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The Voaden Prize

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2021 National Competition Results

HERMAN VOADEN NATIONAL PLAYWRITING COMPETITION WINNERS 2021

 

The DAN School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University in partnership with Kingston WritersFest is proud to announce the winners of the 2021 Competition for the Herman Voaden National Playwrighting Prize.

The winners of the 2021 Voaden Prize Competition are:

First Prize, $10,000 – Jennifer Walton for Gunplay (After the Gun Goes Off)

and

Second Prize, $5,000 – Zahida Rahemtulla for The Frontliners.

Honourable Mentions in the 2021 Competition:

 

Alex and Michael and Hannah by Heather Morrow;

Rukmini’s Gold by Radha Sciara-Meno

Animal by Romeo Ciolfi

History of Visual Sources by Laura Mullin

enola gay by Alexander Zonjic

Forever Young, or the Story of the Crowded Room by Darrah Teitel

 

This biennial, nation-wide, open competition, named to honour the Canadian pioneer playwright Herman Voaden is judged blind, meaning the judges select the Winners and Honourable Mentions without knowing the identity of the playwrights. 

The First Prize-winning playwright will also a professional three-day workshop of the script in September 2021 at Queen’s University. In addition, the DAN School of Drama and Music, in partnership with Kingston WritersFest, will offer a public staged reading of the winning play, followed by a talk-back session, as part of the programming of the 2021 Kingston WritersFest. 


The competition is made possible by a generous bequest from Mr. Voaden’s estate. The award is dedicated to his memory and honors his goals to develop a distinctively Canadian art of the theatre and to encourage the writing of Canadian drama.

 

First Prize Winner Jennifer Walton is co-artistic director and founding member of Hamilton-based Women’s Work Playwright Collective and a current member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwright unit. Jennifer’s short plays have been featured in festivals across North America. She is a teaching artist who spent many years as co-director of The Creative Theatre Company, an acting school for young people. As a director, her latest credits include The Tragedy of Othella Moore – Best of Hamilton Fringe – 2016, and The Soldier’s Tale for Amphion Ensemble. As an actor, she most recently appeared in Your Own Sons for Same Boat Theatre and the film Things I Do for Money directed by Warren Sonoda.  

 

Second Prize Winner Zahida Rahemtulla is an emerging writer of fiction and theatre currently based between Vancouver and Toronto. Her first plays, The Wrong Bashir and the Frontliners are in development. She has been a resident at the Banff Centre in Alberta and Millay Colony for the Arts in New York. Her plays have been shortlisted for the Playwrights Guild of Canada Surefire! Lists, the Ellen Ross Stuart Playwriting Award (Tarragon Theatre & Ontario Arts Foundation), the Canadian Playwriting Competition (Theatre BC), and won a 2020 Silk Road Emerging Artist Award. She is honored that The Frontliners placed second for the national 2021 Voaden Prize in Playwriting. She also writes short fiction and is at work on a humourous novel for kids. She has worked for several years in Vancouver’s immigrant and refugee nonprofit sector in the areas of housing, employment, and literacy. 

 

The judges for this year’s competition were Shane Carty, Kerry-Ann Doherty, and Trina Skanthavarathan.

 

The judges for the final round were Rona Waddington and Liam Karry.

 

To find out more about the Voaden Prize, its sponsorship partners, and how you can attend the staged reading of Gunplay (After the Gun Goes Off), visit the DAN School of Drama and Music website at sdm.queensu.ca and Kingston WritersFest at www.kingstonwritersfest.ca

 

“It gives some satisfaction to know that the crusade I have helped to lead has made it possible for the dreamers and innovators of today’s theatre to follow their dreams and continue their innovations.”

 

Herman Voaden (1903-1991) 

 

About THE VOADEN PRIZE in PLAYWRITING

This biennial nation-wide open competition, named to honor the Canadian pioneer playwright Herman Voaden, is judged “blind”. The judges select the Winners and Honorable Mentions without knowing the names of the playwrights.

Herman Voaden (1903-1991), Canadian playwright, director and theatrical innovator, was a lifelong champion of Canadian culture.
       
“It gives some satisfaction to know that the crusade I have helped to lead has made it possible for the dreamers and innovators of today’s theatre to follow their dreams and continue their innovations.”

The competition is made possible by a generous bequest from Mr. Voaden’s estate. The award is dedicated to his memory and honors his goals to develop a distinctively Canadian art of the theatre and to encourage the writing of Canadian drama.
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