Closing Night of the First Annual Playwriting Contest

A press release from The Prague Post

Press Release

Closing night of the First Annual Playwriting Contest
Winner and Audience Award announcement
March 10–19, 2007

Prague, March 21, 2007

The Prague Post, the Czech Republic's most popular and widely circulated English-language weekly newspaper, is proud to announce the culmination of its First Annual Playwriting Contest. Closing night was held at Divadlo Minor March 19.

The best script winner was chosen from almost 100 scripts by an elite judges' panel: Norbert Auerbach (former president of United Artists), Barbara Bray (eminent Beckett scholar and collaborator) and Steffen Silvis (Prague Post film and theater critic). A cash prize of 20,000 Kč was awarded to Richard Byrne for his Burn Your Bookes, a story set in medieval Prague. Two alchemists, sentenced to death by the king, have been locked and left in cages on Charles Bridge. A historical snapshot of an era long gone, the script delivers a lesson on the dangers of claiming the impossible — especially when your king is involved.

The Audience Award Winner for the best performance was awarded based on the audience's votes. The prize went to Old Faithful by Ian Grody, in which a rabbi counsels a member of his congregation, a rabbi whose behavior is not exactly kosher. And a member who, it turns out, wants a lot more from the rabbi than plain advice. An exploration of right and wrong, good and bad — a case study of modern morality.

The gala evening ended with the announcement of both awards and thanking the partners, sponsors and Divadlo Minor.

The First Annual Playwriting Contest had outstanding audience attendance. The Prague Post's general manager says: "We are extremely pleased with the interest we generated in bringing back the tradition of English-language theater in Prague. Half a year ago, when we were planning this project, we had no idea how many people would be involved. All those involved have given freely of their time, energy and creativity. We look forward to next year’s competition as a regular theater event."

The First Annual Playwriting Contest is a collaborative effort between The Prague Post and the Prague Playhouse. What started as a simple concept — to facilitate the revitalization of English-language theater in the Czech capital — has evolved into a rewarding opportunity for playwrights. There were full productions of the works of the three finalists, with the winner taking home a 20,000 Kč cash prize.

More information about The Prague Post Playwrighting Contest can be found at http://www.praguepost.com/events/playcontest/

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