Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, whose play “Bezhti” (Dishonor) drew protests in its premiere at the U.K.’s Birmingham Repertory Theater, is among the dozen finalists for the 2005 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Laurel, including a $10,000 cash prize, recognizes the woman dramatist whose works represent outstanding quality in the English-speaking theater.

The finalists are Leslie Ayvazian, “Rosemary and I”; Bhatti, “Bezhti”; Rebecca Gilman, “Sweetest Swing in Baseball”; Joanna McClelland Glass, “Trying”; Bryony Lavery, “Last Easter”; Rebecca Lenkiewicz, “The Night Season”; Melanie Marnich, “Cradle of Man”; Mia McCullough, “Since Africa”; Chloe Moss, “How Love Is Spelt”; Heather Raffo, “Nine Parts of Desire”; Katherine Thomson, “Harbour”; and Patricia Wettig, “My Andy.”

Last year’s winner was Sarah Ruhl, for “The Clean House.”

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Judges for the 27th annual awards include thesps Stockard Channing and Corin Redgrave, Philadelphia Theater Company artistic director Sara Garonzik, London’s Talawa Theater Company a.d. Paulette Randall, U.K. theater writer Carole Woddis and Variety London legit critic Matt Wolf.

The award was established in 1978. Submissions this year were penned in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada. Plays are eligible whether or not they have been produced, but any first production must have taken place within the preceding year.