On 16th October 2010, TheatreWorks and South East CDC announced the winners of this year’s 24-Hour Playwriting Competition.
The 13th edition of the competition was held at at the SAF Yacht Club in Changi over one weekend. In a scenic room overlooking the Straits of Singapore, 60 participants across walks of life pitted their creativity against one another in friendly jostling of the written word. While a few participants were occupationally involved in the arts, others comprised an eclectic mix of participants from all walks of life: including students, office executives, bus officer and retirees. Many have not written plays before.
Mr. Matthias Yao Chih, Mayor of South East District, was the Guest-of-Honour. He said, “South East CDC is happy to work with TheatreWorks in engaging our aspiring local writers and giving them valuable space to showcase their works. At the same time, the 24-hour playwriting competition allows self-expression, bonding among participants, and a better appreciation of one another’s uniqueness as well as shared experiences living and growing up in Singapore.”
Excerpts from the prize-winning scripts were also read. They were directed by Associate Director Robin Loon, and performed by Serene Chen, Nora Samosir and Gerald Chew.
The winners are as follows :
1st Prize winner
Ahmad Musta’ain Bin Khamis with SERUNDING
Age 23, an undergrad at NIE.
He is a first-time winner, and second-time participant when he participated in 2008.
This winning play will be presented in the South East District as TheatreWorks’ community outreach programme. The dramatised reading of this play will be performed by Alin Mosbit and directed by Lim Yu Beng. The intention is to develop the work dramaturgically with inputs by professional theatre practitioners and to develop the skills of the writer. It will be presented in different venues in South East District over six weekends.
2nd Prize Winner
Bryan Tan with THERE WILL NOW BE A FIFTEEN-MINUTE INTERVAL
Age 36, Lawyer
A regular in the competition. He previously won a Special Mention award in the 2009 competition. Tan’s works have been staged previously, the most current was SOMEDAY, SAMSARA, that was staged in the Arts House.
3rd Prize Winner
Jacke Chye with ONE WEDDING & A FUNERAL
Age: 40s/ Works in Marketing
A regular in the competition. He has won previously: 2nd Prize of 24h 2007, Merit Prize of 24h 2008 & 2nd Prize 24h 2009.
Merit Prize Winners
Edgar Liao with AND THEY SHALL SAIL WITH US
Age 28, Postgrad student at NUS
A regular participant in the competition, he won the first prize in the 2007 competition and in 2004 won the first prize in the TheatreWorks-organised Singapore Young Dramatist Awards. One of his works, MA GOES HOME, is currently being staged by Action Theatre.
Nurudin Bin Sadali with RED OZ
Age 22, Undergrad at NUS
Othman Bin Ibrahim / Untitled
Age 59, Bus Driver
First time participant and is the only participant to write in long-hand. No laptop and typewriter.
No first, second or third prizes were awarded. Only two merit prizes were awarded to:
Richard Neo with COMING HOME
Age 17, Student at Raffles Institution Junior College
Shriram Jayakumar with BRECHTIAN COMEDIES
Age 17, Student at Anglo-Chinese Junior College
The three judges were Academic and Founder of NUS Theatre Studies Programme Dr. K K Seet, playwrights Desmond Sim and Ovidia Yu.
Dr Seet said : “I am particularly gratified when the winners are a mixed bag of veterans and first-timers. On the one hand, the veterans remind us that their craft, which they continue to hone through the rigor of such playwriting competitions, is part and parcel of accumulated experience. On the other hand, the first-time winners inspire us with their freshness of perspective and innovative templates, as well as reassuring us that new, untapped talent is in constant supply.”
Robin Loon, who has been the Associate Director for the Writers’ Lab added, “This year’s Open category winners exhibit a maturity and confidence, the likes of which the 24-hour Playwriting Competition has not seen in a while. The genres range from broad ensemble comedy, to sensitive & candid monologues, to intimate & intense two-handers. These winning entries are very encouraging and will inject great excitement into the local play-writing scene. I do hope that the writers will continue to develop their writing.”
The 2010 24-Hour Playwriting Competition was supported by: South East CDC, Community ArtReach by People’s Association, National Arts Council and the SAF Yacht Club.