The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Announces Extended Longlist
Bruntwood, in partnership with the Royal Exchange Theatre, today announces the Longlist for the 2022 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. The prize seeks scripts from established, emerging and debut writers to develop for the stage.
For the first time in the history of the Prize, the Longlist has grown from 100 to 130 plays. This extended list (which can be seen in full here) reflects the quality and creativity of submitted plays, as well as the Prize’s desire to offer robust and useful support to playwrights. Each of the longlisted plays will receive individual feedback from the Royal Exchange Theatre’s creative team.
With all the scripts completely anonymous, each entry is judged entirely on its own merit. Those submitted this year have undergone the most rigorous reading process to date, as organisers continue to put steps in place to remove barriers to access and ensure that the Prize reflects communities that have been identified as being underrepresented in the arts. Over 100 readers, recruited from a diverse range of communities, are involved in the process having undertaken bespoke unconscious bias training.
Also announced today is the appointment of Amanda Parker as the Chair of the 2022 Judging Panel. Founder of Inc Arts UK, a national centre for advocacy for the creative, contractual and economic rights of the UK’s ethnically diverse arts sector workforce, Parker is a changemaker who has delivered sector-leading research and consultancy on equity, diversity and inclusion in creative and cultural organisations.
She will Chair a panel consisting of: Miranda Cromwell, Olivier Award winning Theatre Director; Julie Hesmondhalgh, award winning actor and supporter of the Royal Exchange Theatre; Kimber Lee, winner of the inaugural Bruntwood Prize International Award in 2019; Farai Matekenya Nhakaniso, Local Exchange Ambassador for the Leigh area for the Royal Exchange Theatre; Kate Vokes, Non-Executive Director at Bruntwood, and Roy Alexander Weise, Joint Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre.
Amanda Parker, Chair of the 2022 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Judging Panel, comments:
“I admire the Bruntwood Prize’s commitment to seeking new voices from the widest possible pool of talent. New writing is the spark that grows great theatre, and I'm very excited to be diving into this fresh crop of work with the rest of the committee. It's an honour and a thrill to have 'first sight' of what will leave future theatre audiences spellbound. I'm champing at the bit!”
The Judges will receive a shortlist of 15 plays, which will be judged anonymously on 20th October before the identities of the shortlisted writers are revealed on 24th October 2022 and finally the winner of the 2022 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting is announced at an awards ceremony at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on 14th November 2022.
Uniquely open to both established writers and members of the public with no writing experience, the Bruntwood Prize is recognised as a launch-pad for some of the country’s most respected and produced playwrights and screenwriters. A genuine endeavour to discover new stories and help playwrights develop their craft, providing everybody and anybody with the opportunity to write a play, it offers a fantastic opportunity for writers to hone their skills, whether or not they have written for the stage before (33% of the entrants to the 2022 Prize had never written a play before).
It is split across four categories: an overall winner of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, who takes home £16,000; three winners of £8,000 Awards – the Judges Award for a ‘runner up’; the International Award for international playwrights who can apply through partners in the US, Canada and Australia and, new this year, the North West Original New Voice Award and Residency, in recognition of the Prize’s Manchester home. This new category has seen the number of entrants from the Great Manchester area on a par with those from London for the first time ever, with 15% of 2022 submissions coming from the Greater Manchester area compared to London’s 17%.
All winners enter a development process with the Royal Exchange Theatre in an endeavour to bring their work to production, with the winner of the North West Original New Voice Award and Residency also receiving access to an additional £10,000 fund dedicated to their professional development at the Royal Exchange Theatre during a bespoke one-year residency in partnership with Bruntwood and the Oglesby Charitable Trust.
Read the 2022 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Longlist here.