Playhouse Liverpool (U.K.)
Alex Wood — The Andes, Out of Joint (U.K.)
The international panel of six judges for the 33rd annual Susan Smith Blackburn Prize includes three from the U.K. and three from the U.S.: Jim Simpson, founder and artistic director of the Flea Theatre in Manhattan; Tony Award-winning American stage and film actress and director Judith Ivey; Obie Award-winning director Anne Kauffman; celebrated English actress Helen McCrory; noted British critic and author Georgina Brown; and Stephen Unwin, artistic director of Britain's The Rose Theatre.
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize reflects the values and interests of Susan Smith Blackburn, an American actress and writer who lived in London during the last 15 years of her life. She died in 1977 at the age of 42. Over 300 plays have been chosen as finalists since the prize was founded in 1977. Over 60 of them are frequently produced in the United States today. Seven Blackburn finalist plays have gone on to win the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. The authors of those plays, Margaret Edson, Beth Henley, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Paula Vogel and Wendy Wasserstein, are the only women to have won the Pulitzer since the Blackburn Prize was first established.
Each year artistic directors and prominent professionals in the theatre throughout the English-speaking world are invited to nominate plays. Plays are eligible whether or not they have been produced, but any premiere production must have occurred within the preceding year. Each script receives multiple readings by members of an international reading committee that then selects ten finalists. All six judges read each finalist's play.
For more information, visit www.blackburnprize.org.