26 April 2018 11:37

A new playwriting prize is being launched this spring to discover new voices from culturally diverse backgrounds.

The Lancaster Playwriting Prize is an initiative arising out of the Cultural Partnership between Lancaster University and The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster. It is supported by the actor and Lancaster University graduate, Lucy Briers and Tamasha Theatre Company. 

“I want to find a play which not only challenges me as an audience but also challenges the genre of theatre,” said Lucy, one of the judges. 

“Live performance is still for me the most exciting form of dialogue between an author and an audience. Can it find a new voice to speak with? I don't want gimmicks, I don't want clever for its own sake. I want to feel that I am hearing the true soul and voice of the playwright.” 

In this inaugural year, the prize is focused on BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) playwrights of any age or experience, resident in the North West. 

Fin Kennedy, Artistic Director of Tamasha Theatre Company, said: “Tamasha is delighted to support the inaugural Lancaster Playwriting Prize, which we hope will uncover some exciting new talent in the region.” 

The panel are eager to read new work which throws light on how we live now, expands horizons, explores current issues, or reveals a previously untold story. 

Anyone interested in applying for the prize is invited to attend one of ten workshops in the North West running from now until May 22. For more information, email The Dukes Associate Director, Alex Summers at creative-learning@dukes-lancaster.org 

All longlisted scripts will be read in full and up to five shortlisted finalists will have their work read by three artistic directors. The scripts will be workshopped with professional actors and directors and extracts will be performed at a public showcase event at The Dukes in October. 

The winner, who will be announced at the end of the showcase, will receive £1500 and will be invited to become part of the Tamasha Playwrights group for 2018/19, receiving tailored training and mentoring to help their career development.  

Scripts can be submitted from now until noon on June 22. They should be emailed to lancasterplaywriting@lancaster.ac.uk 

For more information on Lancaster Playwriting Prize, visit: www.lancaster.ac.uk/playwriting