NEW YORK CITY: History Matters/Back to the Future has named Kara Jobe the winner of the 2017 Judith Barlow Prize. Jobe, who is currently studying at Otterbein University in Ohio, will receive a cash prize of $2,500 for her one-act play Leaf based on Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour. The play will have a reading on April 23 at the Women’s Project Theater in New York City with director Morgan Gould, and Kathleen Chalfant will host the event.
History Matters/Back to the Future’s One Play At A Time: Historic Women Playwrights Initiative challenges professors around the country to dedicate one class period each semester to a historic play by a woman playwright. Student playwrights create works inspired by the titles taught in the curriculum, and the annual Judith Barlow Prize is awarded to an exceptional one-act through the initiative. This year’s panel of judges included Kristin Marting, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, and Michael Sag.
“History Matters/Back to the Future performs an essential service to both the academic and theatrical communities,” said founder Joan Vail Thorne in a statement. “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.”
“I am honored and very humbled that History Matters picked my play,” said Jobe in a statement. “When I first read The Children’s Hour, I became intrigued by Mary Tilford and the way people obeyed her, including the other schoolhouse children, and her rich grandmother. I liked writing something more collaborative, taking another woman’s wonderful work and living with it until I had an idea of my own.”