Playwright nabs prize for 'Nether'

Playwright Jennifer Haley has picked up the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn prize for her play “The Nether.”

A prominent legit kudo launched in 1977, the award goes to a distaff scribe for an English-language stage script. Prior winners include Katori Hall, Lynn Nottage, Marsha Norman and Paula Vogel.

Futuristic story “The Nether” follows a young detective on the trail of a criminal purveyor of virtual-reality fantasy scenarios. Nommed for the Blackburn by the L.A.’s Center Theater Group, the play also has been developed by the O’Neill Theater Center and the Lark Play Development Center.

Haley, whose play “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom” was seen at the 2008 Humana Festival, was among a pool of Blackburn finalists that included Madeleine George (“Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England”), Molly Smith Metzler (“Close Up Space”) and Zinnie Harris (“The Wheel”). Award comes with a $20,000 cash prize.

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