2017 ASSITEJ Inspirational Playwrights: Kevin Dyer (UK), Rene Fernandez Santana (Cuba), Suzanne Lebeau (Canada)

 Kevin Dyer, Rene Fernandez Santana, Suzanne Lebeau

Write Local Play Global was invited by the ASSITEJ Executive Committee to create an award for playwrights.  We were honored to be asked, and honored to be part of the Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 26, 2017.  These are some of the words that we shared with the audience

There are so many wonderful playwrights writing in so many countries in so many languages that an award for the best playwright or for lifetime achievement could only be subjective.  The leadership of the network decided that we should recognise up to three playwrights who are enriching the overall field by their writing and mentoring and who are truly inspirational – inspirational now.

After an open call for submissions, we received nominations for 15 playwrights from 12 countries writing in 7 different languages.  The assessment panel of 8 ASSITEJ members from 7 countries on 6 continents, including 5 plawrightscountries on six continents, including five playwrights, had a complex task, as most of the nominated playwrights fit our three criteria – inspiration, excellence, and impact.

However, our decision came down to bravery and risk-taking.  As one of our panelists said, “In this terrible year of a fractured world, I want to surround myself with people who tackle dangerous stories, because we must if we want our young people to grow up with strong and vibrant voices”

What we say on the award certificate is “Time and again, courage, fearlessness, and bravery were mentioned as inspirational attributes for the challenges of 2017 and beyond. Courage to challenge artistic form, speak to power, deliver new and challenging content, or move from a place of artistic success to possible failure by pursuing new directions.  The courageous choices you have made throughout your writing career inspire us all"