Judith Barlow Prize

The Judith Barlow Prize is a student award given annually for an original one-act play that has been inspired by the work of a historic woman playwright. 





The first-place student winner will receive a $1000 award and a reading of the play either in New York City or virtually. The sponsoring professor will also receive a $250 prize for introducing the material.


Judith E. Barlow is a Professor Emeritus of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Albany, SUNY; received her B.A. from Cornell University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania; editor of Plays By American Women 1900-1930, Plays By American Women 1930-1960, and Women Writers of the Provincetown Playhouse; author of Final Acts: The Creation of Three Late O’Neill Plays, as well as numerous essays on American Drama. 


2022: The Curious Case of Agatha Christie by Lavinia Roberts, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (inspired by The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie)

2021: The Shop by Gelaine Vestal, North Central College (inspired by Machinal by Sophie Treadwell)

2020: The Almost Emporer of the Unofficial Deetrick of Lake Michigan by Leah Barsanti, Northwestern University (inspired by A Raisin In the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry)

2019: earth's most customer-centric company by Hanna Manikowski, Carnegie Mellon University (inspired by Fefu and her Friends by María Irene Fornés)
Runner-up: The Choice is Yours by Upasna Barath, North Central College (inspired by A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry)

2018: The Only Hills We've Ever Had by Audrey Webb, Texas State University (inspired by A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry)
Runner-up: Compensation by Hannah Manikowski, Carnegie Mellon University (inspired by House of Desires by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz)

2017: Leaf by Kara Jobe, Otterbien University (inspired by The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman)
Runner-up: Water Strider/Jesus Bug by Alex Shannon, New York University (inspired by Trifles by Susan Glaspell)

2016: Her Own Devices by Lindsay Adams, Catholic University of America (inspired by Harvey by Mary Chase)
Runner-up: Doctor Scott by Aaron Scully, University of Missouri (inspired by Plumes by Georgia Douglas Johnson)

2015: Three Landings and a Fire Escape by Selina Fillinger (inspired by Machinal by Sophie Treadwell)
Runner-up: Glad on 42nd Between Bruce B Downs and Fletcher Avenue by Jaime O’Brien, University of South Florida (inspired by A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry)



In order to apply, a student must be currently enrolled in (or have completed in the past 12 months) a class that qualifies for History Matter’s One Play At A Time: Historic Women Playwrights Initiative. This includes any course that covered a play text written by a woman before 1960.

Or, for graduate students ONLY - with a professor's permission and guidance - they may commit to reading and studying six plays (written prior to 1960) by historic women playwrights independently to be eligible for the prize. Students selecting this option should indicate the six plays studied in their Application Narrative.



  • Download and complete the Application Form.
  • Submit the form with the one-act play (no longer than 40 pages). The play itself must be submitted WITHOUT the playwright's name anywhere on the document.
  • A brief letter of confirmation from your participating or advising professor is required. It can be submitted by the student with their application or sent directly by the professor.
  • See the Application Form for complete details.