In November 2021, Newcastle’s premier theatre production house, The Very Popular Theatre Company, launch its inaugural $10,000 playwright’s award, which is open to applicants across Australia.

Very Pop Executive and Artistic Director, Daniel Stoddart, said the Stoddart Playwright Award was established to recognise outstanding new plays which display an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice.

“Open to established and emerging writers, the award will help develop Australian voices for the stage,” said Daniel.

“The $10,000 award has the potential to greatly assist up-and-coming playwrights and/or enable more seasoned writers to focus on their creative work.

“The winning play will be given a potential pathway to the mainstage, with a fully produced version of considered for future The Very Popular Theatre Company seasons.

“Newcastle has long had a reputation as a creative hub, producing a wide range of talent, recognised across the globe. This new playwrights award aims to draw a national focus to the region, as a place of artistic integrity and emphasise its position as a community dedicated to nurturing the arts.

“My wife and Very Pop Associate Producer, Hayley Stoddart, and I both grew up in Newcastle and feel fortunate to be raising our family in one of the best cities in the world. We’re proud to put our family’s name to this award, the first of its kind in the region. We are excited to be able to support the professional career of someone who is contributing to new theatre forms and styles,” added Daniel.

To be eligible for the 2022 Stoddart Playwright Award, plays must: be at least 60 minutes in length; be unproduced and unpublished; not have been publicly presented, marketed and/or advertised for a paid or ticketed audience; and not be under agreement or licensing representation with a publishing company, management company or licensing body.

Applications for the Stoddart Playwright Award close 8 June 2022. Shortlisted plays will be announced in August, with the winner announced in September.


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