The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced finalists for the 2023 playwriting award. The prize, now in its 45th year, is the oldest and largest playwriting award for women+ playwrights. The winner will be announced at the 45th Anniversary Celebration March 27 at Playwrights Horizons in New York City.
More than 190 plays were submitted from around the world for consideration and read by an international reading committee that selects the finalists. The 10 finalists for 2023 are Anupama Chandrasekhar from India for the play The Father and the Assassin, Maryam Hamidi from the U.K. for Moonset, Karen Hartman from the U.S. for New Golden Age, Katie Holly from Ireland for Her Hand on the Trellis, Kimber Lee from the U.S. for saturday, Sarah Mantell from the U.S. for In the Amazon Warehouse Parking Lot, a.k. payne from the U.S. for Amani, Francisca Da Silveira from the U.S. for Pay No Worship, Zadie Smith from the U.K. The Wife of Willesden, and Ruby Thomas from the U.K. for Linck & Mülhahn.
The winner will be selected by an international panel of judges including Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winner and The Language Archive writer Julia Cho, stage director Rebecca Frecknall, choreographer-director Raja Feather Kelly, producer and Society of London Theatre President Eleanor Lloyd, actor-director-writer Lucian Msamati, and actor Amy Ryan.
The winner will be awarded a cash prize of $25,000, and will receive a signed print by renowned artist Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Each of the additional finalists will receive an award of $5,000.
Many finalists have gone on to receive Olivier and Tony Awards, and 11 Susan Smith Blackburn Finalist playwrights have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Past winners include Erika Dickerson-Despenza's Cullud Wattah, Lynn Nottage's Sweat, Lucy Prebble's A Very Expensive Poison, Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview, Annie Baker's The Flick, Caryl Churchill’s Fen and Serious Money, Marsha Norman’s ‘night,Mother, Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, Julia Cho’s The Language Archive, Katori Hall's Hurt Village, Wendy Wasserstein's The Heidi Chronicles, Chloe Moss’s This Wide Night, and Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House.