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A total of 26 playwrights, including such stalwarts as Michael Hollingsworth, Morris Panych, Drew Hayden Taylor, Colleen Murphy and Linda Griffiths, have been named to the long list for the 2008 Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize, Canada's biggest theatre award.

Started in 2001, the $100,000 prize is awarded annually to a theatrical artist in mid-career. Directors, playwrights and designers are considered in three-year cycles, with each winner receiving $75,000 in cash while designating the remaining $25,000 to a protégé or institution. This year, the prize goes to a playwright.

The other 21 nominated playwrights are Daniel MacIvor, Vern Thiessen, Larry Tremblay, Daniel David Moses, Carmen Aguirre, Michele Riml, Jasmine Dubé, Lyle Victor Albert, Douglas Curtis, Karen Hines, Rick Chafe, Alex Poch-Goldin, Linda Griffiths, David S. Craig, Morwyn Berbner, Tony Nardi, Florence Gibson, David Gow, Vittorio Rossi, Daniel Danis and Kent Stetson.

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A short list will be announced in September, with the winner named on Oct. 27.

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