Jenny Schwartz, Bryony Lavery, Lydia Diamond and Victoria Stewart are among the 10 finalists for the 2008 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an annual award given to female English-language playwrights.
Schwartz stirred up some buzz last spring with the Off Broadway run of her nommed play, “God’s Ear,” while Lavery (“Frozen”) got the nod for “Stockholm.” Stewart was singled out for her play “Hardball,” which appeared in Gotham’s Summer Play Fest in 2006 (and last year won her the Primus Prize), and Diamond was selected for her play “Stick Fly,” seen last fall at the McCarter in Princeton, N.J.
Also on the list of finalists are Linda Brogan (“Black Crows”), Lisa McGee (“Girls and Dolls”), Linda McLean (“Strangers, Babies”), Julie Marie Myatt (“Boats on a River”), Polly Stenham (“That Face”) and Judith Thompson (“Palace of the End”).
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Announced in March, the winner gets $20,000, with some $5,000 commendations also a possibility. Last year the award was anomalously split among four winners.
Speaking of the Blackburn prize, a 2002 winner, “U.S. Drag” by Gina Gionfriddo, gets its Off Broadway preem this spring in a production from the stageFARM helmed by Trip Cullman. Logan Marshall Green (“King Lear”) and Matthew Stadelmann (“American Sligo”) are among the cast of the show, which opens March 1 on Theater Row.