Emerging writers prize the WiT Award names inaugural winner

Sandra Giorgetti

The first winner of the Writers in Theatre Award has been named as D A Nixon, a former associate literary agent at Blake Friedmann, who has worked on projects with, amongst others, Hampstead Theatre and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

The WiT Award is open to UK residents who have worked in theatre for at least two years in any capacity and who have not had a play professionally produced.

Nixon was selected from 220 entries; he receives an £8,000 commission and a public reading of his submitted play, Look Me In The Eye When We’re Dancing, following dramaturgical support from national and international touring theatre company Out of Joint which administers the Award on behalf of charity, the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust.

Nixon's play was chosen by a panel of judges made up of playwrights Mark Ravenhill and Winsome Pinnock, theatre publisher Nick Hern, director Max Stafford-Clark, Clive Webster of the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust and script editor and Out of Joint literary manager Catriona Craig who said, “we were impressed by the high quality of the entries, and encouraged by the range of theatre professions represented.

"Actors, front-of-house staff, administrators and stage managers all sent in their plays. The shortlisted plays are all written by highly skilled emerging playwrights. Every one of them demonstrated a really confident original voice.

"Daniel’s play impressed us with its original subject matter, the knowledge and passion he has for the world he’s writing about and the characters he has created. He is also evidently a writer with an impressive work ethic and a genuine commitment to his craft.”

The five finalists—actor Oliver Bennett, Marek Horn, front of house assistant at Bristol Old Vic, producer and practitioner Bethany Sharp and Chloe Todd Fordham, literary manager at Graeae theatre company—each receive £100 in Theatre Tokens, and a copy of The Secret Life of Plays by Steve Waters.