International Playwright's Forum

of the International Theatre Institute ITI /UNESCO

presents the



International Playwright’s Forum is proudly announcing:

 Winners of the International Playwriting Competition 2010


1st prize: „The Diamond Stars“ by Maya van den Heuvel-Arad (Netherlands)

2nd prize: “Maxine” by Philip St John (Ireland)

3rd prize:Unravelling Myths” by Kathleen Desmond (Ireland)

Report of the Jury 2010

Since 2002 the International Playwrights’ Forum organizes a biennial Competition for international Playwrights.

For this year’s competition 163 plays from 43 countries were submitted in one of the UNESCO languages English or French. No previously published or produced plays were accepted. Monologues were not accepted either.

The variety of the plays was impressive. Most of them reflected the world of nowadays: a hard and cold reality full of violence, where human beings fight for their survival. On one side you could find the cruelty and absurdity, and on the other you might discover a small ray of hope for a better world and the longing for love and understanding.

There were personal biographies mixed with fictional stories, or descriptions of real situations in refugee camps or prisons, underlining the effects of war and political decisions on refugees and immigrants. Stories about inner exile, about the bitter attempt to put down roots and adapt to the new situation.

The Jury Alice Hubball (Actress, Belgium), Fray Paolo Casuaro (Playwright, Philippines) and Ursula Werdenberg (Dramaturg/Secretary General of the International Theatre Institute ITI Switzerland) have selected three plays that emerged by the quality of their dramatic writing and language and by their touching way of telling a story.

1st prize: „The Diamond Stars“ by Maya van den Heuvel-Arad (Netherlands)

Seifu and Amadu two young refugees from Sierra Leone end up as immigrants in Amsterdam.  Both thought they would start a new life in a foreign country, but discover that their past will always follow them. By coincidence they meet again. Their personal fate in Africa has melded them together. The two men are suddenly fighting together while hanging from a skyscraper cleaning windows…

Strong dialogues and characters mark this play. The story is accurate and touching. It is both realistic in its themes and poetic. It shows the absurdity of our world and the heavy contrast between African immigrants who have lost their status and the European bureaucrats. 

2nd prize: “Maxine” by Philip St John (Ireland)

An English art curator goes to the Caribbean to meet an Irish painter who had disappeared for 30 years and whom she has found out about. She meets his family and soon senses that there are many mysteries and secrets surrounding this man and his muse.

The elaborate plot and strange mystery of this play makes the reader want to go further in the story.

The play brings up an interesting reflection on art and the question of representation.

3rd prize:Unravelling Myths” by Kathleen Desmond (Ireland)

A young man who was brought up in the United States goes back to his roots in Ireland. He meets his family in Belfast, among which his charismatic sister who is an activist member of the IRA. In seek of his origins and identity his life will take a whole new turn.

This powerful political story is a kind of modern version of the Greek Tragedy „Elektra“. The explosion of violence creates heavy conflicts in the families, established myths and inherent realities are inverted and one is forced to face the inescapable truth.

List of the countries:                                                                        

Albania, Algeria, Austria, Australia,Belarus, Belgium, Benin, BurkinaFaso, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finnland, France, Greece, Guinea, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Morocco, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, SouthAfrica, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

Plays written in Arabic (without English or French Translation) are being read by an Arabian Jury from the ITI Center Fujairah

History of the Competition
The International Playwrights' Forum of the International Theatre Institute / ITI, with its biennial competitions, encourages the writing of plays.

In 2002, the subject was the need for peaceful coexistence between people; in 2004 we asked for radio plays; in 2006 our aim was plays for a young audience; in 2008 we organized a monodrama competition under the title «Clash».

The winners of the competition 2002: 1st prize: Philip Goulding for "Strange Lands", 2nd prize: Helen Zarocostas for "After the Fair".

The winners of the competiton 2004: 1st prize: Helen Shay for "Fit Piece", 2nd prize: Vassiliki Papangeli for "That Girl".

The winners of the competition 2006: 1st prize (for younger children): Vladimir Oravsky & Kurt Peter Larsen for “AAAHR!!!” ; 1st prize (for older children): Irene N. Watts for “Lillie”; 2nd prize: Muriel Parmelan for “Un grand-père formidable”.

The winners of the Competition 2008: 1st prize: Ndifor Eleves (Elvis) F. Abdul for “Because of my brother“ (Republic of Niger); 2nd prize: Pascal Nordmann for “Les Guetteurs“ (Switzerland), 3rd prize: Andreas Flourakis for “Psychic Force“ (Greece)


The Competition  2010
For this competition, the International Playwrights' Forum will be looking at one of the painful issues of the contemporary world: the problem of exile and refugees, migration and identity in the world that is not ours. The theme of the competition is therefore Refugees/Exile/Identity/Migration.

Playwrights are invited to submit plays that deal with this issue in the contemporary world where hundreds of millions of people are displaced for political or economic reasons or through more serious violence between communities. How do they communicate with their new society? Are they second rate citizens? What do they bring to their new world? What does their new world offer them? What kind of identity do they look for and experience?

The Rules

1.    The entries must be in one of the UNESCO languages, English or French. By special agreement with Fujairah Festival, scripts may also be  submitted in Arabic. Writers in other languages should submit scripts in English, French or Arabic, accompanied by a script in the original language.

2.    The Competition is open to all playwrights without regard to age,sex, nationality or membership of any organization.

3.    Playwrights may submit one play only, which should be not longer than 100 pages (1800 characters with spaces per page).

4.    No previously published or produced plays will be accepted.

5.    In submitting the play, the playwright agrees to abide by the rules.

6.    The winners accept that their plays will be put on the website in PDF version and/or printed in a publication for promotion of their plays without further remuneration.

7.    There will be no royalty payment for the playwright or translator of the PDF version of the winning play as it will appear on the website or in publication. All rights for further production and publication will remain the property of the winning playwrights.

8.    In accepting the prize-money, the winning playwrights grant to the IPF the right to present the winning plays, in the form of a play reading or as a full production, without further remuneration. There will be no royalty paid for this first presentation.

The Juries
A Jury of three members will assess the plays and award three prizes: first, second and third. The Jury's decision is final, and a written report will be sent to each of the winning playwrights. The Jury will not give any comments on the other submitted plays.

The Prizes

1.    Up to three prizes will be given:

2.    1st prize: 3000 US-Dollars, 2nd prize: 2000 dollars, 3rd prize: 1000 dollars.

3.    The winning plays will be announced at the next Congress of the International Theatre Institute held between November 2010 and March 2011.

4.    The International Playwrights' Forum intends to publish the three winning plays, in English or French, and also, if appropriate, in the language in which the play was originally submitted. The IPF will help promote the winning plays over the internet through the website

5.    There is no guarantee of printed publication.


1.    All entries must be sent by e-mail as PDF attachment. The entry must bear the full name, the title and address on the first page. Title and name must not be repeated on the following pages.

2.    All entries should be sent to the email-address

3.    To ensure anonymity, the IPF guarantees to forward the playscript to the jury without identifying the title of the play or its author.

4.    All entrants will receive e-mail confirmation that their play has been received, and that it complies or does not comply with the competition rules.

5.    Once the jury has chosen, the titles of the winning plays will be published on International Playwrights´ Forum website The winners will also be informed via e-mails, sent to the e-mail addresses from which they originally sent their plays.

  1. Submission deadline is 30th June 2010.