Script Space V: The Winners
Script Space V | 2012
Now in its fifth year, Tobacco Factory Theatre’s Script Space is one of the largest open new writing competitions in the country, offering bespoke development opportunities for the winning scripts. This year the competition received a record 573 entries, with submissions from all over the country. We were looking for writing that excited us, writing that made us want to pick up the phone to the writer to talk more.
The shortlisting process was through and rigorous, drawing on the expertise of a pool of almost forty local writers, directors, actors, dramaturgs and producers until a final shortlist of just nine plays was arrived at. The final judging panel comprised Tobacco Factory Theatre director Ali Robertson, TF+ Officer Carrie Rhys-Davies, performer and playwright Thomas Eccleshare and playwright and dramaturg Jon Nash.
Chair of the judging panel and Facilitator of the Writers’ Forum, playwright and dramaturg David Lane, said:
“All our readers were united by one common desire: to find a new play or new writer – and in an ideal world, both in one script – that shows them something they’ve never seen before. We were interested in plays about anything, by anybody, for any audience. Yes, of course we were looking for writers who might know a thing or two about theatre already, but perhaps more importantly we were looking for writers who’ve got something that speaks to us about the world in which we live with clarity, intention and heart. We’re very lucky to have found three such plays and three very distinctive voices.”
We are delighted to announce that this year’s winning plays and writers:
MEAT by Joe Ledbury
Somewhere between a dystopian fantasy and a docudrama, Joe’s smart and taut play shines a light on the recruitment industry in a style that is at once deadly serious and a very big joke.
Joe is a Theatre Studies graduate with an MA in Creative Writing. His play THE PHOTOGRAPHER won first place in the Nuffield Southampton’s ‘Famous for Fifteen’ competition 2010 and his short story THE BLACK MAMBA was published in In the Red Magazine 2010. Joe says, “MEAT is based on my experience of struggling to find work after University. After cleaning toilets and taking part in a residential medical trial, I found a temporary role in recruitment, where I stayed in fancy hotels and handed out menial jobs. When the menial jobs began to run out, I had to recruit myself.”
A BRIEF HISTORY OF AMERICA by Dipika Guha
A play with a superb sense of place, Dipika’s atmospheric and poetic three-hander is a meditation on identity and nationhood that negotiates difficult and complex subject matter with skill and delicacy.
Dipika is a graduate of the MFA Playwriting Program at the Yale School of Drama, where she studied under Paula Vogel, and a graduate of the Young Writer’s Program at the Royal Court Theatre, London. Her plays have been developed and seen at Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, the Lark, the Flea, Wellfleet Harbour Actors Theatre, Chester Theatre, Old Vic New Voices, Ars Nova, WordBridge, Cutting Ball Theatre, New Century Theatre Company, Theatre 4, the Djerassi Residency Artists Program and at the Ucross Foundation. Dipika was born in India and raised in Cochin, London and Moscow.
THE BOY IN THE PHOTOGRAPH by Becky Prestwich
It was the compelling premise and intelligent engagement with big ideas that excited us about Becky’s ambitious play, which looks at what happens when a photojournalist and his subject matter get too close.
Becky’s first full length play, STREETLIGHTS AND SHADOWS was produced at the White Bear Theatre Club in 2007 and her second, LETTING IN AIR at the Old Red Lion in 2009. Becky has had short plays performed at Theatre 503, the Union Theatre, Live Theatre and the Arcola. Her first play for young people, SOLOMON CHILD was performed by the Young People’s Theatre Workshop in the Studio at the Royal Exchange Theatre. She is currently on attachment to the BBC through their Writersroom 10 scheme. The scheme includes a seed commission to develop her latest play, HOW THE CABINET-MAKER CROSSED THE ROAD, with the Library Theatre Company. Alongside her writing, Becky works with children and young people as the Young People’s Co-ordinator at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
The winning writers will be congratulated at a special Script Space celebration event at the Tobacco Factory Theatre later this month.
All writers will meet with the Script Space producer Carrie Rhys-Davies to discuss the needs of their play. This initial conversation will pave the way for the construction of a development plan for each of the scripts, which will be fulfilled between October 2012 and April 2013. Previous development opportunities have included script-in-hand readings, time in a rehearsal room with a director and performers and dramaturgy sessions. We are looking forward very much to sharing the outcomes of these processes with audiences along the way.
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