Not-for-profit History Matters/Back to the Future has announced its winner for this year’s Judith Barlow Prize. The Annual Judith Barlow Prize is awarded to a student playwright for an exceptional one-act play inspired by the work of an historic female playwright. Annually, the first place student winner of the prize receives a $2,500 award and a reading of their work in New York City, with a $500 award to the participating professor. The second place student winner receives a $1,000 award.
Hannah Manikowski of Carnegie Mellon University has won for her play, earth’s most customer-centric company, inspired by Fefu and Her Friends by María Irene Fornés, sponsored by Professor Robert Cane.
Upasna Barath of North Central College is runner-up for her play, The Choice is Yours, inspired by A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, sponsored by Professor Laura Lodewyck.
A reading of the earth’s most customer-centric company and presentation of the prize will take place on Monday, April 29th at T. Schreiber Studio. Time and ticketing information forthcoming and will be available on http://www.historymattersbacktothefuture.com
The Judith Barlow Prize is named for Judith E. Barlow, Ph.D. and a Professor Emeritus of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Albany, SUNY and editor of “Plays By American Women 1900-1930,” “Plays By American Women 1930-1960,” and “Women Writers of the Provincetown Playhouse.” Barlow is also the author of “Final Acts: The Creation of Three Late O’Neill Plays,” as well as numerous essays on American Drama.
Past recipients of the prize include Audrey Webb (2018) for The Only Hills We’ve Ever Had inspired by Lorraine Hanberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Kara Jobe (2017) for Leaf inspired by Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes, Lindsay Adams (2016) for Her Own Devices inspired by Mary Chase’s Harvey, and Selina Fillinger (2015) for Three Landings and a Fire Escape inspired by Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal.
A national coalition of theater professionals with an entirely unique mission, History Matters/Back to the Future promotes the study and production of women playwrights of the past and their plays in colleges, universities, and theaters throughout the country and seeks responses to those plays by contemporary playwrights. In addition to the Judith Barlow Prize, their programs include the One Play at a Time Initiative, which challenges college and university professors to add historic plays by women to their syllabi, the Sallie Bingham Grant, which provides monetary support for student-directed productions and readings of historic women's plays, the Play Library, a database of plays written by women prior to 1965, and the recently introduced Scene Library, a database of scenes excerpted from historic plays written by women to be used in acting and scene study courses.
“History Matters/Back to the Future performs a vital service to both the academic and theatrical communities,” says Founder Joan Vail Thorne. “We ensure that masterworks written by women playwrights of the past are routinely read and taught in colleges and universities and that the women who wrote them are held up as significant contributors to the art of playwriting.”
For more information on History Matters/Back to the Future, the Judith Barlow Prize, or the play library, visit http://www.historymattersbacktothefuture.com. Teachers interested in joining the One Play at a Time Initiative should visit http://www.historymattersbacktothefuture.com/programs/oneplayatatime.