Ten new plays are in the running to win the 2017–18 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which annually honors an outstanding new English-language play by a woman. Among the finalists are Aleshea Harris’ Is God Is, winner of the 2016 Relentless Award and which will be seen Off-Broadway this February in a production from Soho Rep, as well as Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, which will receive a production from Atlantic Theater Company this spring.
The other finalists from the U.S. are Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over and Tori Sampson’s If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Muhfucka. The finalists from the U.K. are Alice Birch’s Anatomy of a Suicide, Elinor Cook’s Out of Love, Nina Raine’s Consent, and Anusree Roy’s Trident Moon. Fiona Doyle, from Ireland, was nominated for her play The Strange Death of John Doe, and Colleen Murphy, from Canada, was nominated for her play The Breathing Hole.
The winner will be announced in March and will receive a prize of $25, 000. Each of the additional finalists will receive an award of $5,000.
Founded in 1977 by Blackburn’s sister, Emilie Kilgore, and Blackburn’s husband, William Blackburn, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Susan Smith Blackburn was an American actor and writer who lived in London during the last 15 years of her life.
Last year’s winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize was Clare Barron for her play Dance Nation, which will have its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in April. The 2016 winner was Lynn Nottage for her play Sweat, which transferred to Broadway and was the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.