Fleur du Cap winning SCrIBE competition opens entries for 2018

Caption: Cofounders of the Imbewu Trust Samantha de Romijn and Paul Griffiths with 2017 winner Darrel Bristow Bovey (centre)

Entries are open for the 2018 SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition. Now in its seventh year, the competition, which is run by the Imbewu Trust, was recently awarded the Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Innovation in Theatre for its endeavor to develop South Africa’s contemporary theatre through the SCrIBE competition.

SCrIBE is a platform for South African writers to develop their work, with a number of prizes which changes each year depending on the most suitable support for a designated writer and script. The finalists of the competition have the opportunity for their play to be presented at a staged reading then receive feedback from the professional director and actors involved as well as the audience members. Prizes have included winning scripts being produced for a run at a professional theatre, mentorship programmes and further script development support.

Criteria for the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition are that scripts must not have been previously produced, nor have existing future runs plans of being produced. Other criteria are that the scripts should be in English, no longer than 40 pages or 80 minutes long and with a maximum of five cast members. Entrants must be over 18 years old. The Imbewu Trust and judges are again looking for original content of outstanding quality that explores the diverse range of South African stories.  Closing date for entries is 31 July 2018.  The panel of SCrIBE judges comprises a group of seasoned theatre practitioners.

The shortlist of 2018 entries will be announced at the end of August, with the staged readings o finalists taking place from 17 to 20 September.

Darrel Bristow-Bovey, winner of the 2017 SCrIBE competition, will have his play Priest With Balloonspresented by the Imbewu Trust at a theatre in Cape Town in September this year. Fellow 2017 finalistJuliette Rose-Innes  presents her  play Gardening and Other Distractions directed by Kimberley Buckle, a 2015 SCrIBE finalist and winner of the Scribblers Dream, which provides the opportunity to be partnered with a mentor to develop her writing style and technique.

One of the 2016 winners, Nokuzola Bikwana, had her play No Christmas For Us, staged at the 2017 Zabalaza Festival at the Baxter Theatre Centre, directed by Thami Mbongo. The Imbewu Trust also provided support for the run of the other 2016 winner, Milton Schorr’s The Heroin Diaries, at Alexander Bar, directed by Fred Abrahamse.

Previous entrants have gone on to rework their text as a result of the open readings and some on to further professional runs.

SCrIBE’s other achievements to date include presenting four productions;   SCrIBBLERS Dream writing workshops in Johannesburg, Durban and Port Elizabeth and staged readings  of thirty finalists’ plays including the benefit of post show discussions.

“We are honoured to have received the Fleur du Cap Award and thank the writers, directors, actors and audience members who have joined us over the years to help develop local stories for the stage,” says Samantha de Romijn, co-founder of the Imbewu Trust.”

The Fleur du Cap Theatre Award for Innovation in Theatre recognises an individual, institution or organisation that has demonstrated a continuous level of artistic achievement and innovation in expanding the reach or influence of theatre or contributing to its growth.

Information and the entry form are available on

To receive the entry form via email for the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition email

The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established by Paul Griffiths and Samantha de Romijn to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts and to help showcase it on an international stage. It seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation.   The Trust created the annual SCrIBE Scriptwriting competition, one of its flagship projects, to provide new opportunities for local writers to fully develop their work.

Notes to Editors
The Imbewu Trust

The Imbewu Trust is a non-profit organisation which was established to promote the development of contemporary South African theatre and arts. Imbewu seeks to create an accessible community of varied voices that can flourish through collaboration, resourcefulness and innovation, as well as showcase the best of South African theatre on an international platform and create opportunities for new theatre practitioners.

Winner of the Innovation in Theatre Award at the 53rd Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards, the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition is now in its seventh year.  SCrIBE is an opportunity for South African playwrights to further develop their work. A staged reading is held for each of the finalist’s scripts, providing the chance for feedback from the industry and members of the public. An overall winner is announced at the end of the week, with the prize of having the play professionally mounted for a run at a Cape Town theatre.  Another writer has the chance to win The Scribblers Dream,  a prize to enable a writer to work alongside a mentor to develop his or her script and another writer has the chance to further workshop his or her play.

In 2012, the Trust also hosted the Imbewu Showcase in New York, USA, to create dialogue between US practitioners and Imbewu, and to develop South African arts through cultural exchange. The Imbewu Trust, in association with the Horse Trade Theatre Group in Manhattan’s East Village, presented Tin Bucket Drum, by Standard Bank Young Artist Neil Coppen, directed by Karen Logan and featuring Mpume Mthombeni. The production received rave reviews and was seen by a wide range of people.

The Fly Free Graduates Bursary has enabled graduates of the Waterfront Theatre School to produce work on the Fringe at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. This was won by Natasha Dryden and Angela Inglis in 2011 and their show Se—My-Alles did extremely well as part of the Fringe festival in Grahamstown. The 2012 winner was Trudi Conradie, whose performance of the Reza de Wet play; “Breathing In” won an Ovation award for its outstanding performance. The Trust is looking to open the bursary to all the tertiary education institutions in the Western Cape, allowing for greater scope and more opportunities for students across the board.

Long-term goals for the Imbewu Trust include establishing a sustainable bursary fund for tertiary education at an arts institution, and publishing a collection of scripts from the SCrIBE Scriptwriting Competition.

Comment from Zolani M Mahola, Brand Ambassador for the Imbewu Trust

“I was thrilled to be approached by Imbewu to stand as an ambassador for them and what really struck me was the passion and extreme care with which they approach their works. As a young South African myself, I agree with them that we have many important stories to share amongst ourselves as well as the rest of the world. Imbewu provides that platform, making room for exciting new voices to be heard across the seas. I am very excited to see the further growth and development of this initiative, perhaps you would too!”


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