The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced 10 Finalists for its prestigious playwriting award, the oldest and largest international prize awarded to women+ playwrights. Chosen from a group of over 190 plays nominated from around the world, the 2023 Finalists are:
- Anupama Chandrasekhar (India) The Father and the Assassin
- Maryam Hamidi (UK) Moonset
- Karen Hartman (US) New Golden Age
- Katie Holly (Ireland) Her Hand on the Trellis
- Kimber Lee (US) saturday
- Sarah Mantell (US) In the Amazon Warehouse Parking Lot
- a.k. payne (US) Amani
- Francisca Da Silveira (US) Pay No Worship
- Zadie Smith (UK) The Wife of Willesden
- Ruby Thomas (UK) Linck & Mülhahn
The Winner of the 2023 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize will be named at the Award
Presentation and 45th Anniversary Celebration on March 27, 2023 at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. The Winner will be awarded a cash prize of $25,000 and will also receive a limited edition signed print by renowned artist Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Prize. Each of the additional Finalists will receive an award of $5,000.
Founded in 1978, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize is awarded annually to celebrate women+ who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre. Women+ includes women, transgender and non-binary playwrights.
494 plays have been honored as Finalists of the Prize. Many have gone on to receive other top honors, including Olivier, Lilly, Evening Standard and Tony Awards for Best Play. Eleven Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist playwrights have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. The Prize results in more productions of plays by women+ writers and fosters the interchange of plays between the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and other English-speaking countries.
An international panel of six Judges chooses the winning play from amongst the finalists.
Former judges of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize over the past forty-five years are a Who’s Who of the English-speaking theatre and include Adjoa Andoh, Eileen Atkins, Blair Brown, Zoe Caldwell, Glenn Close, Harold Clurman, Colleen Dewhurst, Marianne Elliott, David Hare, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Rajiv Joseph, Tony Kushner, Cynthia Nixon, Marsha Norman, Joan Plowright, Phylicia Rashad, Marian Seldes, Fiona Shaw, Tom Stoppard, Meryl Streep, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, George C. Wolfe, August Wilson and Chay Yew, among over 250 artists in the United States, England and Ireland.
The members of the distinguished panel of Judges for the 45th Susan Smith Blackburn Prize have garnered multiple awards and honors across the fields of theatre, film and television, including the Olivier, Tony, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk. They are: writer Julia Cho (US) (previous winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Language Archive), stage director Rebecca Frecknall (UK), choreographer/director Raja Feather Kelly (US), theatrical producer and President of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) Eleanor Lloyd (UK), celebrated actor/director/writer Lucian Msamati (UK) and star of stage and screen, Amy Ryan (US).