The highly-respected women+-only playwriting prize has just announced its 2021 shortlist, complied from over 160 international submissions.
The shortlist comprises (in alphabetical author order)
Glace Chase (Aus/US) – TRIPLE X
Erika Dickerson-Despenza (US) – CULLUD WATTAH
Miranda Rose Hall (US) – A PLAY FOR THE LIVING IN THE TIME OF EXTINCTION
Dawn King (UK) – THE TRIALS
Kimber Lee (US) – THE WATER PALACE
Janice Okoh (UK) – THE GIFT
Ife Olujobi (US) – JORDANS
Frances Poet (UK) – MAGGIE MAY
Jiehae Park (US) – THE AVES
Beth Steel (UK) – THE HOUSE OF SHADES
The big standout for me is the brilliant Janice Okoh play THE GIFT which describes itself as “an outrageous play about imperialism, cross-racial adoption, cultural appropriation…and tea” Okoh’s play captures painfully and eloquently the past and present scars of British colonial racism. You can read my four-star review of the play here .
The show’s UK tour was sadly cut short due to the Covid shutdown, but it must return to ensure a wider audience has the chance to experience this unforgettable and important play.
Previous prize winners include Jackie Sibblies Drury for FAIRVIEW in 2019, which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize (see my review of the Young Vic production here), and Lucy Prebble’s A VERY EXPENSIVE POISON won the Award in 2020.
The judges were director Natalie Abrahami, director Lileana Blain-Cruz, designer Bunny Christie, actor Paapa Essiedu, actor Jason Butler Harner and director Seema Sueko.
The winner will be announced in April and will receive $25,000 as well a s a limited edition Willem de Kooning print (pictured above). Each finalist receives $5,000.
To learn more about the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, visit their website by clicking here
Congratulations to all the shortlisted writers.