The Richard Burton Award for New Plays, created by Sally Burton and her company Onward Production in association with Black Swan State Theatre Company, is now accepting submissions. Entries close in less than four months, on Friday, July 2, 2010, and winners will be announced at Black Swan’s 2011 season launch in October 2010. With a prize pool of $30,000, the Richard Burton Award for New Plays is one of the richest in Australia.
The Richard Burton Award for New Plays was established to celebrate the illustrious career Richard Burton, one of the great stars of the silver screen, and encourage great storytellers from all over Australia to develop new work. The competition is open to full length, unproduced plays which have been written in the 12 months leading up to the closing date of the Award. Plays that have been commissioned by a company are not eligible for the Award, and entrants must be 21 years of age by the closing date.
Each year, Onward Production in association with Black Swan State Theatre Company will appoint a judging panel chaired by Sally Burton. Black Swan State Theatre Company will stage a reading of the successful work, and Onward Production and Black Swan State Theatre Company will have the first exclusive rights to produce the play for 12 months from the Award being announced.
Sally Burton said, “I am very pleased to invest some of the residuals from my late husband’s Hollywood blockbusters into the artistic community in Perth and Australia. I hope that the Richard Burton Award for New Plays will to support the development of new work that will be seen not only in Perth, but on stages across Australia.”
Kate Cherry, Black Swan State Theatre Company’s Artistic Director said, “Black Swan and the arts community in Perth are very fortunate to have Sally Burton as such a generous patron and supporter, and Black Swan is honoured that Sally has chosen to partner the Company for the Award. The announcement of the first winner of the Award by Sally in October this year will not only be a milestone for theatre in Western Australia, but also reinforce Black Swan’s commitment to foster new and emerging creative talent.”