The submission window to The Bruntwood Prize 2017 closed at 6pm on 5th June. We received 1,898 submissions that were address by over over 95 readers.
The plays have been through a rigorous process to make it to the longlist and shortlist;
- Phase One – reading the first 40 pages to identify approximately 900 scripts of potential interest.
- Phase Two – a new set of readers reading the full script to identify the Top 250
- Phase Three – a new set of readers reading the full script to identify the Top 40 for discussion in Phase Four and the longlist of Top 100 scripts eligible for feedback within 2017.
- Phase Four – Script Meeting to discuss the Top 40 scripts and to decide on the Shortlist of ten scripts to be issued to the judges. This meeting is with core artistic staff at the Royal Exchange Theatre and external freelance directors
As each script proceeds through the phases of reading it is addressed by a diverse team of readers. The Royal Exchange manages the reading process to ensure that each script is seen by readers with different ages, genders, work history, ethnicities and interests. The aim of the Prize is to find great plays in whatever shape or form they appear so the entry criteria are deliberately broad to allow first time writers and more experienced playwrights to be assessed on a level footing. We hope that in carefully administrating the reader demographics we ensure no script is overlooked due to an unconscious bias towards a particular way to tell a story.
Of this years readers, who provided information;
9% Consider themselves disabled
30% are from a BAME background
63% are female and 35% men (2% prefer not to say)
They are aged between early 20’s to over 70
They have included Artistic Directors, dramaturges, senior readers at the Royal Court and National Theatre, Literary Managers of National Theatre of Scotland, Traverse Theatre, Orange Tree Theatre, Finborough Theatre, previous winners of the Bruntwood Prize, actors and national critics and theatre commentators.
For the first time ever, we will be announcing the identities of the shortlisted writers on October 24th. To allow this to happen while still protecting the anonymity of shortlist the Judges meeting will take place on October 23rd, with winners chosen under script embargo until the November 13th Award Ceremony.