For this, the 5th cycle of the competition, nearly 200 scripts from a dozen countries were submitted. The three plays chosen to vie for the top prize vary greatly in tone and subject matter.
Ear to the Edge of Time, by Alana Valentine, a playwright from Sydney, Australia, is as much about the fascinating machinations of astronomical physics as it is about the dilemmas, compromises, and culture that are part of scientific discovery. Sequence, by Arun Lakra, an eye surgeon and writer from Calgary, Canada, is a humorous and complicated exploration of the importance of order – in our genetic code, in chronology, and in our lives. The only American finalist, This Rough Magic, by New York advertising executive-turned-playwright Richard Manley, takes place in a foreseeable future, where the problems of overcoming loneliness and feeling unloved prevail, but technology provides solutions to those who can afford them.
On October 21, 2012, the winner will be awarded their cash prize in a ceremony in Dublin, the 2012 European City of Science. In tandem with the award ceremony, there will be a staged reading of the winning play performed by professional Irish actors at Dublin’s Samuel Beckett Theatre. The event locale was chosen as a result of a collaboration between STAGE and CRANN, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (www.crann.tcd.ie), an internationally recognized institute for nanoscience research located at Trinity College Dublin.
BBC World Service Radio’s “Science in Action” program is currently doing a year-long series on the STAGE International Script Competition. The series began with the 5th cycle’s submission deadline of December 1, 2011, and will feature installments throughout the year, culminating in coverage of the Dublin award ceremony and play reading. The broadcasts may be heard HERE.
STAGE, a unique collaboration between the arts and sciences, is housed in the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), an esteemed science institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. STAGE grew out of efforts to catalyze the development of theatre that depicts the technological age in which we live and to foster new and imaginative voices and methods of storytelling, as well as to promote understanding of the sciences in the public arena.
For more information:
California NanoSystems Institute: www.cnsi.ucsb.edu
# # #