The Silver Gull Play Award finds new home at Sydney’s New Theatre

New Theatre Silver Gull - Original artwork © Michael TonkinSydney’s award-winning independent theatre company, New Theatre, has announced that is has become the new home of the Silver Gull Play Award.

Established in 2015 by leading independent production company subtlenuance, the Silver Gull Play Award is an important literary prize for new theatrical writing by a playwright resident in New South Wales.

Hosting the award for five years, receiving and assessing over 200 plays, and subsequently presenting the short-listed works as rehearsed staged readings, subtlenuance Artistic Directors, Paul Gilchrist and Daniela Giorgi, felt the time was right for them to pass the baton. The Buzz from Sydney have agreed to continue their association, sponsoring this important literary award.

Artistic Director, Louise Fischer, is excited that New Theatre is to be the new home of the Silver Gull Play Award and to have secured this partnership. “I’ve always been passionate about developing new work but it is often cost-prohibitive,” she said. “So New Theatre is hugely grateful for The Buzz’s generosity.”

This year the total prize money for the award will be $5000. The winning playwright will receive $3000 and the remainder of the prize pool will be split evenly between the shortlisted writers. The award in 2020 will recognise an outstanding play by a NSW-based writer that aligns with New Theatre’s commitment to producing Plays With A Purpose.

“We’ll be looking for plays that support our ethos, provoke thought and discussion about the human condition, reflect on contemporary society, and engage with the challenges that concern us all,” continued Fischer. “We want flights of imagination, buttons being pushed, and fire in the belly.”

The project will be headed by New Theatre’s Artistic Associate, Helen Tonkin, who has been involved with the Silver Gull Play Award since the start, as a member of the judging panel. Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, no date has been set for the presentation of the short-listed finalists and announcement of the winner. These details will be announced in due course.

Previous winners of the Silver Gull Play Award have included: Field of Vision by Joanna Erskine (2019); Lions and Tigers and Bears by Phillip James Rouse (2018); For Unknown Reasons by Zoe Cooper (2017); People Will Think You Don’t Love Me by Joanna Erskine (2016); and TickTickBoom by Melissa Lee Speyer (2015).

Applications are now open and close at midnight – Friday 31 July 2020. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Original artwork © Michael Tonkin