The annual Martin Lysicrates Prize, first awarded in 2017, with a one-year Covid break in 2020, is a unique playwriting competition supporting the development of new plays for young audiences. The Martin Lysicrates Prize is a national competition open to playwrights Australia-wide.
Young people and their worldviews are at the heart of the Martin Lysicrates Prize. Young people are the inspiration and intended audience of this unique commission; as well as key participants in the process of awarding the annual Prize.
About the prize:
Inspired by the Ancient Greek theatre festivals where audiences voted for a winner, The Martin-Lysicrates Prize champions the best new Australian writing for young people.
Playwrights are invited to submit the first 15 minutes of a new play for young people aged 12 – 15 years. Following a short-listing process, three scripts are presented to a live and online audience of school students of the relevant age. It is the audience of young people who judge which play is awarded a full commission.
The inspiration for the Martin Lysicrates Prize is the Great Dionysia Ancient Greek theatre festivals where the city of Athens stopped, spirited audiences converged, new plays were watched and the people effectively chose their annual award-winning playwright. The Martin Lysicrates Prize honours past traditions and today’s young people by weaving democratic ideals and new cultural experiences together.
The Martin Lysicrates Award is a genuine endeavour to inspire new stories and support playwrights to develop original scripts ready for production consideration. Along with a full commission, the winner enters a dramaturgical process providing a fantastic opportunity for a playwright to work with a top dramaturge in Australia.