Koleka Putuma has been announced as the winner of the 2018 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition following staged readings of scripts by the four finalists this week.
Putuma won for her play No Easter Sunday for Queers, which will be produced by the Imbewu Trust at a venue in Cape Town.
The other finalists are Ben Abbott for Dissolved, CJ de Beer for Balcony Endeavours and Terence Makapan for his play Benji.
“The quality of the finalists’ scripts this year was remarkable,” said Imbewu Trust co-founder Paul Griffiths speaking at the awards evening. “Being a finalist is already a prize, as the discussions that follow the readings are insightful and stimulate much debate.
“Comedy poses different challenges for a writer and CJ de Beer’s Balcony Endeavours captured lovely moments and rhythms in the text while speaking to a millennial audience. Benji by Terence Makapan explored the male psyche in an extreme context and a problematic relationship between father and son – the way in which the narrative unfolded was thrilling. Dissolved by Ben Abbott exposes intimacy between two men of a certain generation with a tender and beautifully distilled script.
“Koleka Putuma’s No Easter Sunday for Queers subject matter is poignant, hard-hitting and relevant. Koleka cleverly combines an interesting language of scripture with a contemporary voice to tell the story, and in the text, we also have a strong sense of the theatrical potential of the play.”
“There was a much more diverse range of entrants and stories being told this year, which is an encouraging sign that South Africans are wanting to share their stories and use the SCrIBE platform to do so,” he said.
No Easter Sunday For Queers tells the story of Napo, a lesbian in her twenties, who is in love with Mimi, a queer woman in her thirties. The two women are murdered at a church where Napo’s father is the pastor. The play explores religion and queer identity and aims to find a language that serves as a bridge between the queer child who is raised in an orthodox religious environment and the environment itself.
Darrel Bristow-Bovey, winner of the 2017 SCrIBE competition, will have his play Priest With Balloons presented by the Imbewu Trust, directed by Paul Griffiths, in early 2019.
Now in its seventh year, the competition, which is a flagship project of the Imbewu Trust, was awarded the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Innovation in Theatre for its endeavour to develop South Africa’s contemporary theatre through the SCrIBE competition.
SCrIBE is a platform for South African writers to develop their work, with a number of prizes which change each year depending on the most suitable support for a designated writer and script. The finalists of the competition have the opportunity for their play to be presented at a staged reading then receive feedback from the professional director and actors involved as well as the audience members.
Criteria for the competition are that scripts must not have been previously produced, nor have existing future runs plans of being produced. The scripts should be in English, no longer than 40 pages or 80 minutes long and with a maximum of five cast members. Entrants must be over 18 years old. The Imbewu Trust and judges look for original content of outstanding quality that explores the diverse range of South African stories. The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners.
The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established by Paul Griffiths and Samantha de Romijn to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts and to help showcase it on an international stage. It seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation. For further information visit www.imbewuarts.com.