Ten new plays are in the running to win the 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which will be awarded March 4 at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.
Included in the list of finalists: Heidi Schreck's Broadway-bound What the Constitution Means to Me; Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok's new play Sanctuary City, to be seen this season at New York Theatre Workshop; Jackie Sibblies Drury's critically acclaimed Off-Broadway hit Fairview; and How to Defend Yourself by Lily Padilla, whose play (W)holeness will be seen at the Parity Plays festival in New York City February 8.
Hilary Bettis, whose play Alligator was seen Off-Broadway, is a finalist for her play 72 miles to go...; and Lauren Yee, whose play The Great Leap was seen at Atlantic Theater Company (as well as nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in 2018), is a finalist for her musical play Cambodian Rock Band. The finalists from the U.K. are debbie tucker green (ear for eye); Ella Hickson (The Writer); Nina Raine (Stories); and Ella Road (The Phlebotomist).
The winner of the 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize will be awarded a cash prize of $25,000 and will also receive a signed print by Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Prize. 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 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. Clare Barron's Dance Nation was the 2017 winner, and Lynn Nottage's Sweat won in 2016.