The Amstel Playwright of the Year Award was an independent non-governmental competition for new South African play texts.
Also referred to as Amstel Playwright of the Year (when referring to a winner), the Amstel Playwright's Award or simply the Amstel Award
An annual competition for new theatre scripts instituted at the behest of, and managed by, Nicholas Ellenbogen and sponsored by the South African brewers of Amstel Beers, the competition was launched in South Africa in 1978 and eventually discontinued in 1994.
Besides the award(s) for the overall Winner (in some years there would be more than one), there was also a category Special Merit Award (not awarded from 1984 onwards). In 1979 the competition also introduced a children’s play section as well.
The first award went to John Pank for Windmills of the Mind and James Ambrose Brown for Time and the Wood in 1978, with Merit Awards going to Zakes Mda for We Shall Sing for the Fatherland and to Michael Drin for Inquest on Gordon.
The first award for a children's play went to Pieter Scholtz in 1979, for The Amazing Adventures of Tambootie the Puppet.
The winners: 1978-1994
The list of the award winners is:
Other winners have been Shirley Johnston?*, Paul Slabolepszy for Saturday Night at the Palace (1981), Charles Fourie, Geraldine Aron (Commended for Brenda, 1983), John Hunt for Vid Alex.
1978: John Pank (Windmills of the Mind), James Ambrose Brown ( Time and the Wood).
1979: Zakes Mda (The Hill),
1980: Henry Rootenberg (I Spy), Pieter Scholtz (Mr. Big Strikes Again), Jill Fletcher (Paddy), Leon Hamman (A Matter of Policy).
1981: Paul Slabolepszy (Saturday Night at the Palace)
1982: Victor Gordon (The Brothers)
1983: Geraldine Aron (Brenda)
1984: Michelle du Toit (Ladies/Dames)
1985: Nicholas Haysom, Vanessa Cooke and Danny Keogh (The Native Who Caused All the Trouble)
1986: Clive Howard Morris (Maid in South Africa)
1987: Norman Coombes (A Snake in the Garden)
1988: Charles J. Fourie (Big Boys)
1989: Allan Jermieson (Disputed Barricades) and John Hunt (Vid Alex).
1990: Basil Lawrence (Modern Eating Habits)
1991: Ian Fraser Heart like a Stomach
1992: Charles J. Fourie (Vrygrond)
1993: Norman Coombes (Episodes in Light and Dark)
1994: John Tucker (Waiting for the Rain)
Special Merit Awards: 1978-1983
The list of the award winners is:
1978: Zakes Mda (We Shall Sing for the Fatherland) and Michael Drin (Inquest on Gordon)
1979: Paul Slabolepszy (Renovations), Esther Flowers (The Libber-Rats), Henry Rootenberg (Letters from Uncle Barny) and Pieter Scholtz (The Amazing Adventures of Tambootie the Puppet).
1981: Michael Drin (Chad) and Willie Esterhuizen (Spaceships and Peanut Butter)
1982: Roy Niemann (Verlange na die Woude van Weleer
James Whyle National Madness
1983: Sheugnet Buys for Gutter Flowers Need Love, Brendan Butler (Rehearsal in Progress) and Corlia Fourie (Moeders en Dogters).
(A full list of all the winnners is provided in the entry on the Award in Wikipedia. However, there are some errors, particularly as regards titles of the Afrikaans plays.)
An annual competition for new theatre scripts instituted in 1977/8?* at the behest and under the management of Nicholas Ellenbogen. First awarded to John Pank for Windmills of the Mind and James Ambrose Brown for Time and the Wood in 1978, with Zakes Mda receiving a Merit Award for We Shall Sing for the Fatherland. In 1979 it was won by Zakes Mda for The Hill. Other winners have been Shirley Johnston?*, Paul Slabolepszy for Saturday Night at the Palace (1981), Charles Fourie, Geraldine Aron (Commended for Brenda, 1983), John Hunt for Vid Alex.
See also: Awards, Competitions, Honours, Prizes
[JH, FdV, TH]
Amstel Playwright of the Year Award. In: Wikipedia
"Amstel Brewery" in Wikipedia
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