There was a huge response to the Silver Gull Play Award this year, with over 50 plays submitted. Displaying a wide variety of subject matter and a high standard of writing, the quality and originality of the submissions greatly impressed the judges. 

After much deliberation, a shortlist of six has been selected, with another two plays ‘Highly Commended’.

The 2021 shortlist is:
Off The Record by Chris Aronsten

Sanctuary by Margaret Davis                                
Cloudsurfing by John AD Fraser                       
The Scammer by Wendy Lewis                                                             
Fitson and Dan by Mark O’Flynn             
The Other End of The Afternoon by Bokkie Robertson       

Highly commended:
Identity Games by Christopher Bryant                                                       

Television by James O’Loghlin       

The judging panel comprises Annie Bilton (former Literary Manager, Griffin Theatre Co; Play Assessor, New Theatre), Louise Fischer (Artistic Director, New Theatre), Patrick Howard (freelance theatre-maker; Play Assessor, New Theatre), Victor Kalka (freelance director and designer), John Keightley (actor; Play Assessor, New Theatre), Sahn Millington (director; Play Assessor, New Theatre), Shan-Ree Tan (actor), Helen Tonkin (Artistic Associate, New Theatre),Tiffany Wong (actor, director, producer.

The shortlisted writers and winner will share in a total prize pool of $7,000, thanks to the generous sponsorship of The Buzz From Sydney.

The winner will be announced on Tuesday 7 December, when we will present rehearsed readings of excerpts from the six shortlisted plays, performed by Matt Abotomy, Deng Deng, Sonya Kerr, Bill Jordan, Susan Jordan, Mark G Nagle, Oghenero Ohwafa, Lachie Pringle and Hannah Zaslowski under the direction of Mark G Nagle.

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.

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

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 – winner
The Park by Simon Thomson

The Silver Gull Play Award is proudly supported by 

Original artwork © Michael Tonkin