Playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury has been named the winner of the 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play Fairview, seen Off-Broadway last year in a critically acclaimed world-premiere production from Soho Rep. The fourth-wall-shattering new play—which will return to New York City for an encore engagement this summer—was co-nominated for the annual prize by Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Soho Rep, which co-commissioned the piece.
In Fairview, the Frasier family prepares for Grandma’s birthday—but not all is going according to plan, and things quickly go in unexpected directions. The new work is an examination of race and privilege in America, as well as an investigation into the ways in which we watch and judge each other every day. Read reviews for Fairview here.
Fairview was among 10 finalists for the 2019 Blackburn Prize, an annual award which recognizes women from around the world who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.
The other finalists from the U.S. were Hilary Bettis' 72 miles to go...; Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok's new play Sanctuary City (upcoming at New York Theatre Workshop); Lily Padilla's Yale Drama Series Prize-winning How to Defend Yourself; Heidi Schreck's Broadway-bound What the Constitution Means to Me; and Lauren Yee's musical play Cambodian Rock Band.
The finalists from the U.K. were debbie tucker green (ear for eye), Ella Hickson (The Writer), Nina Raine (Stories), and Ella Road (The Phlebotomist).
Presented at Shakespeare's Globe in London, Drury was awarded a cash prize of $25,000 and a signed print by Willem de Kooning. Each of the additional finalists received 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 Susan Smith Blackburn, an American actor and writer who lived in London during the last 15 years of her life. Last year’s winner was Alice Birch for her play Anatomy of a Suicide, before which Clare Barron won for Dance Nation and Lynn Nottage for Sweat.
Drury's newest work, Marys Seacole, is currently playing an extended run at LCT3. Check out photos from the world premiere below.