The CASA Award for Woman-Identified Playwrights is Calling for Applications

15 Jun 2017
The CASA Award for Woman-Identified Playwrights is Calling for Applications

Deadline: 7 July 2017
Award: $5000 Canadian dollars

Press release:

Call for Applications
a collaboration between the Playwrights Guild of Canada Women’s Caucus and the African Women Playwrights Network

This award will support and mentor a woman-identified playwright living in South Africa who has demonstrated a commitment to playwriting and would benefit from dramaturgical and financial support ($5000 Canadian dollars).

This award evolved after a group of Canadian playwrights attended the Women Playwrights International Conference Cape Town in 2015. While in Cape Town, the Canadians were struck by how few African women playwrights were represented at the conference. However, the women playwrights who did attend were extraordinary, with unique and important stories to tell. This award promotes the idea that theatre is an imperative and vital voice, advocating for change as it responds to and reflects the world we live in. Through this award, we aim to support women’s playwriting in South Africa while cultivating meaningful artistic connections between Canadian and South African
women playwrights.

The CASA Award will go to a woman-identified playwright:

  • Who will be based in Cape Town or Johannesburg for a period of a least three months between October 2017 and May 2018;
  • Who has financial need;
  • Who would benefit from vigorous dramaturgical support. This would entail the playwright being in regular contact through email or Skype with a Senior Canadian playwright-mentor. The playwright-mentor will give written or verbal feedback on the play, giving constructive criticism that supports the intentions of the playwright. This feedback should help the playwright grow as a writer and create a better draft of the play. The playwright applicant should be open to this process;
  • Who is writing a specific project and has already completed a first draft or a multi-page outline for a play. The play should require no more than five actors. The play can include multiple languages, but must be written
    predominantly in English. The mentee’s project must be a play that is written/scripted rather than a devised or
    collectively created piece. That said, we are not interested in imposing requirements for European/Western style
    writing and will be open to other forms.

The winning applicant will receive:

  • A residency, with a space to write, at either the Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Cape Town or The Hillbrow Theatre in Johannesburg for a period of 3-4 months;
  • Regular dramaturgical feedback (in English) from a senior woman Canadian playwright-mentor via email or Skype;
  • A collection of contemporary plays by Canadian women playwrights;
  • $5000 (Canadian) to be used as subsistence for full time writing for a period of three to four months. The
    funds will be issued in three installments.
  • A workshop and reading of the completed work led by a senior South African woman director-mentor.

The winning applicant will be expected to:

  • Sign an agreement that sets out the terms of the award;
  • Share aspects of her residency experience in a blog or newsletter, to be shared with both the African Women
    Playwrights Network (AWPN) and Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) women’s caucus members;
  • Be in regular contact with the dramaturge and residency sponsor;
  • Submit a short report on the value of the award, due within one month of finishing the residency.

How to Apply

Please send the following information, in one PDF document, with your name and full contact details on the
first page:

  • A CV/resume – no more than three pages;
  • A 250–word synopsis of the play you are working on;
  • A 250-word statement about the play and why you want to write it. Why is it important to write this play? What does it say about the world we live in?
  • 250 words on the development of the play. Where did the idea come from? What stage is the writing at (outline/first draft…)? What do you hope to accomplish during the residency?
  • 500 words on why you should get this award. Do you have financial need? Why do you want this award now? How will it help your work as a playwright?
  • An outline and/or scene sample from the script you are proposing to work on. This should be no less than 10 and
    not more than 15 pages. The play should require no more than five actors. The play can include multiple languages,
    but must be written predominantly in English.
  • Please indicate that if you are NOT successful in receiving this award whether you would like to participate in a program to create meaningful connections between South African and Canadian women playwrights. Indicate if you would be interested in being paired with a Canadian woman playwright “pen pal”. This pen pal relationship would involve exchanging letters (email or snail mail), corresponding about your writing experiences. It would NOT be a mentorship relationship, but rather a peer-to-peer exchange.

    Women-identified playwrights from all backgrounds are invited to apply. We particularly encourage women of colour to submit an application.

    The selection committee includes Nadia Davids, Amy Jephta and Mwenya Kabwe.

    Please email your complete application to: by July 7th, 2017. The winner will be announced in early September.