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Theatre Centre’s new playwriting award to mark Treaty of Versailles centenary

Theatre Centre's new award is named after Brian Way, pictured, the founder of the London-based touring company Theatre Centre's new award is named after Brian Way, pictured, the founder of the London-based touring company
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A new playwriting award has been launched to celebrate work for young audiences. The winning commission will be produced for a UK tour.

Children’s touring company Theatre Centre, which is based in London, has announced the Brian Way Award and launched an open call-out for submissions.

Theatre Centre is asking for ideas on the theme of ‘treaty’ from professional, UK-based playwrights, aimed at young audiences aged 13-plus. The theme is inspired by next year’s centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles that shaped post-war Europe, as well as an anticipated new treaty with the European Union as Brexit takes place.

Entrants are being asked to submit an expression of interest on why their writing would excite and benefit young audiences, a writer’s CV, a treatment on the theme of ‘treaty’ of no more than two pages long, as well as 10 pages of an existing script.

The winner of the 2018 Brian Way Award, which is named after the founder of Theatre Centre, will undergo a 16-month scriptwriting and development process and be produced for a national tour of secondary schools and arts venues in 2019.

This is the first time Theatre Centre has launched an open call-out for one of its annual commissions.

The organisation is keen to receive work from “ambitious, visionary and diverse playwrights” and hopes to encourage writers who may not previously have considered creating work for young audiences.

Artistic director Natalie Wilson said: “In 2019, as we remember the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles that shaped post-war Europe, we will also be anticipating a new and unprecedented treaty with the EU, leading the UK and younger generations into unchartered territory.

“As our government closes the doors to Europe, we want to throw them open to UK writers and welcome their ideas for plays that imagine, navigate and shape the future.”

She added: ”We are looking for writing that brings a loud, clear and visionary voice to young audiences and we will support the chosen winner to nurture a forward-facing narrative that inspires young people across the country.”

The deadline for submissions is midday on February 16. The Brian Way Award shortlist will be announced in March, with the winner commissioned in April.

Theatre Centre previously ran the Brian Way Award for Best New Play for young audiences from 2001 to 2013, which gave the winner £6,000 to develop a new play.

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