24-Hour Playwriting Competition - 2016

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Winners Judges's Comments / Notes  

Notes from the Judging Panel

Having something to say is easy. Learning how to say it with honesty and clarity is a life-long mission. The writer's "voice" is precious and powerful and the best playwriting, when encountered, can be a transcendental experience. I am always so excited to hear from young voices in theatre. Many of these writers are just discovering their voices, their gifts, and have an intrepid approach to writing that makes it a joy to read! It is my sincere wish that as they progress and learn more about technique, they don't forget that original impulse from within - their unique and singular voice.

- Serena Ho


Good plays capture the dreams, fears and concerns of our time.  They provide a glimpse of 2016 and the thoughts of our youth. To write a play is never easy.  For me, a good play is one where the characters are interesting or intriguing.  The characters must go on some emotional or physical journey discovering themselves and the complex world we live in.  The play may also take us back in time or forward into the imagined future. The shortlisted winners were definitely a class above in terms of originality, character and plot development.  They demonstrated their understanding of the theatricality of live theatre to transform space and time, body movement to convey emotions and imagination. 

- Jeffrey Tan


I was impressed by the variety of writings styles and excited by the range of themes explored by the writers in this year's 24-Hour Playwriting Competition. Gillman Barracks inspired many of the writers to connect seemingly disparate topics; art, apocalyptic events, colonialism, war, and the future of Singapore. Issues of personal importance such as dementia, depression, xenophobia, education, and technology were also seamlessly woven through the majority of the works, pointing to current global concerns. If this standard of writing can be accomplished in a day, I look forward to seeing what these playwrights can achieve with more preparation in the future.

- Edith Podesta


Much similar to last years' entries, the plays this year engaged a range of creative strategies to articulate several pertinent issues that are being worked through by Singapore's collective consciousness. Some entries were more successful than others in utilising the inherent structure of theatre plays than others. But all exhibited much sincerity and a genuine sense of purpose. I wish all of the contestants the very best in their creative journeys.

- Jeff Chen



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