Judges have been announced for the second biennial Theatre503 Playwriting Award, which is open from today for entries for a limited time period only (1st – 29th February 2016). The esteemed panel will be chaired by journalist, broadcaster and author Mark Lawson, best known as the former presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. He will be joined by Olivier award-winning playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker (Our Country’s Good, Three Birds Alighting on a Field), David Greig (Europe, Outlying Islands), Charlotte Keatley (My Mother Said I Never Should, Our Father), Roy Williams (Sucker Punch, Clubland), and Evening Standard theatre critic, Henry Hitchings.
Theatre503 is well-known as the new writing powerhouse that has launched the careers of playwrights including Dennis Kelly (Matilda The Musical) and Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51), as well as being the smallest theatre to win an Olivier Award for Best New Play.
The Theatre503 Playwriting Award provides an unprecedented opportunity for playwrights at all levels to be recognised for an original piece of work. It follows the outstanding success of its inaugural award with over 1,600 applications from 42 countries which saw joint winners Bea Roberts and Paul Murphy each receive £6,000. Both their plays were staged at Theatre503 to high acclaim with And Then Come The Nightjars receiving 14 four-star reviews and six Off West End Award Nominations. And Then Come The Nightjars is a finalist for the Susan Blackburn Smith prize.
The winner of the 2016 award will again receive a prize of £6,000 and a guaranteed production of their winning play. A team of 20 readers from Theatre503 are responsible for the early stage script selections and each script submitted to the Award will be read at least twice. All UK submissions will automatically be put forward for the next 503Five resident writer’s scheme.
Nick Hern Books will be returning as Publishing Partner for the Award in 2016 and will be publishing the winning play, as well as sponsoring the Award ceremony.
The Award will be open to any playwright aged 16+ and writers may submit one unproduced, full-length play. There will be no restriction based on the number of previously professionally credited productions.
Mark Lawson said: “We look forward to choosing a play that will be given the exceptional opportunity of a full run at Theatre503, for the enjoyment of audiences and the scrutiny of the nation’s theatre critics!”
The re-launch of this biennial Award is made possible by the generous support of The Richard Carne Trust and Curtis Brown Creative.