New NE playwriting award

Published: 11 February 2024
Reporter: David Chadderton

Live Theatre Artistic Director Jack McNamara

Live Theatre in Newcastle is to announce the winner of the inaugural North East Playwriting Award, supported by the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust, at a ceremony on 14 March 2024.

A full-length play commission will be awarded to a North East writer, and a studio commission will go to a writer aged 16–25. The winners will be chosen from the hundreds submitted by a panel that includes playwrights Shelagh Stephenson, Ishy Din and May Sumbwanyambe, experimental theatre maker gobscure and The Stage theatre critic Tracey Sinclair.

Live Theatre’s Artistic Director, Jack McNamara, said, “our refreshed vision for Live Theatre is about the region speaking for itself, challenging preconceptions and insisting on having a prominent voice in our culture. It is particularly urgent given the losses we have seen across our region in the last 12 months.

"This is a place with a unique, deeply political character, way more diverse and varied than many people realise. This award is about saying that these voices matter. And that this region will not keep quiet while decisions are made from afar.”

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