2019 Martin-Lysicrates Prize – and the winner is …

September 2nd, 2019

The annual competition was held for the third time at Riverside Theatres in Parramatta on Thursday 22 August.

The Martin-Lysicrates Prize is Australia’s only playwriting competition for plays written for young people (11-14 years) where the plays are judged by the young people themselves.

The first acts of three shortlisted plays were professionally directed and performed by professional actors.  The plays in contention were given rapt attention by the discerning audience. 

There were:
  • Unicorn Girl, by Madelaine Nunn, exploring questions of self-realisation and fitting in.
  • Play Number Four, by Brendan Hogan, telling a story of family trauma, loss and grief, finding a balance between humour and hurt.
  • It’s a Tie, by Elliot Vella, about overcoming adversity through friendship.

Following the performance the kids filed out of the theatre to cast their votes, and returned to hear the result of the democratic process.

Brendan Hogan is a teacher, playwright and theatre maker who lives and works in the small town of Yackandandah, in Victoria.  Brendan also won the 2018 Martin-Lysicrates Prize for his play Farewell Mr Nippy.  First prize is a full commission ($15,000) to complete the play, and the chance to have it developed into a full production.  The runners-up received $1000 each.

For many of the young judges, this was their first experience of live theatre, as well as an opportunity to feel the power of their own democratic votes.

And they loved it!