The 2015 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition winners were announced at an awards ceremony in Cape Town after a week of staged readings of the five finalists’ scripts.
Francois Joubert won the top prize for his script, Four/Vier, which explores corruption as well as the deconstruction of white-Afrikaans masculinity and white privilege. His play will be produced by the Imbewu Trust for a professional run in Cape Town next year.
Kimberley Buckle was awarded the Scribblers Dream, which provides the opportunity to be partnered with a mentor to develop her writing style and technique. Kimberley submitted her play, The Jasmine Ghost as her entry.
The other finalists were Tamara Guhrs’ Thin Air, Lee Doubell’s Killing Jonathan and Terence Makapan’s Him. I. Her.
Created by the Imbewu Trust and now in its fourth year, SCrIBE is a national competition which provides a platform for playwrights to develop their work. Following the staged readings, which are directed by professional directors, the writer is able to engage in post-show discussions with the audience, director, cast and Imbewu Trust team about the script. Since its inception, SCrIBE has received more than one hundred texts and staged fifteen readings.
Speaking at the awards, Paul Griffiths, co-founder of the Imbewu Trust, said that in order for theatre to develop, writing needs to develop. “SCrIBE was established as an investment in writers, to create a space where writer, director, actors and audience can meet for a shared experience and dialogue that develops and creates a theatre script. The week of readings always bring constructive and stimulating feedback.”
Announcing the awards, fellow Imbewu Trust co-founder Samantha de Romijn thanked the directors for their work in bringing the scripts to life. She commented that the SCrIBE competition had evolved each year to address how best it can cater for the needs of a writer to develop their work. “Likewise, each year, we have reviewed how we can work with a particular script or writer for their maximum benefit. This year we are delighted to present Francois with the production prize and Kim with the Scribbler’s Dream.”
“I feel humbled at having won and it doesn’t feel real yet!” says Joubert. “I have found this week invaluable and wish there were more platforms like SCrIBE.”
Francois Joubert is a performing artist, actor, singer and playwright who has a BA Honours Degree in Drama, graduating cum laude, from the University of Pretoria in 2014. Additionally 2014 proved to open a big door of opportunity when renowned writer, singer, actor and director Nataniël personally approached Francois to be in his current production After Animals which ran this year at Emperors Palace Casino in Johannesburg. Francois performed as vocalist, dancer and actor in the production.
The 2014 SCrIBE winner, Joanna Evans, will have her play Four Small Gods produced by the Imbewu Trust at Magnet Theatre from 30 October to 10 November.
Other previous entrants have gone on to rework their text as a result of the open readings and some on to professional runs. Menzi Mkhwane was the 2014 recipient of the script development award for his play Last Cow Standing. His prize was to work with Standard Bank Young Artist Neil Coppen, and the play was produced at the Cape Town Fringe festival this year.
The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts and to help showcase it on an international stage. It seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation.
The Imbewu Trust thanks Exclusive Books for their support of the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition.
Notes to Editors
The Imbewu Trust
The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts. Imbewu seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation, as well as showcase the best of South African theatre on an international platform and create opportunities for new theatre practitioners.
Now in its fourth year, the SCrIBE Script Writing Competition is an opportunity for South African playwrights to further develop their work. A staged reading is held for each of the finalist’s scripts, providing the chance for feedback from the industry and members of the public. An overall winner is announced at the end of the week, with the prize of having the play professionally mounted for a run at a Cape Town theatre. Another writer has the chance to win The Scribblers Dream, to enable a writer to work alongside a mentor to develop his or her script, and another writer has the chance to further workshop his or her play. The Trust will present 2014 winner, Joanna Evans’ play, Four Small Gods, at Magnet Theatre from 30 October to 10 November 2015.
Previous entrants have gone on to rework their text as a result of the open readings; some have gone on to professional runs, and others have submitted to further writing programmes. Menzi Mkhwane was the 2014 recipient of the script development award for his play Last Cow Standing. His prize was to work with Standard Bank Young Artist Neil Coppen, and Mkhwane’s revised script will be produced at the Cape Town Fringe festival this year.
The Trust also hosts the Imbewu Showcase in New York, USA, which was established in 2012 to create dialogue between US practitioners and Imbewu, and to develop South African arts through cultural exchange. The Imbewu Trust, in association with the Horse Trade Theatre Group in Manhattan’s East Village, presented Tin Bucket Drum, by Standard Bank Young Artist Neil Coppen, directed by Karen Logan and featuring Mpume Mthombeni. The production received rave reviews and was seen by a wide range of people.
The Fly Free Graduates Bursary has enabled graduates of the Waterfront Theatre School to produce work on the Fringe at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. This was won by Natasha Dryden and Angela Inglis in 2011 and their show Se—My-Alles did extremely well as part of the Fringe festival in Grahamstown. The 2012 winner was Trudi Conradie, whose performance of the Reza de Wet play; Breathing In won an ovation award for its outstanding performance. The Trust is looking to open the bursary to all the tertiary education institutions in the Western Cape, allowing for greater scope and more opportunities for students across the board.
Long-term goals for the Imbewu Trust include establishing a sustainable bursary fund for tertiary education at an arts institution, and publishing a collection of scripts from the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition.
Comment from Zolani M Mahola, Brand Ambassador for the Imbewu Trust
“I was thrilled to be approached by Imbewu to stand as an ambassador for them and what really struck me was the passion and extreme care with which they approach their works. As a young South African myself, I agree with them that we have many important stories to share amongst ourselves as well as the rest of the world. Imbewu provides that platform, making room for exciting new voices to be heard across the seas. I am very excited to see the further growth and development of this initiative, perhaps you would too!”