Blackburn finalists named

Annual award given to female playwright

Annie Baker, Young Jean Lee, Lucy Prebble and Melissa James Gibson are among the female scribes tapped as finalists for the 2010 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, awarded every year to an English-language play written by a distaff playwright.

Baker, whose “Circle Mirror Transformation” has extended several times Off Broadway, was nommed for her play “The Aliens,” while Lee got the nod for “The Shipment” and Gibson for “This,” both of which were seen in Gotham last year. Brit writer Prebble is on the list for “Enron,” the U.K. hit that plays Broadway in the spring.

Julia Cho (“The Language Archive”), Abbie Spallen (“Strandline”), Rebecca Lenkiewicz (“The Nature of Love”), Hannah Moscovitch (“East of Berlin”), Lizzie Nunnery (“The Swallowing Dark”) and Lucy Kirkwood (“It Felt Empty…”) are also on the list of Blackburn finalists.

Top prize comes with a $20,000 check, with $5000 commendations also given if the judges decide. All other finalists get $1000.

This year’s judges for the prize include thesps Hope Davis and Fiona Shaw, helmer Doug Hughes and New Dramatists a.d. Todd London, among others. Winner will be named in March.

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