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Susan Smith Blackburn Prize reveals 2022 finalists

The shortlist includes 5 playwrights from the UK and Ireland

Top row: Amanda Wilkin, Benedict Lombe, Chiara Atik, Daniella De Jesús and Lauren Whitehead
Bottom row: Kae Tempest, Sonya Kelly, Zora Howard, Joanna Murray-Smith and Sarah Hanly

The finalists for the 2022 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize – the largest international award for women, transgender, and non-binary playwrights – have now been officially announced.

Chosen from over 160 submitted plays, the ten finalists are:

Chiara Atik (US) – Poor Clare

Daniella De Jesús (US) – Get Your Pink Hands Off Me Sucka and Give Me Back (FKA Columbus Play)

Sarah Hanly (Ireland) – Purple Snowflakes and Titty Wanks

Zora Howard (US) – BUST

Sonya Kelly (Ireland) – The Last Return

Benedict Lombe (UK) – Lava

Joanna Murray-Smith (AU) – Berlin

Kae Tempest (UK) – Paradise

Lauren Whitehead (US) – The Play Which Raises the Question of What Happened in/to Low Income Black Communities between 1974 and 2004 and Hints at Why Mass Incarceration is Perhaps a Man-Made Disease and Highlights the Government's General Lack of Empathy for Poor People of Color and Dispels the Notion that Our Condition is Our Fault and Helps Make Visible Why We Riot When We Mourn and also Tells the Story of Anita Freeman and her Kids

Amanda Wilkin (UK) – Shedding a Skin

The winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize, as well as a signed print by Willem de Kooning. In addition, each of the finalists will be awarded $5,000.

This year the judges are actor/writer/producer Adjoa Andoh, playwright Luis Alfaro, writer/director Justin Audibert, lighting designer Paule Constable, actor Saidah Arrika Ekulona and director/actor/musician Whitney White.

Leslie Swackhamer, executive director of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, commented: "This has been a phenomenal year for new voices in playwriting. Two of our finalists are debut plays, and nine are first-time finalists for this Prize. All of the plays are highly theatrical and probe the burning issues of our times."

Previous prize winners have included Lynn Nottage's Sweat, Annie Baker's The Flick and Caryl Churchill's Fen.

The winner will be revealed in April.


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