Winner for the ETPEP Award 2022 announced

The ETPEP Award 2022 has been won by first time playwright by Saana Sze for their play Belly of the Beast.

YoungMartha, a bright and agreeable student, falls in love with Gia, who has had enough of school and teachers that don’t care about girls like her…

NowMartha enters the teaching industry, optimistic about making a positive change, but soon begins a quick journey towards disillusionment when they realise the corporate hell they’re in…

Black, non-binary and queer, Youngand NowMartha are set against rigid systems which insist they conform.

Belly of the Beast examines school politics, from the standpoint of both student and a teacher, as it asks “What are schools for?”

31 year old Saana Sze is a queer British-Ugandan writer/educator, living in East London. They worked in Front of House theatre for over three years. Their first theatre commission, Claudia Jones, was created for a young audience with Blue Elephant Theatre, as part of BET’s Celebrating Black Voices series. Belly of the Beast is Saana’s first full length play.

Saana will receive a prize of £8,000, a development relationship with the Finborough Theatre including one-to-one dramaturgy with Finborough Theatre Artistic Director and playwright Neil McPherson; a rehearsal workshop with actors and a director to develop the play; and a staged reading performance of the winning play either at the Finborough Theatre; and publication by Salamander Street, independent publisher of theatre, performance and live art. There will be ten runner-up prizes of £400 each, including for the two shortlist candidates – Eva Lily and Jacko Pook.

Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre, said:
“We are all hugely excited by the discovery of a new first time playwright with startling potential. I hugely look forward to working closely with them over the next few months on the forthcoming staged reading of their play. We will announce a date for the performance shortly. Watch this space!”

Winner Saana Sze said:
“It was a dream to be shortlisted and it is absolutely surreal to win. It’s infinitely satisfying, as I enjoyed my time in Front of House Theatre, to have those years linked  to my playwriting career. I can’t wait for the play to be developed with the Finborough Theatre and for it to be in front of an audience.”

The ETPEP Award is a playwriting prize for new UK playwrights who work or have worked in the theatre industry, run by the Finborough Theatre in association with the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP).

The ETPEP Award was open to UK residents of any age who have not had a play professionally produced, and who have worked front of house, in administrative roles, on stage, backstage, lighting, design etc. or in a creative capacity in theatre for at least two years, either now or in the past. The award is intended to target and encourage those who are currently working in theatre but who are new to playwriting, and is judged completely anonymously until the final shortlist and interview stage.

The judges for the 2022 Award included Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Neil McPherson; Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Sue Healy; producer Ameena Hamid; actor, playwright and activist Athena Stevens; and Clive Webster of the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust, which founded the award.

To find out more about Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP) Award, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop