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History Matters: Celebrating Women's Plays Of The Past Awards Judith Barlow Prize For Student Playwrights To Gelaine Vestal

The first place winner of the prize receives a $2,500 award and a reading of their work along with a $500 award to the participating professor.

History Matters: Celebrating Women's  Plays Of The Past Awards Judith Barlow Prize For Student Playwrights To Gelaine Vestal

Not-for-profit, History Matters: Celebrating Women's Plays of the Past (formerly History Matters/Back to the Future) has announced its winner for this year's Judith Barlow Prize. The Annual Judith Barlow Prize is awarded to a student playwright for an exceptional one-act play inspired by the work of an historic female playwright. The first place winner of the prize receives a $2,500 award and a reading of their work along with a $500 award to the participating professor.

Gelaine Vestal (they/them) of North Central College has won for their play, The Shop, inspired by Sophie Treadwell's Machinal and sponsored by Professor Laura Lodewyck. A reading will be scheduled and announced in the coming months.

The Judith Barlow Prize is named for Judith E. Barlow, Ph.D., a Professor Emeritus of English and Women's Studies at the University of Albany, SUNY and editor of "Plays By American Women 1900-1930," "Plays By American Women 1930-1960," and "Women Writers of the Provincetown Playhouse." Barlow is also the author of "Final Acts: The Creation of Three Late O'Neill Plays," as well as numerous essays on American drama.

Past recipients of the prize include Leah Barsanti (2020) for The Almost Emperor of the Unofficial Deestrick of Lake Michigan, inspired by Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun and sponsored by Professor Roxane Heinze-Bradshaw, Hannah Manikowski (2019) for earth's most customer-centric company inspired by María Irene Fornés's Fefu and Her Friends, Audrey Webb (2018) for The Only Hills We've Ever Had inspired by Lorraine Hanberry's A Raisin in the Sun, Kara Jobe (2017) for Leaf inspired by Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes, Lindsay Adams (2016) for Her Own Devices inspired by Mary Chase's Harvey, and Selina Fillinger (2015) for Three Landings and a Fire Escape inspired by Sophie Treadwell's Machinal.

A national coalition of theater professionals with an entirely unique mission, History Matters promotes the study and production of women playwrights of thepast and their plays in colleges, universities, and theaters throughout the country and seeks engagement with those plays by contemporary playwrights.

"History Matters performs a vital service to both the academic and theatrical communities," says Founder Joan Vail Thorne. "We ensure that masterworks written by women playwrights of the past are routinely read and taught in colleges and universities and that the women who wrote them are held up as significant contributors to the art of playwriting."

History Matters promotes the study and production of women's plays from the past in colleges, universities, and theatres throughout the country. We believe in spreading knowledge about historical women playwrights and in weaving the impact of their work through the fabric of contemporary theatre.

For more information on History Matters or the Judith Barlow Prize, visit www.historymatterscelebratingwomensplaysofthepast.org.


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