Applications open for scholarship

Applications are now open for the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award 2009 for the development of a play, or other approved performing arts project. This year the prize has been increased to $20,000 and the honour of winning the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award.

Dr Seaborn came to prominence in the performing arts community when in 1986 he purchased the Stables Theatre, Kings Cross which in turn led to the establishment of the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation dedicated to supporting the art form which was so dear to his heart.

In 1995 Dr Seaborn established the Rodney Seaborn Playwright Trust, an entity distinct from the Foundation, in order to support the annual playwright award.  The award is intended for people needing income support during the writing or development of a project or to assist with the costs of production, workshops, restaging, publishing or touring. It is not intended as a prize for a finished work.

A recipient may work alone or jointly with others and might include writers, composers, designers, directors, producers, formally constituted performing arts organizations or ad hoc groups of performing arts professionals.

In establishing the award, Dr Seaborn hoped to encourage the development of performing arts projects emphasising positive values such as faith, hope and love, in order to counter what he saw as an undue focus on the negative or less salutary aspects of life to be found in many contemporary performing arts projects. Such positive values are essential criteria for determining successful submissions for the award.

An early winner of the Award was Antony Waddington for the adaptation of The Eye of the Storm by Patrick White. Later the Award was given to three playwrights: John Misto for Harp On The Willow, Alana Valentine for The Savage Grace; and Stephanie McCarthy for Bird In A Camellia Tree.  Subsequent winners have included Katherine Thomson for her critically acclaimed play Wonderlands; Ros Horin’s powerful play Through The Wire; Debra Oswald for The Peach Season; Don Reid for Codgers; and Rosalba Clemente for Helly’s Magic Cup. Last year Mary Rachel Brown was the lucky recipient for her heartbreaking, yet surprisingly funny play, Inside Out.

Entries close Tuesday, October 6 and should be made on the entry form available on the SBW Foundation web site. There is an entry fee of $20. Visit

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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