Winners Announced in National Playwriting Competition
May 18, 2017 – Theatre BC’s 2016 Canadian Playwriting Competition has wrapped up and winners in three categories have been chosen. This year’s Full Length Prize winner of $1000 is Arthur Holden of Westmount, Quebec, for his play The Past. Arthur is a professional writer and actor with numerous film and TV credits. A number of his plays have been professionally produced. In addition to the cash prize, The Past will be extensively workshopped at this year’s Mainstage Festival in Vernon, BC, July 1 – 8.
This year’s Special Merit Prize of $500 goes to Andrew Lee of Hamilton, Ontario, for his one act play, Bad Mash. An experienced playwright, Andrew’s plays often focus on representations of memory and mental illness. Productions of his plays have appeared in a number of festivals in Ontario.
The One Act Prize of $750 goes to Shawn Erker of Vancouver, BC, for his play, Singularity. Born in Saskatoon, Shawn is also an actor and writer of seven shows that have appeared in Fringe Festivals across the country. He is also a successful actor.
This year marked the return of the competition to a national stage and there were 80 entries from eight provinces and the Yukon. From these the judges chose six finalists, the other three finalists were Pot Kettle Black by William Marchant of Vancouver, The Queer Trial by Jennifer Wise of Victoria, and The Festinger Effect by David Campbell of Black Diamond, Alberta.
This year’s judges were Garry Davey, Keith Digby, and Sally Stubbs. Garry is also the former artistic director of the William Davis Centre for Actor’s Study in Vancouver. He is a graduate of the Vancouver Playhouse Acting School and has worked on stages across the country as well as on film and television. Keith has adjudicated and directed for theatre for many years. He is also a screen writer and the second of his “claustrophobic” thrillers, Container, co-written with Brian Paisley is scheduled to shoot next year. Sally is an award winning playwright and educator with an MFA in Playwriting. Her plays have been produced, presented and studied in Canada, Sweden, India and South Africa. Her play, And Bella Sang With Us was named Pick of the Vancouver Fringe this year.