Theatre in Wales

The latest theatre, dance and performance news

2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalists Announced -     

2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalists Announced - The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced ten finalists for the prestigious playwriting award, now entering its fourth decade. The awards are given annually to recognize women from around the world who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.

Amongst the ten finalists, chosen from over 100 submitted plays, is Kaite O'Reilly- for The Almond and the Seahorse( which was the first play presented by the new Sherman Cymru theatre company). Kaite was a 2008/09 Creative Wales Major Award winner

The 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize awards will be marked with a ceremony in London on February 25th. Star of stage and screen and Blackburn Prize Judge, Sigourney Weaver, will present the awards. The winner will be awarded $20,000, and will also receive a signed and numbered print by renowned artist Willem De Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. A Special Commendation of $5,000 may be given at the discretion of the judges, and each of the additional finalists receives $1,000.

The 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 300 plays have been chosen as finalists since the prize was instituted in 1977. Over 60 of them are frequently produced in the United States today. Six Blackburn finalist plays have gone on to win the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. The authors of those plays, Margaret Edson, Beth Henley, Marsha Norman, Suzan-Lori Parks, Paula Vogel and Wendy Wasserstein are the only women to have done so since the Blackburn Prize was first established.

Other recipients of the honor include Judith Thompson's Palace of the End, Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's Behzti (Dishonour), Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House, Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman, Susan Miller's A Map of Doubt and Rescue, Gina Gionfriddo's U.S. Drag, Bridget Carpenter's Fall, Charlotte Jones' Humble Boy, Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare, Jessica Goldberg's Refuge, Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, Moira Buffini's Silence and Caryl Churchill's Serious Money.

In addition to Sigourney Weaver, the international panel of judges for the 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize awards includes Pulitzer prize winning playwright Edward Albee (A Delicate Balance, Seascape, Three Tall Women), noted British playwright and director Peter Gill, British actress Jenny Jules, McCarter Theatre artistic director and award winning playwright Emily Mann, and Genista McIntosh, Executive Director of the Royal National Theatre for many years and currently a Trustee of the Theatres Trust.

Each year artistic directors and prominent professionals in the theatre throughout the English-speaking world are asked to submit plays. In addition to the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland, new plays have been submitted from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. Plays are eligible whether or not they have been produced, but any premiere production must have occurred within the preceding year. Each script receives multiple readings by members of an international reading committee that then selects ten finalists. All six judges read each finalist's play.

Over 100 plays were submitted for consideration this year. The submitting theatres of the finalists are: Clean Break, London; Denver Center Theatre Company; the Liverpool Everyman; Hampstead Theatre, London; Juilliard (Playwriting); Manhattan Theatre Club; Playwrights Horizons; The Royal Court Theatre; Sherman Cymru, Cardiff; Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago; and Yale Repertory Theatre.

Kaite O'Reilly has won various awards for her work, including the Peggy Ramsay Award for YARD (Bush Theatre, London), Manchester Evening News Best New Play of 2004 for Perfect (Contact Theatre Dir. John McGrath) and Theatre-Wales Best Play of 2003 for peeling (Graeae Theatre, dir. Jenny Sealey).
For more information visit,
web site

Thursday, February 12, 2009back



Older news stories have been carefully archived.
2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999


Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2013 keith morris / red snapper web designs /