News - The Winners of the International Playwriting Competition
REFUGEES / EXILE / IDENTITY / MIGRATION“ 2010


The Winners of the Competition 2008

The Winners of the Competition 2006

“The International Playwrights’ Forum of the International Theatre Institute organises biennial playwriting competitions, to encourage contemporary writing. The playwrights’ identity is unknown to the Jury, and the plays are judged solely on their quality and on their reference to the subject set by IPF.”

The winners are:

1st prize: Maya van den Heuvel-Arad, Netherlands for The Diamond Stars

2nd prize: Philip St John, Ireland for  Maxine

3rd prize: Kathleen Desmond, Ireland for Unravelling Myths

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1st prize: Maya van den Heuvel-Arad, Netherlands for The Diamond Stars

Maya van den Heuvel-Arad

is an Israeli dramaturge and writer based in Amsterdam. She holds an M. A. in dramaturgy from the University of Amsterdam where she graduated with distinction.
Her Master thesis: Focalizing Bodies: Visual Narratology in the Post-Dramatic Theatre is about to be published by Tectum Verlag in 2011.
Maya van den Heuvel-Arad has written texts for theatre and television in Hebrew and in English.
She works, among others, with upcoming theatre director Sanja Mirovic.
Since 2009 she has been the dramaturge of Ilay den Boer's award winning series of performances Het Beloofde Feest (The Promised Feast).








THE DIAMOND STARS
Synopsis
When Seifu hired Amadu as a cleaner in his abseil window washing company he made him promise one thing: no talking about the past; especially not about that one night in Sierra Leone in 1997. On a cold afternoon in 2001 they hang suspended outside a skyscraper in Amsterdam, washing windows. As Seifu reluctantly discloses more and more details about the war, the conflict grows into a physical struggle in the air, in front of the eyes of the Western business-men in the offices behind the windows. When the truth gradually comes out, the opposing identities of perpetrator and victim lose their meaning.

Would you please contact Maya van den Heuvel-Arad if you are interested in reading “The Diamond Stars”.
For an online portfolio, see
http://mayavandenheuvel.blogspot.com

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2nd prize: Philip St John, Ireland for  Maxine

Philip St John

was born in Dublin and now lives nearby in Bray. In the 1980s he taught for two years in Jamaica. In 2010 he resigned from teaching to write full time and received a literary bursary from The Arts Council Of Ireland. His first novel Crazy Baldheads, which is set in the Caribbean, has been taken on by the Jonathan Williams Literary Agency. St John’s short stories have been published in New Irish Writing and broadcast on RTE Radio. Maxine is his first play.

MAXINE
Synopsis

English art curator Clair Burke travels to the Caribbean to interview Patrick Cush, an Irish artist who disappeared decades ago and who has recently begun to paint again in a startlingly original way. But Clair soon senses that Cush and his family are concealing secrets from her – not least, the truth about Maxine, the troubled young woman who acts as the painter’s muse.


Would you please contact Philip St John if  you are interested in reading “Maxine”.


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3rd prize: Kathleen Desmond, Ireland for Unravelling Myths

Kathleen Desmond

is an Irish teacher, drama in education lecturer/teacher, arts facilitator, director, producer and writer based in Dublin. She attended the New College of Speech and Drama North London and holds a Diploma in Dramatic Art from  the London University.  Later she attended the University of Dublin, Trinity College and was awarded (Honours BA Degree in English).

She works as a teacher and lecturer and in the art field as a writer and director for schools, colleges, fringe theatre companies and amateur drama groups.

 





UNRAVELLING MYTHS
Synopsis

is a modern version of the Greek Tragedy "Electra".  Its theme is the cycle of revenge violence and it exposes the terrible legacy of conflict albeit domestic or political. 

Ollie 22 years old returns to Belfast for the first time since he had left for America as a one-year-old with his mother Cynthia and his father Andrew and older sister Ellie.  An earlier sister was killed by a rubber bullet. When in America Cynthia found herself more and more estranged from her husband, (she is a Protestant and he is a Catholic, they had at first been fighting for the same ideals but now she finds him espousing violence and capitalising on the propaganda surrounding their daughter’s death). As a result, a short time later Cynthia returns to Ireland alone and four years later at her request Andrew returns along with his new girlfriend Cassy and the young Ellie. Ollie remains in America.  Andrew is shot dead in an ambush shortly after returning and is now an IRA hero and legend.

The play commences in 1992, when we see Ollie returning with photo journalist friend Frank, looking for a dramatic story.  Ellie along with her compliant boy friend Raymond is an IRA activist.  While Ellie lives with Cassy she despises her and she also has good reason to blame her mother Cynthia for having a major part in her father’s death.  Ollie meets his mother and we get her side of the story; however he finds he cannot warm to her and is obsessed with Ellie, her image, her charisma and her alluring engagement with violence all serve to draw him in.  His cocky naive attitude grates and impinges on Ellie’s carefully structured and well controlled territory.  He makes a number of dangerous blunders and she wants rid of him.  After raping and emasculating him in a fit of rage and anxiety she adroitly perceives that she can use him to avenge her father’s death and thereby resolve her festering hatred for her mother.  In a bid to redeem his impotent status he agrees to carry out the murder of his mother, and ultimately suffers the consequence.

The play uses the situation in Northern Ireland in 1992 to explore the relationship between institutional violence, societal violence and domestic violence. It raises the issue of the media exploitation reflection and often celebration of that violence which makes it attractive and acceptable.  It illuminates and encapsulates the tragic essence of the Northern Ireland troubles.

While the action is specifically located in the North of Ireland the truth of the drama is reflected in many global situations of conflict or post conflict. 

Would you please contact Kathleen Desmond if you are interested in reading ”Unravelling Myths”


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