The Patrick White Playwrights' Award and Fellowship

Sydney Theatre Company has released the judges’ shortlist of five plays in the running for the 2010 Patrick White Playwrights’ Award which will be announced with a rehearsed reading of the winning play at The Wharf on Friday 20 May 2011 at 8pm. This year the award has undergone significant changes with the establishment of a new, prestigious second playwrights’ prize, The Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellowship, the recipient of which will also be announced at the event on 20 May.

The Award and the Fellowship are initiatives of Sydney Theatre Company and The Sydney Morning Herald to foster the development of Australian playwrights while honouring Patrick White’s contribution to Australian theatre.

The Patrick White Playwrights’ Award is for a full-length unproduced play. The winning playwright will receive $7,500 and the opportunity to work with an STC director and actors during a workshop culminating in a rehearsed reading of their play. Scripts are submitted to readers and judges anonymously with the aim of acknowledging a playwright whose play is ambitious, demonstrates skilful application of craft and reveals great potential for a stage production. This year 108 entries were received for the Award, from which the following shortlist of five plays has been selected:

Every Breath by Benedict Andrews
War Crimes by Angela Betzien
Close by Kit Brookman
Beached by Melissa Bubnic
1975 by Stephen Carleton

The shortlisted playwrights are the internationally acclaimed director Benedict Andrews; the author of Hoods and Children of the Black Skirt, Angela Betzien; the actor and emerging playwright Kit Brookman; Melbourne writer Melissa Bubnic whose play Stop.Rewind premiered at Red Stitch Actors Theatre last year; and Stephen Carleton who won the Award for his play Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset in 2004.

The judges are Sarah Goodes (director), Clare Morgan (Arts Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald), Tommy Murphy (playwright) and Andrew Upton (Co Artistic Director, Sydney Theatre Company).

The recipient of the inaugural Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellowship will also be announced at the same event on 20 May 2011.

The fellowship is a new position for an established Australian playwright who has had a new play produced professionally in Australia within the last four years. The winning playwright receives $25,000 for the year-long Fellowship in recognition of their contribution to their art form. During the year (21 May 2011 through to 21 May 2012), the Fellow will participate in a range of activities including leading playwriting workshops at Sydney Theatre Company as well as participating in a mentoring programming for two emerging playwrights.

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