UPDATE: Since this article was published, WhatsOnStage has pulled the award after considering criticism from writers.
Theatre website WhatsOnStage has teamed up with the Turbine Theatre in London to launch a new playwriting award.
Open to anyone over 18, the Lockdown Playwriting Prize is seeking submissions of between 60 and 90 minutes in length, with casts of no more than six actors, that respond to the pandemic.
The winning script will be staged at the Turbine Theatre for one night, when venues are able to reopen, with the writer receiving £500.
WhatsOnStage chief operating officer Sita McIntosh said: “As with all our industry, we are looking forward to when we can reunite in a theatre. Until that time, we wanted to play our part in keeping creativity alive, and in response have launched the Lockdown Playwriting Prize. It’s open to anyone, and we hope that it will provide a welcome way to inspire people at this time.”
Submissions must be titled Lockdown: Week Six, Day One.
All entries will be judged anonymously by a panel including McIntosh, producer Aaron Rogers, Kiln Theatre associate director Susie McKenna, Turbine Theatre artistic director Paul Taylor-Mills, director Luke Sheppard and Alex Wood, editor of WhatsOnStage.
Applications will close on June 30.