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5th Annual Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Playwriting Competition

Risk Theatre
August 22, 2022
114-485 Island Highway, Victoria, Canada
Job Type


Edwin Wong calls on playwrights worldwide to submit plays to the 5th annual 2023 Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Competition, juried by an international panel of professionals, anonymous to each other and the public until the winners are announced.

Cash prizes of $10,500 for the winner and five $700 prizes for the runners-up (total $14,000).

The Premise of Risk Theatre:

There’s an undercurrent of interest in risk and uncertainty for theatre to capitalize on. We live in an increasingly complex world where unintended consequences abound. More than ever, we have a moral imperative to understand risk. What is risk? What can go wrong? The best place to simulate risk is on the tragic stage. This belief informs risk theatre, which is based on the following premises:

1) tragedy consists of a gambling act in which protagonists wager all-in
2) by wagering all-in, protagonists expose themselves to unexpected and catastrophic low-probability, high-consequence events
3) as the dramatization of a gambling act, the emotional reaction of risk theatre is anticipation and apprehension: anticipation for what the protagonist wagers and apprehension for the price the protagonist, the protagonist’s friends and family, and the community must pay

-The Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy Competition (henceforth ‘the Competition’) is open to one-act and multi-act plays, 90 – 120 minutes in length (not including intermission). Generally, a properly formatted play of this length will be 80 to 110 pages long. If your script is significantly outside these parameters, it is probably ineligible.

-Playwrights may submit more than one script, but each script must be accompanied by a separate entry fee and entry form.

-Entries must be received by the Competition no later than 9PM, May 31, 2023 Pacific Time (PT).

-The Competition is open to writers of any nationality BUT all entries must be written in English.

-The script must be original. Adaptations of other works will not be accepted with two exceptions: 1) adaptation of works that are in the public domain will be accepted; for instance, a contemporary adaptation of a classic Greek tragedy; 2) adaptation of works to which the author holds sole copyright will be accepted; for instance, a short story written by the author.

-Scripts that have been simultaneously entered in other playwriting competitions are eligible.

-Musicals are eligible. Jurors will judge musicals on the basis of the libretto only. They will not have access to the music.

-Scripts that have gone through a workshop or been given public reading ARE eligible.

-Scripts that have been professionally produced at the time of submission are NOT eligible. Any public performance for which production members have been paid beyond a token honorarium will be considered a professional production.

-Scripts which have been commissioned are NOT eligible.

Only registered members can apply for jobs.
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