Rick Viede Wins 2008 Griffin Award

Rick ViedeTonight, at the SBW Stables Theatre, the 2008 Griffin Award was awarded to playwright Rick Viede for Whore“a poetic and explosive exploration of desire, capitalism and the body”.

The Griffin Award is an annual prize offered for an outstanding new Australian play or
performance text.

From over 100 entries, eight plays had been chosen for the 2008 shortlist and were in
the running to win the $5000 award. These included Alana Valentine – Redfern Heights, Catherine Ryan – Precipice, Christine Evans - Trojan Barbie, Julian Hobba - Father Son Rule, Ross Mueller – Concussion, Simon Luckhurst - Lines in the Sand and Sue Smith - In the Violet Time.

In 2007, the final shortlist led to two productions being programmed at the SBW Stables in 2008, with the Griffin Award winner, Damien Millar, also being commissioned to write Griffin’s upcoming production - The Modern International Dead.

“For the second year in a row, the Griffin Award shortlist provided a great snapshot of Australian playwriting at the moment – with an exhilarating and inventive mix of new works,” said Nick Marchand, Griffin Theatre Company’s Artistic Director. “But after much debate, the judges all agreed that Whore was the stand-out winner. I have to say, I’m delighted for Rick, who is rapidly emerging as a playwright of real promise.”

Rick Viede has been working with Riverside Theatres' Breakout program and is currently a Resident Playwright at Griffin (although Whore is a new work, as the Residency does not permit its playwrights to submit works already in development with Griffin).

By winning the award, Rick follows in the footsteps of past winners Damien Millar (Emergency Sex [and Other Desperate Measures], 2007), Mary Rachel Brown (Australian Gothic, 2006), Ian Wilding (The Carnivores, 2005), Debra Oswald (Mr Bailey’s Minder, 2004) and Brendan Cowell (Rabbit, 2003).

Works submitted may be original ideas or adaptations from other forms. Griffin’s Literary Office assessed the entries with a pre-judging team and prepared a shortlist submitted to a judging panel comprising Tom Holloway (Playwright), Lyn Hallion (representing PKF), Marion Potts (Associate Director, Bell Shakespeare), Nick Marchand (Artistic Director, Griffin Theatre Company) and Victoria Chance (Currency Press).

Thanks to the generosity of Griffin’s Principal Sponsor, PKF Chartered Accountants &
Business Advisers, in addition to the $5,000 cash prize, the winner also receives a new laptop computer.

Following tonight’s announcement, a rehearsed reading of Whore was presented to the public – simultaneously launching Searchlight ’08, Griffin’s development week of plays-in-progress.

Visit: www.griffintheatre.com.au

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