The Blackburn Prize is given annually to an English-language theater work of outstanding quality
Tena Stivicic Wins Blackburn Drama Prize
The playwright Tena Stivicic was to be awarded the 37th annual Susan Smith Blackburn Prize on Monday night for her play “3 Winters,” a dark, era-hopping drama about a Croatian family in post-World War II Zagreb. At a ceremony at Playwrights Horizons, Ms. Stivicic was to receive $25,000 and a numbered print by the artist Willem de Kooning.
The Blackburn, the oldest and largest prize awarded to female playwrights, is given annually to an English-language theater work of outstanding quality.
The play had its premiere in December at the National Theater in London. Writing about the show last month, Ben Brantley said it “considers the moral price exacted for survival through decades of divisive political foment” with the “layered, quotidian naturalism of fat family sagas like Thomas Mann’s ‘Buddenbrooks’ or Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet chronicles.”
Six shows that have or will play New York were among the finalists for the award. They include Lisa D’Amour’s “Airline Highway,” coming to Broadway this spring; Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s “The World of Extreme Happiness,” now playing at City Center; and Lindsey Ferrentino’s “Ugly Lies the Bone,” scheduled as part of the Roundabout Underground season in September. Clare Barron’s “You Got Older,” Heidi Schreck’s “Grand Concourse” and Ruby Rae Spiegel’s “Dry Land” have finished their New York runs.
Winning the Blackburn prize can be a major boost to a playwright’s career. “The Nether,” by Jennifer Haley, the winner of the 2011-12 prize, is now being mounted at the Lucille Lortel in an MCC Theater production. Annie Baker won the 2012-13 prize for “The Flick,” which later won the Pulitzer Prize for drama.
Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljić
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