Press release: Finalists announced for SCrIBE 2017

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The top three finalists of the 2017 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition have been announced. Professional staged readings of their plays will take place nightly from Monday, 18 September until Wednesday, 20 September at 7pm. The venue is the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Methodist Church Hall, corner of Milton Road and Wesley Street, Observatory, Cape Town. Entrance is free.

The winners will be announced at an event on Thursday 21 September.

Produced by the Imbewu Trust and now celebrating its sixth year, SCrIBE is a national competition which provides the opportunity for playwrights to develop their work, with various prizes to be won. These include having a script produced for a professional run, mentorship programmes and all finalists have the invaluable opportunity to engage in feedback sessions with audience members at staged readings of their scripts.

The 2017 finalists are Darrel Bristow-Bovey for his script Priest With Balloons, Two Lovers by Ter Hollmann and Gardening and Other Distractions by Juliette Rose-Innes.

On Monday 18 September, Richard Wright-Firth directs the reading of Gardening and Other Distractions by Juliette. The play explores among other things youth culture and apathy that could take place across the world and how things can crumble in the most mundane of ways.

On Tuesday 19 September Two Lovers will be presented. The play is a two hander love story that looks at the arc of a romance from beginning to end and is directed by Kimberley Buckle.

Priest with Balloons will be read on Wednesday 20 September, directed by Terence Makapan. In a tiny, impoverished fishing village on the West Coast of South Africa, in the grip of a drought that is causing the fabric of the community to unravel, the local reverend of the church hatches an unusual plan to unite and inspire his congregation. But the reverend is locked in conflict with his brother, a television actor visiting from Johannesburg, and with Xolisa, the politically conscientised daughter of his domestic worker, and finally with himself, and his own faith, and his belief in his own place in the New South Africa.

The staged readings will be followed each night by a discussion with the audience members.

Co-founders of the Imbewu Trust, Paul Griffiths and Sam de Romijn

Criteria included that Scripts must not have been previously produced, nor have existing future runs plans of being produced. Other criteria are that the scripts should be in English, no longer than 40 pages or 80 minutes long and with a maximum of five cast members. Entrants must be over 18 years old. The Imbewu Trust and judges were again looking for original content of outstanding quality that explores the diverse range of South African stories. The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners.

“Finalists have often found the staged readings one of the most beneficial aspects of the competition,” says Samantha de Romijn, co-founder of the Imbewu Trust. “The standard of entries was again high this year and we look forward to the discussions around the staged readings of our top three finalists.”

One of the 2016 winners, Nokuzola Bikwana, had her play No Christmas For Us staged at this year’s Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre Centre, directed by Thami Mbongo. The Imbewu Trust also provided support for the run of the other 2016 winner, Milton Schorr’s The Heroin Diaries, at Alexander Bar, directed by Fred Abrahamse.

Paul Griffiths and Samantha de Romijn with one of the 2016 winners, Nokuzola Zoe Bikwana

“Imbewu has really opened the doors of positive writing for me. I had been a writer of only stories and poems and never had any confidence of writing plays, but having won the competition, it has instilled a confidence in me and helped me define myself as a writer,” says one of the 2016 winners Nokuzola Bikwana. “I have continued writing plays and I am confident that my writing will touch a number of people as it has done with the play I submitted for SCrIBE, No Christmas for Us. I thank the Imbewu Trust and may the organisers continue being an inspiration to writers out there.”

The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established by Paul Griffiths and Samantha de Romijn 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 Trust created the annual SCrIBE Scriptwriting competition, one of its flagship projects, to provide new opportunities for local writers to fully develop their work.

The SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition readings take place from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 September at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Methodist Church Hall, corner of Milton Road and Wesley Street, Observatory, Cape Town. Parking is available in the area.

Entrance is free and spaces allocated on a first-come, first serve basis. For further information visit www.imbewuarts.com.

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