The ETPEP AWARD 2020- Deadline Extended, 30th JUNE

The ETPEP AWARD 2020 is a playwriting prize for new UK playwrights who work in the theatre industry, run by the Finborough Theatre in association with the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP).

The Award is open to UK residents of any age who have not had a play professionally produced, and who have worked front of house, in administrative roles, on stage, backstage, lighting, design etc. or in a creative capacity in theatre for at least two years, either now or in the past. The award is intended to target and encourage those who are currently working in theatre but who are new to playwriting, and therefore, the Award is not open to those who have worked in any capacity in a literary department, a literary agency, theatre critics, or those who ever have undertaken paid script reading work.

The award will be judged completely anonymously until the very final shortlist and interview stage, and brief feedback will be provided on every entry.

The winner will receive:

  • a prize of £8,000. (£4000 will be presented on the announcement of the winner in July 2020, and the remaining £4000 will be presented at the conclusion of the staged reading performance on Sunday, 20 September 2020).
  • A development relationship with the Finborough Theatre including one-to-one dramaturgy with Finborough Theatre Artistic Director and playwright Neil McPherson.
  • A rehearsal workshop with actors and a director to develop the play.
  • A staged reading performance of the winning play at the Finborough Theatre, London, on Sunday, 20 September 2020.

They are looking for

  • promising writers, rather than projects specifically targeted for production. The winner will be given the chance to develop and present their work in a supportive environment.
  • A play of substance which contributes in some way to our understanding of the human condition or experience, from a writer with potential to enhance our political and social awareness.
  • The Award is open to new playwrights who have previously worked in theatre in another capacity for a minimum of two years:
    • ‘New playwright’ – you must not have had more than ten performances of a full length play you have written.
      “Working in theatre” – This refers to any role from front of house and administrative roles, to backstage, to acting, directing or design. You must submit the name and contact details of a referee, or referees who can verify your work. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE AWARD IS NOT OPEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE WORKED IN ANY CAPACITY IN A LITERARY DEPARTMENT OR A LITERARY AGENCY OR THOSE WHO HAVE EVER UNDERTAKEN PAID SCRIPT READING WORK.
  • They will accept plays on any theme, although tend to look favourably on plays with a contemporary subject or a fresh perspective on a historical situation, or life as we know it.
  • The competition is open to anyone resident in the United Kingdom.
  • There is no age limit.
  • The play should be full length, with a playing time of at least seventy minutes.
  • To prevent confusion, please note that the two year’s experience period does not include training or education, therefore someone who left drama school last year would not be eligible. Likewise, the competition is only for those actively working in the professional theatre – drama teachers or lecturers are not eligible.
  • The play submitted must be an original, unperformed and unproduced piece of work. It cannot have received a professional production in any form, anywhere in the world. This does not include amateur productions, or up to a maximum of THREE script-in-hand readings or work-in-progress showings.
  • Plays that have already received more than three months of dramaturgy and development with a professional theatre company are not eligible.
  • Any scripts that have been professionally produced or published will be automatically disqualified.
  • Plays previously entered for the ETPEP Award in the past are not eligible.
  • Translations, children’s plays, adaptations, music theatre, television, film or radio scripts are not eligible for the competition.

The judges for the 2020 Award are playwright Winsome Pinnock; Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Neil McPherson; Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Sue Healy; Actor, Playwright and Activist Athena Stevens; and Clive Webster of the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust, which founded the award. More judges will be announced shortly.



11pm on Tuesday 30 June 2020

Published on:
27 Apr 2020


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