The 2013 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize has been awarded to Annie Baker for her play The Flick. Now in its 35th year, the prize is given annually to recognize outstanding works written by women for the English-speaking theater. Tony winner Cynthia Nixon presented Baker with an award of $25,000 and a signed print by Willem de Kooning at a private reception held in Houston, Texas on March 17.
Set in a run-down movie theater in central Massachusetts, The Flick tells the story of three underpaid employees who mop the floors and attend to one of the last 35 millimeter film projectors in the state. Their battles and heartbreaks, more gripping than the lackluster second-run movies on screen, play out in the empty theater aisles. The Flick opened on March 12 at Playwrights Horizons, and is playing a limited engagement through March 31.
The Massachusetts-born playwright is also the author of Circle Mirror Transformation, Body Awareness and The Aliens, a previous finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
In addition to Baker, finalists for this year’s Susan Smith Blackburn Prize included Karen Ardiff for The Goddess Of Liberty, Jean Betts for Genesis Falls, Deborah Bruce for The Distance, Katherine Chandler for Before It Rains, Amy Herzog for Belleville, Dawn King for Foxfinder, Laura Marks for Bethany, Jenny Schwartz for Somewhere Fun and Francine Volpe for The Good Mother.