NEW YORK CITY: History Matters/Back to the Future has announced the winner of their annual Judith Barlow Prize: Texas State University graduate student Audrey Webb, who’ll receive a $2,500 prize and a reading of her winning one-act play, The Only Hills We’ve Ever Had, inspired by Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Webb’s play follows a mother who urges her college-bound son to escape their project housing while he has the chance. A reading will take place at 7 p.m., Apr. 23 at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City.
“History Matters/Back to the Future performs a vital service to both the academic and theatrical communities,” said the coalition’s 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. With the Judith Barlow Prize, our One Play at a Time Initiative, and our newly expanded digital resources, we provide ongoing inspiration and encouragement to students and instructors. We are thrilled to award Audrey Webb the prize for this year.”
The coalition’s One Play at a Time: Historic Women Playwrights Initiative encourages professors to dedicate one class period per semester to a historic play by a woman playwright, which students can then use as inspiration for original one act plays to submit to the Judith Barlow Prize.
This year’s runner up is Hannah Manikowski of Carnegie Mellon, who took inspiration from Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz’s House of Desires to create her play Compensation. She will receive a prize of $1,000.
The Judith Barlow Prize is named in honor of Judith E. Barlow, Ph.D. and a Professor Emeritus of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Albany, SUNY.