2023 Playwright's Prize
An open call for distinctive, dynamic, heart-stopping, extraordinary, wonderful plays.
Ava Wong Davies
15th May 2023
About the Playwright's Prize
In the first year 176 scripts were submitted. Last year, in its fourth year, 1,174 scripts were submitted and Platform Presents partnered with one of the leading live entertainment companies in the world, Ambassador Theatre Group, on the prize re-naming it the Ambassador Theatre Group Playwright’s Prize in association with Platform Presents. Also in 2022 international city media brand Time Out partnered with Platform Presents and Finite Films to
announce five new prizes for Runners-Up. Ambassador Theatre Group and Time Out are confirmed to partner again this year.
The annual prize and fundraiser is co-produced with Finite Films & TV, founded by Amy Gardner, and judged by a high profile group of industry experts. The winner receives £5,000 and mentoring to bring their play to stage and or screen. The five Runners-Up each receive £1,000.
Mark Cornell, CEO of Ambassador Theatre Group
“Storytelling is our craft, visceral experiences is our area of expertise. This prize and the ‘Theatrical Consequences’ Gala are the perfect vehicles to raise funds to support rising star talent.”.
Writers who wish to enter the prize can submit full or partial scripts of up to 10,000 words using the form below until midday on May 15th 2023.
Judges to be confirmed in the coming weeks. Last year's judges included -
Jasmine Lee-Jones is a writer and actor based in North London. Her first full-length play Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner opened at The Royal Court in July 2019 and won the 2019 Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, the 2019 Stage Debut Award for Best Writer, the 2019 Alfred Fagon Award, the 2020 Critics’ Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright, and the European New Talent Drama Award 2020.
Other writing credits include Curios (Soho Theatre, 2021); Living Newspaper (Royal Court Theatre, 2020); My White Best Friend (Bunker Theatre, 2019), Dark Matter (Beyond the Court), Say Her Name, Drinking Concrete [co-writer] (Open Court). Training includes Royal Court Supergroup (2018-2019), Guildhall School of Music and Drama (2016-2019), the BBC London Writers’ Group (2017), The Andrea Project Writing Group (2017), and Soho Young Writers’ Lab (2016).
In theatre, she is currently under commission to the Royal Court Theatre and was a finalist for the Golden & Ruth Harris Commission 2021. Screen work includes a short community-led film produced by the Young Vic (2020), adapting a major novel into a TV series for Potboiler/BBC, an original TV drama with Matimba Kabalika/Drama Republic, and a feature film adaptation for Dorothy St Pictures/Film4. She is also part of BFI Flare’s BAFTA Crew 2021.
Pearl is best known for her starring role as Bill Potts opposite Peter Capaldi in the BBC’s beloved sci-fi series Doctor Who. Most recently Pearl shot survival thriller feature Horizon Line for STXfilms and SF Studios opposite Allison Williams – she also filmed starring role in independent Dystopian feature The Deal, directed by Orsi Nagypal. Recently aired work includes playing Lucy One in Friday Night Dinner opposite Simon Bird and Tamsin Greig for Channel 4.
On the feature side, Pearl played a supporting role in Steve Coogan’s feature Greed which premiered the London BFI film festival in the autumn. On stage, Pearl was last seen playing Lulu in Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party alongside Zoe Wanamaker, Stephen Mangan and Toby Jones, Directed by Ian Rickson to stellar reviews in his West End production. That year Pearl also shot short film Origami, written by BAFTA New Talent Hotlist writer Sumerah Srivastav, alongside Nicholas Pinnock. Pearl has also leant her voice to award-winning Podcasts Forest 404, playing the lead role of Pan, and Prepper alongside Sue Johnston. Both are available on BBC Sounds.
Pearl’s West End debut came starring in the National Theatre’s Olivier and Tony award-winning production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time. She appeared in A Mad World, My Masters with the Royal Shakespeare Company, she had previously starred as Nina in Theatre503’s play Only Human and co-starred in the European premiere of Aurin Squire’s Obama-ology at the Finborough Theatre. Alongside Martin Freeman, Michael Socha and Maxine Peake, Pearl featured in the comedy film Svengali, directed by John Hardwick. Further theatre credits include: Hello Kind World; Crystal Springs; Home; The Crucible; and The Comedy of Errors. Pearl trained at Bristol Old Vic.
Pippa Bennett-Warner is a British actress who trained at the RADA. Pippa is currently filming the second season of Sky’s/AMC’s Gangs of London.
In 2022 she will be seen in Chloe, a new psychological-thriller for BBC1/Amazon, See How They Run for Fox Searchlight and indie film A Bit of Light. 2020 saw Pippa star in BBC dramas Roadkill and Sitting in Limbo, Gangs of London for Sky and Maxxx for Channel 4.
Pippa played the co-lead in British indie film Real which premiered at the London Film Festival in 2019.
Sara-Ella Ozbek was born in America and raised in London. After receiving a BA honours in English Literature from the University of Exeter, she worked in the fashion industry for five years, before going on to study screenwriting in New York.
Her first novel The High Moments was published by Simon & Schuster in 2020 and is being developed for television by Makeready Productions; Sara-Ella has written the pilot. Her second Nothing I Wouldn’t Do was released by the same publisher in July 2021 and has been a source of social media buzz. Additionally, she adapted Polly Stenham’s Julie as a feature for Charles Finch’s Standalone Pictures, which Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots) is attached to direct.
Sara-Ella has been commissioned by Company Pictures to develop original series Swipe Right and is developing a musical called Rock Bottom for The Young Vic Theatre with composer Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer The Opera) directed by Sean Foley (The Play What I Wrote).
Actor, Writer & Director
Aki can be seen in Dr Who ‘Rosa ep’, ‘Sick Of It’ (Sky1) ‘Defending The Guilty’ (BBC) & ‘Father Brown’ (BBC). Film credits – Independent film Real, Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi, Riot Club, Burning Men, Faces, A Moving Image, Kids In Love. Theatre: Keith? (Arcola) That Day We Sang (Royal Exchange) The Empress (RSC) Chariots Of Fire (West end) Umbrellas Of Cherbourg (West End) Hair (Broadway Cast) Hairspray (West End).
Aki also writes, directs and produces through his production company ‘Small Long Productions’ His short film ‘Spilt’ was nominated at The British Urban Film Festival & Groucho Film Festival. His debut feature ‘Real’ had it’s world premier at 63rd BFI London Film Festival and also played Leeds International Film Festival, Cine city festival and was nominated for best debut at PAFF in LA. It most recently has been shortlisted for the Bifa Awards.
The New York Times’s ‘Londoner to know’, Laura Weir is a content and cultural direction specialist.
Her CV includes Editor-in-Chief of the London Evening Standard’s weekly supplement, ES Magazine, Evening Standard columnist and Laura has also held senior editorial positions at British Vogue and The Sunday Times. Laura also consults for brands and businesses as a content strategist.
Laura is an advocate for those living with food poverty and is a trustee of GROW an educational programme. Laura sits on the British Fashion Council Press Committee, is also a member of the BAFTA EE Rising Star jury panel, and a published author.
Helena is the acting Deputy Editor of Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country.
She is responsible for the art and culture content for both titles, commissioning award-winning writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ali Smith, and runs the annual short story competition, whose winners have included the Booker Prize-shortlisted Daisy Johnson and Fatima Bhutto. She also co-edits the annual magazine Bazaar Art, and invites high-profile artists, such as Lubaina Himid and Gillian Wearing, to collaborate each year.
In 2018, she programmed and launched both the Bazaar Literary Salon, featuring talks with the writers Ali Smith, Elif Shafak and Jessie Burton, and Bazaar Art Week, a series of expert panels, private views and events celebrating women in the art world. As a result, Bazaar Art Week was shortlisted for the BSME Best Innovation Award.
She also founded the platform East Side Voices, which aims to raise the visibility of East and Southeast Asian voices in the UK, and will publish an anthology of essays of the same name with Sceptre in 2022.
Charlotte Colbert is an established artist and award-winning filmmaker. Her critically acclaimed BIFA nominated directorial debut She Will starring Alice Krige, Kota Eberhardt, Malcolm McDowell and Rupert Everett premiered at the Locarno Film Festival this year where it won the Golden Leopard for Best First Feature. It received its UK Premiere at the London Film Festival 2021 and will be released in cinemas next year.
Colbert has also written and directed award-winning short films including The Silent Man (2016) with Simon Amstell and Sophie Kennedy Clarke and written an array of award-winning screenplays for Olivier Dahan, Eric Cantona, Tony Grisoni, and with Harry Wootliff and Laurence Coriat.
Colbert co-founded Popcorn Group in 2018 and is currently developing numerous film and TV projects including collaborations with Gonzalo Maza (writer of the Academy Award-winning film A Fantastic Woman), Penelope Skinner, Laurence Coriat, BAFTA-winning writer Charlie Covell and Mary Harron (American Psycho). She is also Executive Producer on Dali Land starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Ezra Miller, which is currently in post-production with Pressman Films.
Colbert’s practice, spanning film, photography, ceramics and sculpture, often plays with and questions narrative structures, time, language, psychoanalysis, socio-political constructions of gender and identity.
Following LAMDA Jack’s TV roles include Blandings, Poldark, The ABC Murders and Chloe. Jack has also worked extensively in film - The Riot Club, Official Secrets, Burn Burn Burn, the Netflix romantic comedy Love Wedding Repeat, and most recently playing Charles, Prince of Wales in the biographical psychological drama Spencer.
Jack’s stage work has spanned Shakespeare’s Globe, the Almeida, the Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre, Orange Theatre, Royal Exchange and the National Theatre.
Jessica Ronane is Casting Director for The Old Vic.
Her work at The Old Vic includes: Faith Healer, Endgame/Rough for Theatre II, A Christmas Carol, Lungs, A Very Expensive Poison, Present Laughter, All My Sons, The American Clock, SYLVIA, A Monster Calls, Mood Music, Fanny & Alexander, Woyzeck, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, King Lear, The Caretaker, The Master Builder, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, The Hairy Ape, Future Conditional (The Old Vic); Girl from the North Country (The Old Vic/West End); The Divide (The Old Vic/ EIF);
Jessica’s film credits include: The Kid Who Would Be King, Emma.
Upcoming work includes Luca Guadagninos’ remake of Brideshead Revisted and casting for Jeremy Herrin’s 'Second Half Productions'.
Dianna has recently finished production for Mayim Bialik’s As Sick As They Made Us opposite Dustin Hoffman, Candice Bergen and Simon Helberg, as well as Alex’s Lehmann’s Acidman, opposite Thomas Haden Church. Dianna can be seen starring in TIFF’s Shiva Baby and Sundance award winning film Novitiate.
She previously has lead festival darlings such as Zipper, Tumbledown, Bare, and Hollow In The Land. Dianna’s stage work includes the West End production of McQueen and two residencies at Carlyle Café, performing classic songs from the 60’s and 70s.
Behind the lens, Dianna directed a segment of Berlin I Love You with Luke Wilson as well as several fashion films and music videos. Dianna first came to prominence in the award winning and much beloved television show Glee.
Born in Scotland and trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Dougray Scott landed his first TV role in ITV’s Soldier Soldier. Soon afterwards he took to the stage for Tim Fleming’s Wallace and the 2000 Donmar premiere of To The Green Fields Beyond, directed by Sam Mendes.
Scott has appeared in the NBC series Heist, ABC’s Desperate Housewives, and the BBC miniseries adaptation of cult classic novel The Day of The Triffids. In 2016, he wrapped filming on Discovery Channel miniseries Harley & The Davidsons and Fear The Walking Dead for AMC.
SScott has appeared in Sony Picture’s Snatch and as Sir Percival Glyde in a television adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White. 2019 saw Scott take up roles in the feature films Sulphur & White and Neasa Hardiman’s thriller, Sea Fever, and in TV series Batman and a crime thriller - Irvine Welsh’s Crime.
Scott’s film career has included roles in Ever After opposite Drew Barrymore and Deep Impact with Robert Duvall, Tea Leoni and Vanessa Redgrave. He also starred in My Week With Marilyn opposite Michelle Williams, United opposite Jack O’Connell, Hitman, directed by Xavier Gens, Enigma opposite Kate Winslet and Mission Impossible II opposite Tom Cruise. Most recently, he has starred in Taken 3 with Liam Neeson and Forest Whitaker, plus Lakeshore’s Vatican Tapes, opposite Michael Pena and Djimon Honsou, as well as the independent feature Tiger House opposite Kaya Scodelario and Ed Skrein.
Founded by Zoë Rocha London-based, high-end scripted production company RubyRock Pictures is currently in development on a number of projects, working with companies such as AMC/Shudder and the BFI. Prior to setting up RubyRock, Zoë spent four years as founder and Creative Director at LittleRock Pictures. Whilst there she oversaw the development and production of shows such as Ch5 and Netflix’s hit series BORDERLINE and the International Emmy Award nominated Sky/Showtime original series Urban Myths. Borderline is currently being remade for the US by producer/writer/actor Nick Kroll’s (The League, Big Mouth) new production outfit Good at Business and Management 360 with Zoë Executive Producing the project. Most recently, Zoë stepped in as creative EP on the forthcoming series from A+E Studios / Lifetime entitled Flowers In The Attic: The Origins and based on the long running series of bestselling novels by VC Andrews.
Zoë also worked as Business Affairs Executive at Oscar winner Jeremy Thomas' Recorded Picture Company/HanWay Films closing finance on projects such as Becoming Jane and Brideshead Revisited. Zoë’s production experience also includes five years as COO of Stephen Fry’s company, Sprout Pictures, acting as executive producer on all of Sprout’s projects. Notable examples are the Playhouse Presents series, starring Emma Thompson and Idris Elba. Whilst at Sprout, she was also instrumental in the development of the critically and commercially successful series Moone Boy, which won an International Emmy.
In 2017, Zoë was brought in to head up the new TV department for film and TV financing company The Fyzz Facility. Whilst there she was in development on a number of shows including Julian Fellowes The Girl On The Landing and an adaptation of Donnie Darko which was in development with Jake Gyllenhaal’s company Nine Stories with Noah Hawley attached as showrunner for FX.
Please submit a full or partial play of up to 10,000 words. One submission per Playwright / Playwrighting team. Submissions from all countries welcome.
Your play will be considered by an industry panel for the Ambassador Theatre Group Playwright’s Prize in association with Platform Presents worth £5,000, and mentoring by Platform Presents to develop the play for stage and potentially screen. It will also be considered for one of five Time Out Runners Up Prizes worth £1,000. Please follow @platformpresents on social media for the latest updates. Due to the high number of submissions, we are unfortunately unable to give feedback.
Terms and Conditions
Submissions must be no longer than 10,000 words and submitted by 12pm, 15th May 2023