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 -
Alexander is the Artistic Director of the recently-opened Marylebone Theatre. Previously, he was the Artistic Director of the Gloucester Theatre Company, for which he directed a mixture of professional and young company productions, including acclaimed versions of Hamlet, Othello, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Secret Garden.
He has also founded and run a theatre programme for young people affected by conflict called Peace through the Performing Arts, based in Israel and South Africa. He is of mixed Iranian and British heritage.
Producer and Director
Amy set up Finite Films in 2007. She produces, executive produces and develops feature films, documentaries and tv series, as well as helping new writing / directing talent get off the ground.
Caroline McGinn is an award-winning journalist specialising in culture, food, travel, sustainability and city life. She is currently a columnist for Time Out, and their former Global Editor in Chief.
Writer, Executive Editor
Dipal Acharya is the executive editor of ES Magazine, the weekend supplement to the London Evening Standard newspaper.
In addition to overseeing all the magazine's arts and culture coverage, she is also a consultant for Women in Journalism and sits on the current selection committee for the Royal Academy's Sunny Dupree Award for Women Artists.
Writer & Journalist
Emily Zak is a journalist, and the founder of a consultancy focused on female founders and innovation.
Emily was the global head of fashion shows at Vogue Global, the executive fashion director at Porter magazine Net-a-Porter and British Vogue. She is a contributing fashion editor at SHOWstudio and a guest lecturer at CSM. Her writing on culture, art, and fashion can be found in international editions of Vogue, The Financial Times, The New York Times, and Vanity Fair.
Helena Lee is the features director of Harper’s Bazaar and creator of the platform East Side Voices. Her book of the same name is a first-of-its-kind collection of writing from leading ESEA voices living in the UK, including Gemma Chan, Claire Kohda, Tash Aw, Mary Jean Chan and Naomi Shimada. She is a judge for 2023 Guardian and 4th Estate short story prize and a visiting lecturer at City University.
Indira Varma is an Olivier Award-winning actress having won ‘Best Actress in a Supporting Role’ for her performance as ‘Liz Essendine’ in Present Laughter (Old Vic) alongside Andrew Scott. She has worked extensively with Harold Pinter and is in the forthcoming Dr Who.
Notable theatre highlights include Man And Superman (The National) with Ralph Fiennes, Jamie Lloyd’s production of Chekhov's The Seagull (Harold Pinter Theatre), Eugène Ionesco’s Exit The King (The National) opposite Rhys Ifans; Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus (Globe Theatre); The Vortex, Dance Of Death, Privates On Parade (all at the Donmar Warehouse), The Vertical Hour, The Country, Ingredient X (all at the Royal Court), and Celebration (on Broadway).
For screen, credits include ‘Gita Mishra’ in AppleTV’s Extrapolations, ‘Ingrid’ in Obsession (Netflix), ‘Tala’ in Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+), ‘Khadija Khan’ in the 2nd series of The Capture (BBC/AMC), ‘Ellaria Sand’ in the multi award-winning Game Of Thrones (HBO/SkyAtlantic), Luther alongside Idris Elba (BBC/Netflix), the Emmy nominated drama Patrick Melrose (HBO/Sky Atlantic) starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the critically acclaimed comedy series This Way Up (Channel 4/Hulu) written by and starring Aisling Bea.
Isabella founded the Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize in 2019 and since then it has grown year on year, with support from stars of the stage and screen for rising star writers including five winners and ten runners-up. Last year the winning play was taken to the Edinburgh Festival and is now being developed for television.
Since 2003, Isabella, through companies she co-founded – Arts Co, A&B Productions and Platform Presents – has produced critically lauded rising star talent programmes, art exhibitions & programmes, fashion programmes, artist in residence programmes, short films and theatrical productions.
Ambassador Theatre Group
John works as a General Manager for ATG Productions, the producing arm of Ambassador Theatre Group. He is currently General Manager on the West End production of Cabaret.
Previous productions he has general managed for ATGP include the transfer of Almeida Theatre’s A Streetcar Named Desire to the Phoenix Theatre, Dear Evan Hansen at the Noel Coward, Cyrano and The Seagull for the Jamie Lloyd Company, Caroline or Change at the Playhouse, King Lear with Ian McKellen at the Duke of York’s Theatre and the national tour of Ian McKellen’s one man 80th birthday show.
He has also worked as in-house Producer at Royal & Derngate Northampton, Assistant Producer at Fiery Angel and in the Casting department at the RSC.
He started his career at Salisbury Playhouse as Casting/Marketing Assistant.
Leah Harvey is an actor who grew up in Newham, London. They attended The Brampton Manor Academy and, with the help of scholarships, studied dance and performing arts at The Deborah Day Theatre School Trust. Harvey then gained a BA Hons degree in professional acting from LAMDA, graduating in 2016.
Since then, Leah has appeared in many projects including "Emilia" at the Globe theatre, "Small Island" at The Royal National Theatre and, most recently, "Foundation" on Apple TV+. Leah is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns and can often be found longboarding around their local park and solving a Rubik’s cube, simultaneously.
Pippa Bennett-Warner’s recent projects include ENTITLED with Brett Gelman and she will shortly appear in OBSESSION for Netflix. She stars in SEE HOW THEY RUN with Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell and David Oyelowo and played opposite Anna Paquin in UK independent A BIT OF LIGHT. She features in films such as JOHNNY ENGLISH STRIKES AGAIN, THE FOREIGNER and REAL whilst television credits include Amazon’s psychological thriller opposite Erin Doherty and Jack Farthing.
She leads the cast in MOTHERFATHERSON with Richard Gere and Helen McCrory (Starz) and in HARLOTS opposite Samantha Morton for Hulu. She recently reprised the leading role of Shannon in season 2 of AMC success story GANGS OF LONDON and plays Tamzin Hulu’s MAXXX with Christopher Meloni and O-T Fagbenle.
Pippa’s numerous theatre credits include the lead in Vivenne Franzmann’s second play THE WITNESS at the Royal Court and Dorinda in THE BEAUX STRATAGEM at The National. She is a RADA graduate.
Writer and Theatre Critic
Sarah Hemming writes and broadcasts about theatre and is theatre critic for the Financial Times. She wrote the official guide to the National Theatre.
Film Maker, Actor & Poet
Vera Graziadei is a founder of Luminous Arts Productions and a co-producer of The Book of Vision, a feature starring Charles Dance and exec.produced by Terrence Malick, which premiered in Venice Film Festival and is currently streaming on all major VODs in the UK and Ireland.
In addition, Vera is an award-winning writer/director of several short films and an actor trained at LAMDA. She's a full voting BAFTA member and a registered active BIFA voter.
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