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Rachel Christopher, Ugo Anyanwu, and Beau Thom in "What to Send Up When It Goes Down" in the New York premiere production by Movement Theatre Company at A.R.T./New York Theatres. (Photo by Ahron R. Foster)

Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Announces 2020 Finalists

Among the finalists are Dominique Morisseau, Celine Song, Aleshea Harris, Lucy Prebble, and Anne Washburn.

NEW YORK CITY: The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has announced 10 Finalists for its playwriting award, the oldest and largest prize awarded to women playwrights. The winner will be announced on March 2 at Playwrights Horizons in New York City and will receive a cash prize of $25,000, plus a signed print by renowned artist Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Each additional finalist will take home a $5,000 award.

The finalists, selected from an international group of more than 160 nominated plays, include Zoe Cooper, Out of Water; Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, The King of Hell’s Palace; Aleshea Harris, What to Send Up When It Goes Down; Anchuli Felicia King, Golden Shield; Kimber Lee, untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play; Dominique Morisseau, Confederates; Lucy Prebble, A Very Expensive Poison; Stef Smith, Nora: A Doll’s House; Celine Song, Endlings; and Anne Washburn, Shipwreck.

The panel of judges for 2019-20 included Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Nataki Garrett, Jim Nicola, Kate Pakenham, Nathaniel Martello-White, and Ruth Wilson.

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize is named for American author and actor Susan Smith Blackburn and promotes the high standards, creativity and vitality that were characteristic of Susan’s life. Since the Prize’s founding in 1978, more than 460 plays have been honored as finalists, many going on to win Olivier, Lilly, Evening Standard, and Tony Awards for Best Play. Ten Finalist plays have subsequently won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Golden Shield is slated to run at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2021. What to Send Up When It Goes Down will play at Playwrights Horizons beginning June 24. Confederates will play at Signature Theatre beginning May 12. Nora: A Doll’s House will play at the Young Vic Theatre beginning February 5. Endlings will play at New York Theatre Workshop beginning February 19. Shipwreck will play at Woolly Mammoth Theatre beginning February 10.

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