The 2015, KEY CHANGE by Open Clasp Theatre Company, is an astounding play. It is absolutely authentic—it was devised by women inmates in a Northern English prison, originally to tour to male prisons. The results were so intense and inspiring--- it was polished into a beautiful play.
Please read Lyn Gardner’s review in The Guardian and Charles Isherwood's in the NY Times.
It has since won an Arts Council Award as the Best Play of Northern England. It will begin another tour in fall, 2016, with a run in London in October. KEY CHANGE was invited to the House of Commons, to play to lawmakers, also in October.
The 2014 Winner was Geoff Sobelle’s THE OBJECT LESSON.
Geoff created a world of ideas and memories out of cardboard boxes. The interactive piece allows the audience to look inside some of these boxes to find Geoff’s unique magic inside.
Geoff is well known in the world of physical theatre, comedy, movement and magic. His latest brings together all that plus the emotions of desire, loss, separation and aging. THE OBJECT LESSON was seen as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival in November 2014. It sold out immediately and garnered amazing reviews, including this one from Ben Brantley of The New York Times.
"Object Lesson" will return to New York as part of New York Theater Workshop's fall 2016 season.
Our 2013 winner was THE EVENTS, by David Grieg. The play, stunningly directed by Ramin Gray, juxtaposed beauty and healing with an act of senseless violence. David incorporated a local choir , different at each performance, whose soaring voices rebuke the madness and ugliness of a mass shooting, without finding easy explanations for the cause. "The Events" is a production of The Actors’ Touring Company.
THE EVENTS then ran at the Young Vic, and was then named as Number One Play of the Year 2013 in The Guardian's list of the Ten Best. It has since been seen in around Great Britain, Norway, and at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven.
THE EVENTS was shown at New York Theatre Workshop in February, 2015.
As well as continuing to write, David Grieg is now the Artistic Director of the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.
Our 2012 winner was Yael Farber’s MIES JULIE, produced by The Baxter theatre in Capetown, South Africa. It played at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse in October of that year to huge acclaim. Ben Brantley of the NY Times named it as one of the “10 Best Plays of 2012”. It returned to the US with performances in Washington D.C. and Boston in November 2013. Yael Farber went on to write “Nirbhaya” in Edinburgh this past year, which told the story of the rape and murder of a female student in India. It, too, received much deserved attention.
Yael won multiple awards for her direction of "The Crucible" at London's Young Vic Theatre in 2014.
Our 2011 winner, LEO by Circle of Eleven, has had an amazing success since its New York premier in January, 2012. LEO has since been performed in Iran, New Zealand, Singapore, Montreal and returned for a reprise to the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe - and back again in August, 2013! This year, LEO has already toured China and is on its way to the Sydney Opera House for a month-long run. There are now three other LEOs in addition to Tobias Wegner's original, touring the globe.
Our 2010 winner, Pants on Fire's METAMORPHOSES, was reprised at the Edinburgh Fringe 2011 at the Pleasance Theatre, after a six month tour following the New York premiere in January, 2011. Pants on Fire presented their second piece, "Pinocchio", at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe.
Peter Bramley, director, is working on an updated METAMORPHOSES for the West End, London.
Our 2009 winner, LITTLE GEM by Elaine Murphy continues to delight audience around the world. It played at The Flea Theater in January 2010 to wonderful reviews, notably from The NY Times. After sold out runs in Ireland, London and Paris—Little Gem returned to The Olympia Theater in its hometown of Dublin, before setting out on an extended tour of Australia and New Zealand late in 2010. Very busy year for first time playwright, Elaine Murphy.
Carol was fortunate to be in Dublin for the opening of Elaine's second play, "Shush" at the venerable Abbey Theatre. A huge salute to Ms. Murphy!
2008 winner, EIGHT, by Ella Hickson. Hickson has been called the "voice of her generation" by the Guardian, and has successfully presented her second play, "Precious Little Talent" in London's West End. In May, 2012, her "Boys" received excellent reviews in London. Ella continues to write prolifically for theatre and TV.
Ella has had many plays produced in London and her latest, "Oil", will appear in October 2016 at the Almeida Theatre.
Our 2007 winner, BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards after its NY run. It was then seen in May 2008 at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, to much acclaim.
In January 2013, 1927's second piece "The Animals and Children Took to the Streets" was a huge hit when we saw it in Edinburgh. It went to the National Theatre in London and continues to play, quite literally, around the world.
1927's "Golem" was seen at the Young Vic in London, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and was part of the Lincoln Center Festival in July, 2016.
The 2006 winner, GOODNESS by Michael Redhill, was invited to Rwanda in October of 2009 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocie. Michael has generously given the play to the University of Rwanda to be translated and performed with local artists around the country. Volcano Theatre of Toronto continues to present challenging, interesting theatre year after year.
The 2005 Award Winner, ABSENCE AND PRESENCE was written and performed by Andrew Dawson. ABSENCE AND PRESENCE, continues to be performed around the world. It was not long ago in Zimbabwe, proving the play to be universal in its moving message.
Andrew choreographed Dr. Atomic, a modern opera about J. Robert Oppenheimer at the Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center, opening in October 2008. The Wellcome Trust commissioned Andrew's work on the hand and body, which has been seen at TED Conferences, now on YouTube.
The inaugural prizes in 2004 went to SISTERS, SUCH DEVOTED SISTERS and ROSEBUD.
Russell Barr's SISTERS returned to New York for a 3 week run in 2005. His second play was presented in London in 2006 and his newest opened in London in October, 2007.
In 2008, Russell returned to New York performing SISTERS, for its third New York run, this time directed by Michael Imperioli. He startled audiences again, and received laudatory reviews in the NY Times, among other publications.
Russell is now at work on a new play commissioned by the National Theatre in London.
Mark Jenkins' ROSEBUD returned to New York as part of the "Brits off Broadway" festival at 59E59 Theaters, and had a reprise in Edinburgh at the 2007 Fringe. ROSEBUD and Mark's "Playing Burton" continue to be played year after year.