New Samuel Beckett Theatre Prize Announced

News   New Samuel Beckett Theatre Prize Announced The Booker and Whitbread literary prizes —to name but two — rightly attract a lot of attention. They reward excellence in the publishing world. Theatre is having its own moment of glory, and rewarding rising talent, with the announcement of a new award that will give a generous amount to help further a talented performer's career.

The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust has created a buzz of excitement with the announcement of The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award. At £30,000 this brand-new award is the largest on offer to emerging practitioners in experimental theatre. The winner of the award will perform a three-week run at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, in November 2003.

A distinguished panel of experts, which includes Ian Spink, Mark Ravenhill and Jon Fawcett, will be examining the applications, and the award will go to the creative artist or group that submits a bold, innovative and challenging project of outstanding merit.

The winner will not only receive the opportunity to perform at one of London's leading independent arts venues, but will also receive support in financial management, contracting, press and publicity, and assistance in the long-term strategic development of their work.

Romilly Walton Masters, the project leader of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award, comments: "The purpose of the Trust is, in general, for the advancement of education, but, in particular, to encourage new generations of creative artists, whether dramatists, directors, musicians, dancers, painters, sculptors or poets."

She continues: "From the outset, the Trust has had a specific interest in aiding artists of the avant-garde who often have to wait many years before they are taken up by the commercial theatre. Through this award, the Trust is looking to help an artist, or a group, realize a fully resourced professional production. It is looking to assist artists that hitherto may not have had this opportunity. The aim is to support work of quality and promise, and we fully expect the work submitted to be of the highest calibre." Applications should be sent — by March 15 — to The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust, PO BOX 2637, Ascot, Berks, SL5 8ZN. The winner of the award will be announced in May.