Finalists Announced for 2017 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition

Finalists Announced for 2017 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition
Co founders of the Imbewu Trust,
Paul Griffiths and Sam de Romijn

The top three finalists of the 2017 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition have been announced. Produced by the Imbewu Trust and now celebrating its sixth year, SCrIBE is a national competition which provides the opportunity for playwrights to develop their work, with various prizes to be won. These include having a script produced for a professional run, mentorship programmes and all finalists have the invaluable opportunity to engage in feedback sessions with audience members at staged readings of their scripts.

The 2017 finalists are Darrel Bristow-Bovey for PRIEST WITH BALLOONS; Ter Hollmann for TWO LOVERS and Juliette Rose-Innes for GARDENING AND OTHER DISTRACTIONS. Professional staged readings of their plays will take place nightly at Theatre Arts Admin Collective next week. The staged readings will be followed each night by a discussion with the audience members.

On 18 September at 19:00, Richard Wright-Firth directs the reading of GARDENING AND OTHER DISTRACTIONS. The play explores youth culture and the apathy that could take place across the world and how things can crumble in the most mundane of ways.

On 19 September at 20:30, TWO LOVERS will be presented. The play is a two-hander love story that looks at the arc of a romance from beginning to end and is directed by Kimberley Buckle.

PRIEST WITH BALLOONS will be read on 20 September at 19:00, directed by Terence Makapan. In a tiny, impoverished fishing village on the West Coast of South Africa, in the grip of a drought that is causing the fabric of the community to unravel, the local reverend of the church hatches an unusual plan to unite and inspire his congregation. But the reverend is locked in conflict with his brother, a television actor visiting from Johannesburg, and with Xolisa, the politically conscientised daughter of his domestic worker, and finally with himself, and his own faith, and his belief in his own place in the new South Africa.

Plays submitted to the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition may not have been previously produced and should have no existing future runs plans for production. Other criteria are that the scripts should be in English, be no longer than 40 pages or 80 minutes long and feature a maximum of five cast members. Entrants must be over 18 years old.

The Imbewu Trust and judges were again looking for original content of an outstanding quality that explores the diverse range of South African stories. The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners. Samantha de Romijn, co-founder of the Imbewu Trust, comments:

Finalists have often found the staged readings one of the most beneficial aspects of the competition. The standard of entries was again high this year and we look forward to the discussions around the staged readings of our top three finalists.

One of the 2016 winners, Nokuzola Bikwana, had her play, NO CHRISTMAS FOR US, directed by Thami Mbongo at this year's Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre Centre. Of her experience, Bikwana says:

Imbewu has really opened the doors of positive writing for me. I had been a writer of only stories and poems and never had any confidence of writing plays, but having won the competition, it has instilled a confidence in me and helped me define myself as a writer. I have continued writing plays and I am confident that my writing will touch a number of people as it has done with the play I submitted for SCrIBE, NO CHRISTMAS FOR US. I thank the Imbewu Trust and may the organisers continue being an inspiration to writers out there.

The Imbewu Trust also provided support for the run of the second 2016 winner, Milton Schorr's THE HEROIN DIARIES, at Alexander Bar, in a production directed by Fred Abrahamse. Of the experience

The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established by Paul Griffiths and Samantha de Romijn to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts and to help showcase it on an international stage. It seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation. The Trust created the annual SCrIBE Scriptwriting competition, one of its flagship projects, to provide new opportunities for local writers to fully develop their work.

Entrance to the readings next week is free, with spaced allocated on a first-come, first serve basis. The winners will be announced at an event on Thursday 21 September. The Theatre Arts Admin Collective is located in the Methodist Church Hall on the corner of Milton Road and Wesley Street in Observatory, Cape Town. Parking is available in the area. For further information, visit the official Imbewu Trust website.

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