HISTORY MATTERS/BACK TO THE FUTURE, a coalition of theatre professionals, has announced the creation of the Judith Barlow Prize which will award $2,500 annually to a student playwright of a one-act play inspired by the work of an historic woman playwright whom she/he has studied. In addition, a $1000 prize will be awarded to the runner up and a $500 prize will be awarded to the winning student's professor who participated in the One Play at a Time initiative. HISTORY MATTERS/BACK TO THE FUTURE promotes the study and production of women's plays of the past in high schools, colleges, universities and theatres throughout the country and encourages responses to those plays from contemporary women playwrights.

HISTORY MATTERS/BACK TO THE FUTURE is also spreading the word about its on-going initiative called "One Play at a Time" to encourage the study, teaching and production of women's plays in colleges and universities around the world. Professors are asked to dedicate one class period per semester to a historic play by a woman playwright. The women playwrights recommended for study range from such well-known writers as Lillian Hellman, Claire Booth, Lorraine Hansberry, Sophie Treadwell and Gertrude Stein to less visible playwrights like Alice Childress, Rachel Crothers and Shirley Graham among others.

"One Play At a Time," an historic women playwrights initiative, was launched in Fall 2013, and has already attracted nearly 30 participating professors from the University of Georgia, Ithaca College, Colgate University, Northwestern University, De Pauw University, and the University of Buffalo among others. Participating educators are given sample lesson plans and additional support materials. And now educators have the added incentive of the new Judith Barlow Prize to encourage them to explore and teach these women writers.

Teachers interested in joining the "One Play at a Time" initiative should contact historymattersbacktothefuture@gmail.com for more information, a list of suggested women playwrights and a sample lesson plan.

The winner of the Barlow Prize must be a current or recent student of a participating professor to be eligible to apply. Submissions for the 2014/15 Barlow Prize must be submitted by November 30, 2014. Winners will be announced in April, 2015.

The application form for the Judith Barlow Prize is available at http://www.historymattersbacktothefuture.com/judithbarlowprize

Joan Vail Thorne, Co-Founder, HISTORY MATTERS/BACK TO THE FUTURE, said "The great women's plays of the past were a treasure waiting to be found. It took Judith Barlow to discover them in her teaching and share them in her publications. All who cherish the literature of the American theatre will be forever in her debt." Professor Emeritus of English and Women's Studies at the University of Albany, SUNY, Judith Barlow received her B.A. from Cornell University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She was the editor of Plays By American Women 1900-1930, Plays By American Women 1930-1960, and the author of Final Acts: The Creation of Three Late O'Neill Plays, as well as numerous essays on American Drama.

Professor and award-winning playwright Tina Howe said: "BRAVO! It's about time teachers were encouraged to teach plays by our daring foremothers! "One Play at a Time" doesn't only provoke lively classroom discussion, but even more important, it encourages future generations of women playwrights to get out there and boogie!"

For more information, visit http://www.historymattersbacktothefuture.com.

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