Finalists Announced for 2014 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize- Including Theresa Rebeck & More!
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced 10 Finalists for its prestigious playwriting award, now celebrating its thirty-sixth year. Chosen from over 100 submitted plays, the Finalists are
Caroline Bird (UK)-Chamber Piece
Sheila Callaghan (US)- Elevada
Alexandra Collier (Australia)- Holy Day
Lauren Gunderson (US)- I and You
Lucy Kirkwood (UK)- Chimerica
Joanna Murray-Smith (Australia)- Switzerland
Lucy Prebble (UK)- The Effect
Theresa Rebeck (US)- Zealot
Beth Steel (UK)- Wonderland
Phoebe Waller-Bridge (UK)- Fleabag.
The Winner of the 2013-2014 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize will be named at the Awards Presentation in late February. The Winner will be awarded $25,000, and will also receive a signed print by renowned artist Willem De Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Each of the additional Finalists will receive $2,500.
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, co-founded by Emilie S. Kilgore and William Blackburn, annually honors outstanding new English-language plays by women. For over three decades, the Prize has encouraged and given visibility to women playwrights, drawing attention to notable new works. Many of the Winners have gone on to receive other honors, including Olivier, Lilly and Tony Awards for Best Play. Seven Blackburn Finalist plays have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
The Houston-based Susan Smith Blackburn Prize reflects the values and interests of Susan Smith Blackburn, noted American actress and writer who lived in London during the last 15 years of her life. She died in 1977 at the age of 42. Over 350 plays have been chosen as Finalists since the Prize was instituted in 1977. Over 80 of them are frequently produced throughout the world today.
The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize received the 2010 Theatre Communications Group's National Funder Award. The annual honor goes to a company, foundation or other entity for "leadership and sustained national support of theater in America." In 2013, Prize founder Emilie S. Kilgore was awarded a Lilly Lifetime Achievement Award for her work promoting women playwrights.
American playwright Annie Baker won the 2012-2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for her play, The Flick, which was nominated by Playwrights Horizons (New York), where the play premiered. Subsequent to winning the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, Ms. Baker was honored with a Steinberg Playwright Award as well as with the Horton Foote Legacy Project. Center Theatre Group's production of The Nether by Jennifer Haley, which won the 2011-2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, recently swept the Los Angeles Ovation Awards, including the award for Best Play. The Nether will receive its UK premiere at The Royal Court Theatre this summer.
Other recipients of the Prize include Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, Chloe Moss's This Wide Night, Katori Hall's Hurt Village, Judith Thompson's Palace of the End, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's Behzti(Dishonour), Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House, Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman, Julia Cho's The Language Archive, Gina Gionfriddo's U.S. Drag, Bridget Carpenter's Fall, Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy, Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare, Wendy Kesselman's My Sister in this House, Jessica Goldberg's Refuge, , Moira Buffini's Silence and Caryl Churchill's Serious Money.