London’s Royal Court Theatre is to commission a new play every other year in memory of its former international director, Elyse Dodgson.
Dodgson, who died last year, was international director for 22 years.
The Elyse Dodgson Commission has been created in her honour, to support an international playwright to write a new play.
Each award will be presented to a playwright from a different region around the world, with the first going to a writer from the Middle East, a region the theatre said it had a “longstanding” relationship with.
Palestinian writer Dalia Taha is the recipient of the the Elyse Dodgson Commission for the Middle East. Her first play Fireworks was produced by the theatre in 2015.
She said: “Elyse’s support and commitment to international playwrights was unwavering, and receiving this commission named after her I feel great pride in continuing to celebrate her legacy. Elyse loved theatre and believed in its power and this is something that I will always carry with me.”
The commission will include support for the translation, development and workshopping of the play, with Taha spending time in residence at the Royal Court to develop it.
Artistic director Vicky Featherstone said: “There was no region in the world more significant to Elyse than the Middle East, where she had been supporting writers and artists tirelessly for over 20 years. So it feels absolutely fitting to be able to award the first incarnation of this commission to an artist from that region, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of two of our supporters and their friends.”