Koleka Putuma Announced As Winner Of 2018 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition

Koleka Putuma Announced As Winner Of 2018 SCrIBE Scriptwriting CompetitionKoleka Putuma has been announced as the winner of the 2018 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition. The news was announced at an event last night (27 September) following staged readings of scripts by the four finalists this week.

Putuma won for her play No Easter Sunday for Queers, which will be produced by the Imbewu Trust at a venue in Cape Town.

The other finalists are Ben Abbott for Dissolved, CJ de Beer for Balcony Endeavours and Terence Makapan for his play Benji.

"The quality of the finalists' scripts this year was remarkable, "said Imbewu Trust co-founder Paul Griffiths speaking at the awards evening. "Being a finalist is already a prize, as the discussions that follow the readings are insightful and stimulate much debate.

"Comedy poses different challenges for a writer and CJ de Beer's Balcony Endeavours captured lovely moments and rhythms in the text while speaking to a millennial audience. Benji by Terence Makapan explored the male psych in an extreme context and a problematic relationship between father and son - the way in which the narrative unfolded was thrilling. Dissolved by Ben Abbott exposes intimacy between two men of a certain generation with a tender and beautifully distilled script.

"Koleka Putuma's No Easter Sunday for Queers subject matter is poignant, hard-hitting and relevant. Koleka cleverly combines an interesting language of scripture with a contemporary voice to tell the story, and in the text we also have a strong sense of the theatrical potential of the play."

"There was a much more diverse range of entrants and stories being told this year, which is an encouraging sign that South Africans are wanting to share their stories and use the SCrIBE platform to do so," he said.

No Easter Sunday For Queers tells the story of Napo, a lesbian in her twenties, who is love with Mimi, a queer woman in her thirties. The two women are murdered at a church where Napo's father is the pastor. The play explores religion and queer identity and aims to find a language that serves as a bridge between the queer child who is raised in an orthodox religious environment and the environment itself.

Darrel Bristow-Bovey, winner of the 2017 SCrIBE competition, will have his play Priest With Balloons presented by the Imbewu Trust, directed by Paul Griffiths, in early 2019.

Now in its seventh year, the competition, which is a flagship project of the Imbewu Trust, was awarded the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Innovation in Theatre for its endeavor to develop South Africa's contemporary theatre through the SCrIBE competition.

SCrIBE is a platform for South African writers to develop their work, with a number of prizes which changes each year depending on the most suitable support for a designated writer and script. The finalists of the competition have the opportunity for their play to be presented at a staged reading then receive feedback from the professional director and actors involved as well as the audience members.

Criteria for the competition are that scripts must not have been previously produced, nor have existing future runs plans of being produced. The scripts should be in English, no longer than 40 pages or 80 minutes long and with a maximum of five cast members. Entrants must be over 18 years old. The Imbewu Trust and judges look for original content of outstanding quality that explores the diverse range of South African stories. The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners.

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.

For further information visit www.imbewuarts.com

The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts. Imbewu seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation, as well as showcase the best of South African theatre on an international platform and create opportunities for new theatre practitioners.

Winner of the Innovation in Theatre Award at the 53rd Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards, the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition is now in its seventh year. SCrIBE is an opportunity for South African playwrights to further develop their work. A staged reading is held for each of the finalist's scripts, providing the chance for feedback from the industry and members of the public. An overall winner is announced at the end of the week, with the prize of having the play professionally mounted for a run at a Cape Town theatre. Another writer has the chance to win The Scribblers Dream, a prize to enable a writer to work alongside a mentor to develop his or her script and another writer has the chance to further workshop his or her play.

In 2012, the Trust also hosted the Imbewu Showcase in New York, USA, to create dialogue between US practitioners and Imbewu, and to develop South African arts through cultural exchange. The Imbewu Trust, in association with the Horse Trade Theatre Group in Manhattan's East Village, presented Tin Bucket Drum, by Standard Bank Young Artist Neil Coppen, directed by Karen Logan and featuring Mpume Mthombeni. The production received rave reviews and was seen by a wide range of people.

The Fly Free Graduates Bursary has enabled graduates of the Waterfront Theatre School to produce work on the Fringe at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. This was won by Natasha Dryden and Angela Inglis in 2011 and their show Se-My-Alles did extremely well as part of the Fringe festival in Grahamstown. The 2012 winner was Trudi Conradie, whose performance of the Reza de Wet play; "Breathing In" won an Ovation award for its outstanding performance. The Trust is looking to open the bursary to all the tertiary education institutions in the Western Cape, allowing for greater scope and more opportunities for students across the board.

Long-term goals for the Imbewu Trust include establishing a sustainable bursary fund for tertiary education at an arts institution, and publishing a collection of scripts from the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition.

Comment from Zolani M Mahola, Brand Ambassador for the Imbewu Trust

"I was thrilled to be approached by Imbewu to stand as an ambassador for them and what really struck me was the passion and extreme care with which they approach their works. As a young South African myself, I agree with them that we have many important stories to share amongst ourselves as well as the rest of the world. Imbewu provides that platform, making room for exciting new voices to be heard across the seas. I am very excited to see the further growth and development of this initiative, perhaps you would too!"

Visit www.imbewuarts.com

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