Yale alumna wins prestigious playwriting prize

Clare Barron ’08 is this year’s recipient of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the oldest and largest prize awarded exclusively to women playwrights.

The prize — $25,000 and a signed print by Willem de Kooning — honors a work written by a woman for the English-language theater.

Barron received the prize for her play “Dance Nation,” which follows the trials and tribulations of a pre-teen dance contest. The play, which will have its world premiere at Playwrights Horizons in April 2018, was previously a co-winner (with Sarah Delappe’s “The Wolves”) of the 2016 Relentless Award given by the American Playwriting Foundation in honor of the late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The alumna is also the author of “You Got Older,” which won an Obie for playwriting in 2015.

Barron recently shared her experience in the theatrical world with Yale students, serving as a mentor for the Playwrights Festival, featuring new works by undergraduates, which was held in February.