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Jackie Sibblies Drury Wins the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for Fairview

Heidi Schreck's Broadway-bound What the Constitution Means to Me was among this year's finalists.

A scene from the Soho Rep production of Jackie Sibblies Drury's Fairview, winner of the 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
(© Julieta Cervantes)

The 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has been awarded to US playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury for her play Fairview. Awarded annually since 1977, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize recognizes women from around the world who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theater.

On March 4, the transatlantic theater community gathered at Shakespeare's Globe in London to honor Drury and this year's nine finalists. Drury was awarded a cash prize of $25,000, and a signed print by renowned artist Willem de Kooning, created especially for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Each of the additional finalists received an award of $5,000.

Fairview was co-nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize by Berkeley Repertory Theatre and Soho Rep, which co-commissioned the play. The Soho Rep production extended three times and is moving to Brooklyn's Theatre for a New Audience in June. It will receive its UK premiere at the Young Vic in November.

In Fairview, the Frasier family is gearing up for Grandma's birthday, and Beverly needs this dinner to be perfect. Plus, the radio's on the fritz, her sister Jasmine is drinking, her husband Dayton isn't helping, her brother Tyrone might not show up at all, and her daughter Keisha is being a typical teenager. As Beverly's hostess-neurosis begins to get the better of her while her family acts like family, Keisha's adolescent malaise starts to seem like maybe it could be something else.

The list of 2019 finalists for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize is as follows: 72 miles to go... by Hilary Bettis; Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee; ear for eye by debbie tucker green; How to Defend Yourself by Lily Padilla; Sanctuary City by Martyna Majok; Stories by Nina Raine; The Phlebotomist by Ella Road; The Writer by Ella Hickson; and What the Constitution Means to Me by Heidi Schreck.