The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced the 10 finalists for the 2024 edition of the prestigious playwriting award. Founded in 1978, the award honors female and non-binary playwrights across the world who have written English-language plays.
From more than 200 submissions, the 10 finalists include Roxy Cook (U.K./Russia) for A Woman Walks into a Bank, April De Angelis (U.K.) for The Divine Mrs S, Justice Hehir (USA) for The Dowagers, Rhianna Ilube (U.K.) for Samuel Takes a Break…,In Male Dungeon No.5 After a Long But Generally Successful Day of Tours, Jasmine Naziha Jones (U.K.) for Baghdaddy, Alex Lin (USA) for Chinese Republicans, Lenelle Moïse (USA) for K-I-S-S-I-N-G, Hannah Moscovitch (Canada) for Red Like Fruit, a.k. payne (USA) for Love I Awethu Further, and Ava Pickett (U.K.) for 1536.
The Prize will announce its winner in London at the Royal Court Theatre March 11. The winner will be awarded $25,000, and also receive a signed and numbered print by renowned artist Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. An additional Special Commendation of $10,000 may be given at the discretion of the judges, with each Finalist receiving $5,000.
Said Prize Executive Director, Leslie Swackhamer, “We are thrilled to present the Prize at the Royal Court, a theatre with an incredible history of developing and producing brilliant new plays by women. This year’s finalists include three debut plays, and six playwrights who are new to our family of playwrights. Two playwrights were honored as finalists early in their careers, and have gone on to have brilliant careers. This is a vigorous and vital cohort, and we can’t wait to celebrate and honor their work.”
Named for the late American actor, feminist, and writer Susan Smith Blackburn who lived in London during the last 15 years of her life, the Prize has honored more than 500 plays from playwrights throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and other English-speaking countries.