writing and producing independent australian theatre
The Silver Gull Play Award

subtlenuance is proud to adminster the inaugural Silver Gull Play Award.

This award will recognise an outstanding play by a local writer that explores philosophical or political themes.

The award is sponsored by The Buzz from Sydney.

The aim of The Silver Gull Play Award is to reward working playwrights, and to encourage interest in theatre that both offers insight and encourages action.

In 2015 the award will be valued at $2,000.
There will be a reading of the winning play at the award ceremony.


Philosophical? Political?

Both these words resist simple definition - which is part of what makes them so ripe for theatrical treatment.

It’s impossible for us to tell you exactly what we want.

We want to be surprised.

To be shown new worlds.

But we’ll offer this as a starting point:

A philosophical play consciously invites us to consider how (our) thoughts make the world.

A political play consciously invites us to consider how (our) actions make the world.

Neither assume the world is unchangeable.

Photo Attribution:
By Glen Fergus (Own work, Moreton Bay, Australia) [CC-BY-SA-2.5
(], via Wikimedia Commons

To be eligible for The Silver Gull Play Award plays:

a) Must explore themes that are political and/or philosophical. (Please see the earlier note)

b) Must be at least 60 minutes in length.

c) Must be unpublished and unproduced.

d) Must be unencumbered by agreements for future production or publication.

e) Must be the original work of the playwright.

f) Must be written by a playwright who resides in NSW.

g) Must be written by a playwright over the age of 18 years as of Feb 13, 2015.

h) Must not have won, or been shortlisted for, another Australian playwriting competition. However, playwrights may submit their play to other competitions

i) Must not be a re-writing of a work from one format to another (e.g. a radio play adapted as stage play).

In sending us your play you assure us that you have read the eligibility criteria for The Silver Gull Play Award. You declare your eligibility under the criteria listed. You guarantee you are the sole copyright holder of all material used.

Entry terms and conditions:

a) Playwrights may submit only one play for consideration.

b) The decision of the judging panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The judges reserve the right to decide any questions of eligibility, to publish a shortlist and not to make an Award,

c) The winner of the Award will be announced in July 2015, and on the award night there will be a reading of the play.

d) subtlenuance does not commit to programming or producing the winning play. The playwright retains the rights to their play (but allows a reading of the play as outlined in the above condition.)

e) The 2015 Award will be valued at $2,000.

f) The work must be submitted electronically via email.

Your entry should do the following: (Entries that do not fulfill these requirements will be deemed ineligible)

- Include the following personal information in the body of your email: Name, Residential address, Phone number, Play Title, and Number of pages in the script.

- Attach to your email an electronic copy of the script as a pdf. Please label the pdf file with the title of your play. Do not include your name anywhere on the script. Please number the pages.

- Attach to your email a detailed synopsis (of approximately 350 words) as a pdf. Please ensure the title of your play is at the top of this page (and not your name). Please label this file with “title of your play_synopsis”. In the synopsis you must include a section which outlines why you believe your play fulfils the requirements of being an exploration of philosophical and/or political themes.

-Please do not print your name anywhere on the script or synopsis. Entries are judged anonymously and your name should appear only in the body of your email.

Entries to the 2015 Silver Gull Play Award are now closed.

Queries should be directed to


Timetable of dates for The Silver Gull Play Award

20 November 2014 entries open

13 February 2015 entries close

June 2015 shortlist announced

July 2015 winner announced


Why the Silver Gull?

Firstly, the name is playful. and as such it's pleasingly subversive of the concept of prestige.

Secondly, the silver gull is a creature we all know for its extraordinary unity of contrary characteristics:

who better to squawk?

who better to fly?

It seemed an apt symbol of the political and the philosophical.

Coming soon
The Silver Gull Play Award
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