‘Taking a play from page to stage’ at the SCriBE’

Co-founders of the Imbewu Trust, Paul Griffiths and Samantha de Romijn.

The finalists of the 2016 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition have been announced.

Professional staged readings of their plays will take place nightly from Monday September 26 until Thursday September 29 at Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Methodist Church Hall, corner of Milton Road and Wesley Street, Observatory, at 7pm.

Entry is free.

Produced by the Imbewu Trust and now marking its fifth year, SCrIBE is a national competition which provides the opportunity for playwrights to develop their work, with various prizes to be won. These include having a script produced for a professional run, mentorship programmes and all finalists have the opportunity to engage in feedback sessions with audience members at staged readings of their scripts.

“The competition has evolved since its inception, continuously identifying how best to nurture specific scripts, writers and their writing styles,” says Samantha de Romijn, co-founder of the Imbewu Trust. “Taking a play from page to stage requires time and resources, and SCriBE seeks to expedite this process. The readings are a wonderful experience for both authors and audience.”

The 2016 finalists are Carla Lever for Food For Thought; Mark Tatham with Man Up; Nokuzola Zoe Bikwana’s No Christmas For Us and Milton Schoor for his script The Heroine Diaries.

Food For Thought sees a doctor in the routine, daily ritual of preparing dinner for her family. Yet this is no usual day’s work: it has been one in which she has delivered life-changing news to a patient and she is visibly shaken. Food For Thought is a consideration of authorship and ethics: one woman coming to terms with mortality and motherhood.

In Man Up, a young athlete visits his gym late one night, alone. In the midst of his safest place, we witness feats of his strength and his biggest weaknesses. A story about life, masculinity and how it is being embodied in men today, Man Up is brought to life by hilarious physical characters, anecdotal memories, and tales of bitter sweet success. The main character finds himself searching for answers in a world that is leaving him behind, a world where strength is not viewed how it used to be.

No Christmas For Us explores the events that took place in Nyanga in December 1976 which culminated in extreme violence between township residents and migrants, otherwise known as hostel dwellers. A reminder of the history of this part of the township that is seldom narrated, it makes us consider as a sad reminder the more recent parallels of the xenophobic attacks that still plague our nation.

In The Heroine Diaries, Craig is a heroin dealer. Thirty four years old, he’s been a using drug addict for 20, and finally his lifestyle is catching up to him. He is planning to check out quietly, the way he always knew he would, by overdose.

But when 16-year-old Leila arrives at his flat searching for her own oblivion, he is given one last chance to question the life he’s lead thus far, and perhaps to choose a different ending.

A different play will be read each night, with a professional director and actors, followed by a discussion with the audience members. For the line-up, visit www.imbewuarts.com

Previous SCriBE entrants have gone on to rework their text as a result of the open readings and some on to further professional runs.

Other finalists from previous years have included acclaimed theatre makers and writers such as Joanna Evans, Menzi Mkhwane, Eliot Moleba and Gabriella Pinto.

The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts and to help showcase it on an international stage.