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Fairview playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury wins 2019 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

Ma Yaa Boateng in Fairview by Jackie Sibblies Drury. Photo: Julieta Cervantes
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American playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury has been announced as the winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize 2019.

Sibblies Dury won the $25,000 (£18,965) cash prize as well as a signed print from artist Willem de Kooning for her play Fairview, which is about an extended black family preparing for an important dinner.

Fairview was co-commissioned by US theatres Soho Rep and Berkeley Rep and will receive its UK premiere at the Young Vic in London this November.

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, which is now in its 15th year, celebrates female playwrights and was founded in memory of the US actor and writer Susan Smith Blackburn, who died in 1977.

Other finalists for 2019, who each received $5,000 (£3,795), included Debbie Tucker Green, Ella Road, Ella Hickson and Nina Raine from the UK as well as Hilary Bettis, Martyna Majok, Lily Padilla, Heidi Schreck and Lauren Yee.

The awards took place at Shakespeare’s Globe on March 4.

Speaking at the ceremony, Sibblies Drury told The Stage: “Fairview is a bizarre play and I didn’t know it was going to be received well, so this is really surreal to me.

“It’s just such an honour to receive such a prestigious award and be recognised alongside other writers that I really look up to.”

Judges for the 2019 prize included Michael Buffong, Maria Goyanes, Marianne Elliott, Jennifer Haley, Tamsin Greig and Marin Ireland.

Alice Birch wins $25k Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

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