Theatre News

Jackie Sibblies Drury wins Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Fairview

The playwriting prize recognises women playwrights

Jackie Sibblies Drury
Jackie Sibblies Drury
(© © Ali Wright 2015)

The winner of the 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has been announced.

American playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury has won the award for her play Fairview, which was co-commissioned by Soho Rep and Berkeley Rep and premiered in 2018. The piece follows a family preparing for a birthday party and has been applauded for its innovative narrative and form.

Fairview is due to open at the Young Vic in November this year in a production directed by Nadia Latif. Drury's other plays include Marys Seacole, Really, and We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia Formerly Known as southwest Africa.

In a speech at the award ceremony, which was held at Shakespeare's Globe, board member Indhu Rubasingham called for "sustainable change" in the industry, positing that two of the main areas that needed focus was in diversifying critical voices and education.

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize includes $25,000 and a signed print by renowned artist Willem de Kooning. Each of the runners up receive $5,000. The prize is awarded annually to women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.

The judges this year were Michael Buffong, Maria Goyanes, Marianne Elliott, Jennifer Haley, Tamsin Greig, and Marin Ireland.

Other nominees in the prize were Hilary Bettis, debbie tucker green, Ella Hickson, Nina Raine and Ella Road.