The Imbewu Trust announced the winners of the 2014 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition at an awards ceremony on Saturday night.
Joanna Evans won the top prize of having her play ‘4 Small Gods’ professionally produced for a run at a Cape Town theatre next year.
Menzi Mkhwane’s ‘Last Cow Standing’ was the recipient of the script development award, enabling him to further work on the text, while writer Thomas Hopkins, who submitted ‘The Great Beginning’, won the Scribblers Dream, a financial prize to work alongside award-winning writer, director and theatre maker Neil Coppen, to develop his writing.
The top five finalists had the opportunity this week to get feedback about their plays from the public and members of the industry at a series of staged readings with professional directors and actors. The other two finalists were Eliot Moleba for ‘Man in the Green Jacket’ and Kim Sanssoucie for ‘Dirt Road’.
Speaking at the awards, Coppen emphasised that all the finalists were winners, having reached the final selection of nearly thirty scripts, and having been able to engage in the post-reading discussions.
Sam de Romijn, co-founder of the Imbewu Trust added that, as part of the growth and longevity of the SCrIBE programme, audience development was key, and including them in the process of creation through post-show discussions, helped achieve this.
Presenting the awards, Imbewu Trust co founder Paul Griffiths said “It’s important for the growth of South African theatre to create platforms for writers where they can showcase and then further develop their work. Entries this year addressed a range of contentious issues and themes, and the post-show discussions provided interesting insights. I thank and congratulate the writers for having the courage to put themselves there.”
‘4 Small Gods’ is a comic-tragedy that re-writes the ancient flood myth to examine contemporary relationships between people, animals, and the earth. Barriers between species, as well as barriers of language and theatrical convention, are destabilised on a storm-tossed boat.
“I have been sitting with the script for a long time, and I am so excited to now have the opportunity to see it presented, ” says Evans. “To have this support net is incredible as I would never have been able to do this on my own. It has also been useful to have had the discussion with the audience and team to take the play further.”
Winner Joanna Evans is a director, playwright and performer based in Cape Town. She graduated with Distinction from the University of Cape Town with a degree in Theatre and Performance, specialising in Theatre Making. Joanna was awarded the ‘Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award’ for her production ‘The Year of the Bicycle’ at the 2013 National Arts Festival, the ‘Most Promising Student Director’ Award at the 2012 National Arts Festival and the 2012 Ruth Peffers trophy for Theatre Making.
With her children’s theatre company ‘Pillow Fort Productions’, Joanna created ‘Patchwork’, a South African show for babies (aged 1-4). Her plays have been performed at festivals in Italy, Germany and South Africa, and she has worked as an actor in residence in Yaounde, Cameroon for a UN funded project on migration. Joanna’s areas of interest and specialisation include animal studies, and specifically modes of representing animals in performance, puppetry and object theatre, script-development, theatre for the very young, and intergenerational and cross-cultural performance.
‘4 Small Gods’ will be presented in Cape Town next year.
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