Oct 14, 2017

Content Tabs


National Theatre of Parramatta is joining The Lysicrates Foundation and Griffin Theatre Company in presenting a new prize for playwrights writing for children.

The Martin Lysicrates Prize is intended to support mid-career playwrights and provides an opportunity for finalists to receive professional development and funding support. We’re looking for the first Act of a new play written for 8-12 year olds. Your play will be assessed by a team of professional readers.

The three finalists will receive a week’s rehearsal with a professional director and cast, before a staged reading is held before an audience at Riverside Theatres on Saturday 14th October. The audience will vote for the winner, who receives a full commission ($15,000) to finish the play. The runners-up will receive a cash prize of $1,000.

How To Apply
Applications are now open and will close on Friday 18th August. The competition is only open to writers who’ve had two or more mainstage plays produced. Submit the first 20 pages of your first Act via the only form here.

Photography: Nick Coyle’s “Feather In The Web” by Jessica Lindsay

How To Apply


The Martin Lysicrates Prize requires the submission of the first act of a new play and a brief description of how you anticipate the story developing. The winning entry will receive a full commission to develop a draft of the work ($15,000).

About the Prize
• Entry to the competition is open to any writer who has had two or more mainstage (professional) productions.
• A team of readers will produce a long list to give to the judging panel.
• The panel will select a shortlist of three plays.
• These plays will receive several days’ rehearsal by professional actors and directors.
• The first act of each of the three works will be performed at the Lennox Theatre at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta.
• The audience will vote for the winning play.
• The winning playwright will receive a full commission from Griffin and the two runners-up will receive a cash prize of $1,000 each.

1. Be the first act of a full length play (approximately 15-20 pages or 15 minutes).
2. Be written for a maximum of 6 performers (may have more characters if cast doubling possible).
3. Be unproduced and unpublished.
4. Be unencumbered by agreements for future production or publication.
5. Not have won, or been shortlisted for, another Australian playwriting competition.
6. Be written by a playwright who is a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.

Terms and Conditions
1. Playwrights may submit only one (1) play for consideration.
2. The decision of the judging panel and voting public is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
3. The work must be submitted electronically via the online form (see below).
4. Griffin Theatre Company and the National Theatre of Parramatta shall have world-wide first right of refusal to produce the winning play for a period of 12 months following the completion of the commissioned draft.
5. Plays or performance texts submitted may be original ideas or adaptations from other forms providing that permission to adapt the material has been obtained from the copyright holder.


Your entry must include the following:
1. An electronic copy of the script uploaded as a pdf. It should have a cover page featuring the title of the script and your full name. The pages should be numbered. There should be a character list indicating any necessary doubling.
2. A brief synopsis or description of how you anticipate the story developing (approximately 200 words). Please ensure your name and the title of your play is at the top of this page.

Submit your entry electronically HERE by 5pm on Friday 18th August 2017.

About The Lysicrates Foundation

The philosophy behind The Lysicrates Foundation is simple. It is that those who pursue intellectual or artistic endeavours of any kind are the ones who define a society, and who will be remembered. Accordingly, this is the dedication of the Foundation’s first book, The Lysicrates Prize 2015: The People’s Choice:

To all scribblers, daubers and assorted eggheads – a society’s real treasures.

There are several ways the Foundation seeks to put this philosophy into practice. First is in the support it provides for the restoration of Sydney’s lovely sandstone replica of the ancient Athenian Lysicrates Monument. The marble original was erected in 334 B.C. to celebrate a win in the Great Dionysia, the theatre festival that stopped the city of Athens for a week every year, and this led to the second aim of the Lysicrates Foundation, namely to take that ancient Athenian model and create a playwriting competition in modern Sydney, an “Archibald Prize” for playwriting. In this one, just like in ancient Athens, it is the audience that selects the winner.

A third objective of the Foundation is to foster and encourage a sense of history in modern Australian society, not just of ancient history, although that is certainly a definite Foundation aim, but of the 19th and 20th centuries in modern Australia. The original Lysicrates Monument came out of the ancient world, but its modern replica had the most extraordinary and revealing history, which is largely unknown to us today. The Foundation aims to re-introduce to modern Australian society a familiarity with the remarkable stories behind the replica’s continued existence.

Frequently Asked Questions

My play has had a short self-produced, unfunded or independent season. Is it eligible for submission?
If your play has been publicly presented (meaning that it has been publicly marketed and/or advertised and the audience has paid for tickets), then it is not eligible for entry. Plays which have been presented for a creative development showing are eligible.

I have previously submitted this play to the Griffin Award. Is it eligible for submission to the Lysicrates Martin Prize?
No. However, plays submitted to The Lysicrates Martin Prize may be entered into next year’s Griffin Award (2017), with the exception of the winning entry.

I have submitted my play to another playwriting competition (or I intend to in the future). Is it eligible for submission?
Yes, you may submit your play even if you have also submitted it to other playwriting competitions. You may also submit your play to other competitions between submitting it to The Lysicrates Martin Prize and the announcement of the shortlist. However you may not submit a play which has already won or been shortlisted for another Australian playwriting competition.

If you have further questions about the submission process, please email or contact Griffin Theatre Company on 02 9332 1052.