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Applications Are Now Open For This Year's Judith Barlow Prize

Not-for-profit History Matters/Back to the Future is accepting applications for this year's Judith Barlow Prize now through December 31st. 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. Annually, the first place student winner of the prize receives a $2,500 award and a reading of their work in New York City, with a $500 award to the participating professor.

Click here to apply. Eligible students must be currently enrolled in (or have completed in the past 12 months) a class that is participating in History Matters/Back to the Future's One Play At A Time: Historic Women Playwrights Initiative. Alternatively, for graduate students ONLY - with a professor's permission and guidance - students may commit to reading and studying six plays by historic women playwrights in order to become eligible to compete for the prize.

The Judith Barlow Prize is named for Judith E. Barlow, Ph.D. and 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 Hannah Manikowski (2019) for earth's most costumer-centric company inspired by Fefu and Her Friends by María Irene Fornés, 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/Back to the Future promotes the study and production of celebrated women playwrights of the past and their plays in colleges, universities, and theaters throughout the country and seeks responses to those plays by contemporary playwrights.

"History Matters/Back to the Future proudly continues our work to increase the readership and performance of women's plays of the past," says Vice President of the Board of Trustees Jann Leeming. "The annual Judith Barlow Prize is a vital part of our mission and we believe the interpreting of these texts by our student participants is a unique and exciting way to bring attention to the deep impact female writers had on theatrical and literary traditions."

For more information on History Matters/Back to the Future, the Judith Barlow Prize, or the play library, visit Teachers interested in joining the One Play at a Time Initiative should visit

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