The Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre is hosting its annual 24-Hour Playwriting Competition at the University of Saskatchewan May 25-26.
The competition, which is split into an open category and a high school student category, draws a wide range of competitors. The winner in each category will receive a $500 cash prize. Out of the two winning plays one will be awarded a spot in 2013 Fringe Festival.
The competition is not only about walking away with a complete work or winning the prize, but also about motivating playwrights to actively produce the “skeleton of the play,” event coordinator Heather Morrison said. The 24-hour deadline encourages participants to write without distractions.
“Everybody from the high school student who doesn’t know the first thing about playwriting all the way up to people who’ve won prizes for playwriting” will compete, Morrison said. “We like the diversity, it doesn’t seem to matter what experience you come in with. What does seem to matter is how much time you actually spend in the room writing.”
The prize-winning plays do not necessarily need to be 100 per cent complete.
“If you write three scenes of a seven-scene play, but the first three scenes are amazing, you could win,” Morrison said. The judges are looking for plays that show promise. Morrison said that an effective script has a story which makes sense, is interesting, and “feels good”.
The playwright centre’s dramaturg Gordon Portman, past president Cheryl Jack and local playwright and actor Will Brooks will judge the competition. The top plays in both categories will be read by actors Jamie Lee Shebelski, Kate Herriot, Matthew Burgess and CTV’S Jeff Rogstad.
Judges look for scripts with flowing dialog, captivating plot, interesting characters and conflict when selecting the top plays.
According to Morrison, the competition will be a great opportunity for writers to network and establish relationships with other artists in the province.
“It’s all about having a really good time,” she said. “Yes, there are prizes and yes, there’s the competitive part, but it’s going to be a great event.”
Those interested in the competition can sign-up online.