'richard iii redux' shortlisted for 2019 James Tait Black Award for Drama

Co-writers Phillip Zarrilli and Kaite O’Reilly been named as one of three finalists for the 2019 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Drama

The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Drama celebrates innovative drama produced worldwide. The prize is presented annually for the best original play written in English, Scots or Gaelic and first performed by a professional company in the previous year. The £10,000 prize is open to any new work by playwrights in any country, and at any stage of their career. The accolade was launched in 2012, when Britain’s longest-running literary awards—the James Tait Black Prizes—were extended to include a category for drama.

Co-writers Kaite O’Reilly and Phillip Zarrilli are honoured that their radical, irreverent re-imagining of Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’, written for a disabled actress and from a disability perspective, has been shortlisted for this prestigious award.

‘Judges award the prize to a play that makes a significant and unique contribution to the art form and displays an original voice in theatre.’

The panel includes students and academics from the University of Edinburgh, representatives from the Traverse Theatre, Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Schaubuhne Theatre, Berlin, and freelance theatre director Pooja Ghai. 

‘This year’s shortlisted plays deal with some of the most pressing issues facing the world today. The innovation demonstrated by each playwright is truly astounding and I would like to congratulate each of them for being nominated for this esteemed international prize.’

Chair of the judging panel Greg WalkerRegius Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the University

 The Award Ceremony will take place at the Traverse Theatre on Monday, 19 August, 2019 from 16:00-17:30. The other two finalists this year include two US plays: Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris and Dance Nation by Clare Barron.The ceremony will include readings of excerpts from each of the three finalist plays, interviews with the authors, and announcement of the winning play.


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Kaite O'Reilly