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Theatre Uncut and Young Vic launch UK’s first major political playwriting award

Kwame Kwei-Armah, Emma Callander, Hannah Price and Rachel O'Riordan at the Theatre Uncut launch event. Photo : The Other Richard
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Theatre Uncut has launched the UK’s first major political playwriting prize in partnership with the Young Vic in London.

Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre and the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff are also partners to the award, which aims to find the next generation of political playwrights.

The writer of the winning play will receive £9,500 and an agreement to option the production of the play to Theatre Uncut and the award partners.

Submissions open on September 1 and close on November 1. The award is open to writers who have not had more than two plays produced professionally with runs of three weeks or more.

Theatre Uncut artistic directors, Hannah Price and Emma Callander, will read a longlist of 30 plays, and a shortlist of 10 scripts will then be read by a judging panel that will include Young Vic artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah, Sherman theatre artistic director Rachel O’Riordan, and Traverse Theatre artistic director Orla O’Loughlin.

All plays will be read anonymously and a list of all readers will be made public on the Theatre Uncut website.

Theatre Uncut, which focuses on producing political theatre, is encouraging submissions from the “widest demographic of playwrights as possible”.

Callander said: ”Theatre Uncut has explored an extraordinary range of political issues through short play form, since we began in 2011.

“Now we are throwing the net wide to find the next generation of political playwrights, writing full-length plays that tackle the burning issues of today.”

Kwei-Armah said: “Theatre, and the plays staged within them, has always provided a platform to say something about the world that we live in.

“The announcement of this new political playwright award by Theatre Uncut is a way for the next generation of playwrights to continue that tradition and I can’t wait to hear their voices.”

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