There was a wonderful response to The Silver Gull Play Award competition this year, with over 40 plays submitted. The judging panel read, assessed and discussed each submission based solely on merit (the identity of the writers was kept anonymous). The scripts were of a very high standard, responding with imagination, intelligence and insight to the brief for plays that speak to New Theatre’s ethos, engaging with contemporary society and the challenges that we face. The quality of writing and depth of investigation of the human condition on display certainly demonstrates the strength and diversity of playwriting in this country. 

Here are the five plays that have been shortlisted for The Silver Gull Play Award 2020:

Victim by Jeanette Cronin
God’s Gruesome Shadow on the Wall by Kian Farzam
The Scream by Justin Fleming
Gods and Little Fishes by Jamie Oxenbould and Richard Sydenham
The Park by Simon Thomson

Congratulations to the playwrights, and we look forward to hearing excerpts at the gala awards night on Monday 19 October, when the winner will be announced.

Established in 2015 and sponsored by The Buzz from Sydney, The Silver Gull Play Award is an important literary prize for new theatrical writing by a playwright resident in New South Wales. A list of previous winners and shortlisted plays is located at the bottom of the page.

This year the total prize money for the award will be $5000. The winning playwright will receive $3000 and the remainder of the prize pool will be split evenly between the shortlisted writers.

Philosophical? Political? Provocative?

The Silver Gull Award will recognise an outstanding play that aligns with New Theatre’s commitment to producing ‘Plays With a Purpose’. We’re looking for plays that support our ethos, provoke thought and discussion about the human condition, reflect on contemporary society, and engage with the challenges that concern us all.

We want to be surprised.
We want to be astonished.
We want to be shown new worlds.
We want you to push buttons.
We want your imagination to fly.
We want to feel the fire in your belly.

The rest is up to you.

To be eligible for The Silver Gull Play Award, plays must:

  • Be at least 60 minutes in length
  • Be unpublished and unproduced
  • Be unencumbered by agreements for future production or publication
  • Be the original work of the playwright
  • Be written by a playwright who resides in NSW
  • Be written by a playwright over the age of 18 years as of 1 January 2020.
  • Not have won, or been shortlisted for, another Australian playwriting competition as of time of entry
  • Not be an adaptation of a work from one format to another (eg novel to play)

Previous finalists and winners of The Silver Gull Play Award:

Between the Streetlight and the Moon by Melita Rowston
Furthest West by Michael Collins
The Block Universe (Or So It Goes) by Sam O’Sullivan
The Last Executioner by Mark Swivel
TickTickBoom by Melissa Lee Speyer – winner

People Will Think You Don’t Love Me by Joanna Erskine – winner
A Matter of Life and Death by John AD Fraser
The Ink Trail by Louis Klee
This, This Is Mine by Duncan Ragg
I sat and waited but you were gone too long by Olivia Satchell

The Bees Are All Dead by Kit Brookman
Dead Wen by Elias Jamieson Brown
For Unknown Reasons by Zoe Cooper – winner
A Spy in the House of Love by Zoe Hogan
Human Activity by Katie Pollock
The Blackbird and the Whale by Alison Rooke

Disinhibition by Christopher Bryant
Alabaster Burning by John AD Fraser
People Inside Me by Katie Pollock
Superheroes by Mark Rogers
Lions and Tigers and Bears by Phillip James Rouse – winner

I Damo by Pauline Bleach
The Deal by Kel Vance
Breathless by Deborah Mulhall
Son of Byblos by James Elazzi
Field of Vision by Joanna Erskine – winner

The Silver Gull Play Award is proudly supported by 

Original artwork © Michael Tonkin