Ten finalists have been chosen for the 2020 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the oldest and largest prize awarded to women playwrights for a play written for the English-speaking theatre.
A winner will be announced March 2, with the playwright awarded a cash prize of $25,000.
The finalists from the U.S. are Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig for The King of Hell’s Palace, Aleshea Harris for What to Send Up When It Goes Down (which returns for an encore run at Playwrights Horizons this summer), Kimber Lee for untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play (which was recently developed at the O’Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference), Dominique Morisseau for her play Confederates that will be seen at Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre in the spring, Celine Song for Endlings (which begins previews at NYTW February 19), and Anne Washburn for her play Shipwreck, seen at London's Almeida Theatre and currently in performances at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C.
The other finalists are Anchuli Felicia King (Golden Shield) from Australia, and Zoe Cooper (Out of Water), Lucy Prebble (A Very Expensive Poison), and Stef Smith (Nora: A Doll’s House) from the U.K.
The winner will also receive a signed print by Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Prize, and each of the 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 is named for the American actor and writer who lived in London during the last 15 years of her life.
Last year’s winner was Pulitzer Prize winner Jackie Sibblies Drury for her play Fairview. Alice Birch won for her play Anatomy of a Suicide in 2018, Clare Barron's Dance Nation was the 2017 winner, and Lynn Nottage's Sweat won in 2016.