The Imbewu Trust is calling for applications for their third SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition, with a number of prizes available this year.
Entries open on 1 March, closing date for applications is 31 July and the top five scripts will be selected for a week-long staged reading in October, with the opportunity for discussion and feedback from the public and members of the theatre industry.
The winning script will be produced by a professional creative team for a run at a Cape Town theatre in 2015. A second winner will have the chance to further workshop his or her play, with a third award of the Scribblers Dream, a financial prize to enable a writer to work alongside a mentor to develop his or her script. The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners.
The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organization which was established to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts. Founded by Sam de Romijn and Paul Griffiths, Imbewu seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation. Imbewu’s primary objectives are to stimulate the contemporary theatre industry, as well as showcase the best of South African theatre on an international platform and create opportunities for new theatre practitioners.
“We have been overwhelmingly inspired by the calibre of scripts that we have received in the past two years,” says Griffiths. “The depth and breadth of style, genre and subject matter has underlined the high level of creativity and imagination we have in this country, and the wealth of stories we have to tell.
“A text comes alive when it is read from the page, and presented on the stage. It is during this process that its strengths and weaknesses are highlighted. As a result, we have evolved SCrIBE over the years, to allow the full potential of the top entries to be realised, and for a group of writers to benefit from the input of a professional team.”
“It is an incredible opportunity for a writer to have access to resources and the cost of mounting a production covered by a professional team, but also a chance for a host of other writers to develop their craft,” says de Romijn. “A number of previous entrants have gone on to rework their text as a result of the open readings, and some on to further professional runs.”
For SCrIBE 2014, Imbewu is looking for new works of outstanding quality, original content and which represent the range of the South African theatre landscape. The scripts should be in English, no longer than 40 pages or 80 minutes, with no more than five cast members.
The Imbewu Trust’s other initiatives include the Imbewu Showcase in New York, USA. Started in 2012, when Imbewu presented Neil Coppen’s Tin Bucket Drum to great acclaim, this project aims to create dialogue between US practitioners and Imbewu, and to develop South African arts through cultural exchange.
Speaking at the announcement of the call for 2014 SCrIBE entries, de Romijn said that the next New York Showcase was planned for mid-2015. A USA-based team is currently working to identify partners, raise funding and assist with logistics, to present an exciting season of contemporary South African performers in New York.
She said other long-term goals for the Imbewu Trust included establishing a sustainable bursary fund for tertiary education at an arts institution, and publishing a collection of scripts from the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition.
Entries for the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition open on 1 March. For details visit www.imbewuarts.com