Scriptwriting competition is launched in Cape Town

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Finalists in a scriptwriting contest that pays homage to the contributions of legendary South African writer and poet, Adam Small, were recently announced in Cape Town.

(BACK L-R): Chase Rhys and Denver Breda. (FRONT L-R): Hennie van Greunen (judge and mentor), Mandla Mbothwe (judge and mentor), Anele Kose and Gregory Joseph. PHOTO CREDIT: 4Eva Productions.
(BACK L-R): Chase Rhys and Denver Breda. (FRONT L-R): Hennie van Greunen (judge and mentor), Mandla Mbothwe (judge and mentor), Anele Kose and Gregory Joseph. PHOTO CREDIT: 4Eva Productions.

This competition, named the Adam and Rosalie Small Award for Debutant/Debutante Writers, was launched last year in honour of the late Adam Small and his wife Rosalie for their contributions to South African literature, philosophy, education, and advocacy against social injustice.

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Aspirant writers had to focus their scripts on South African themes that support diversity in language, race, culture, age, gender and sexual orientation, themes which celebrate inclusivity and social cohesion.

Adam Small, widely known for his activism in the struggle against apartheid, penned amongst others, Kanna Hy Kô Hystoe, Krismis Van Map Jacobs, District Six and Klawerjas and Kô lat ons sing.

The winner of the unpublished script will be offered once-off assistance by Distell to bring their work to the stage in the Western Cape. All scripts had to be submitted under a pseudonym and were judged based on the criteria, quality and storyline. Out of the 20 entries four finalists were chosen by a judging panel that consists of directors, poets, writers and academics.

The finalists for the Adam and Rosalie Small Award for Debutant/Debutante Writers scriptwriting competition are:

  • Anele Kose, 32, an aspiring writer, poet and actor who lives in Delft, Cape Town.
  • Chase Rhys, 28, a writer and performance artist from Ocean View, Slangkop.
  • Johannesburg-born Gregory Joseph relocated to Cape Town in 1986. He owns his own business but regards writing as his true calling.
  • Denver Breda, a passionate Capetonian scriptwriter and theatre-maker who currently resides in Lavender Hill.

Hennie van Greunen and Mandla Mbothwe are leading a mentoring process with the finalists. Thereafter the judging panel will revisit the scripts and a winner will be announced on 18 September 2017.

The judging panel for this competition includes: Diana Ferrus, Hennie van Greunen, Mandla Mbothwe, Dr Mohammed Cassiem Dharsey, Steward van Wyk and Thembi Mtshali Jones.

Playwrights aren’t left to their own devices. The mentors revise and edit the scripts with the finalists to get the best possible version of each story and it is this version that is sent to the judges to determine the final winner.

Hennie van Greunen, a panel member and co-owner of Wordsmith’s Theatre Factory, says what he really loves about the Adam and Rosalie competition is that it is “as the late Adam Small’s work has always been, all about inclusivity, truth and tolerance”.

According to Mandla Mbothwe, also a panel member, writer, professional director and teacher, by using the work of the late Adam Small, they are determined to look at certain languages in theatrical performances, both in spoken and in theatrical metaphors that remain side-lined. “Through this programme we will strive to unmute and restore the confidence of underrated artists and marginalised stories both in aesthetics, content and in spoken language.”

The winner will be announced on 18 September 2017.

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