Hare (The Vertical Hour, Amy's View) selected the work from over 960 submissions. blu, according to Yale, "is about a Mexican American family's response to the loss of their oldest son in Iraq."
Blu will be published by Yale University Press and receive a reading at Yale Repertory Theatre in September. Grise will also receive the David C. Horn Prize of $10,000.
The runners-up were Siona MacDuff by Mary Hamilton and Nineteen Kinds of Peril by Tom Lavignino.
Hare said in a statement, "The winning play blu is about the response of a Mexican American family to the loss of their oldest son in Iraq. Virginia Grise's writing is blazingly talented and resonant and the play stays with you long after you've read it. In second place I was happy to put Mary Hamilton's delightful Canadian comedy Siona MacDuff, a strikingly original work about teenage anxieties and friendships. It's sexy, funny and true. And in third place I also greatly admired Tom Lavignino's Nineteen Kinds of Peril, a series of interlocking monologues about life in an American retail chain store. It was refreshing to read such a talented and painful play about a regular workplace."
"Next year I hand over to a new judge," he continued. "Before I do, I would like to mention that I gave last year's prize to Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig for Lidless. This year there is another female winner. Of the twelve plays on this year's short-list, nine were written by women. As a result of reading such a huge sample of new playwriting, I feel we have at last reached a tipping point. Women's writing for the theatre is stronger and more eloquent than it has ever been. Everyone working on this prize hopes to see that strength reflected in the repertory of theatres everywhere." Submissions for the 2011 Yale Drama Series may be sent beginning June 1. The cut-off date for postmark submissions is Aug. 15. For further information visit DCHornFoundation.