RED Women’s Theatre Awards launches this Sunday


Effie Samara

A new award for female playwrights will be launched at Greenwich Theatre on Sunday, March 6, with rehearsed readings of four one act plays presenting four challenging political voices.

The RED Women’s Theatre Award, co-produced by creative online magazine Female Arts, is the idea of playwright Effie Samara, whose current research at the University of Glasgow is focused on the potential for revolution in female-authored British drama.
“I’ve had it in my head for 10 or 15 years but this seems like the right time,” said Effie. “We live in a time of war and exile and it needs to be talked about, not just as it has been through history by men but by women too. Most of the work is about being progressive. I’ve yet to see a text in the scores we have received that’s looking to preserve the status quo. After lots of provocation women are becoming more and more fearless and are becoming what they want to be. This government is giving us an awful lot of headaches and, living up here in Scotland, we are still wondering how it happened.”

Effie has a panel of readers, including academics and theatre professionals, but has read at least part of every script herself. She said: “it’s so personal to me that I would never have allowed myself not to have personal knowledge of all the scripts. Given that we made the announcement in early November, and we gave writers a deadline of January 15 – a very short time – we have had some shockingly good work. Some are from very young women and two or three are from quite well-known names. I’m looking for a evolutionary aesthetic in female authored drama and we’re well on our way. In a year or two I’m sure we’re going to get a masterpiece – maybe it’s even one of these plays set to be showcased in Greenwich.”

Female Arts
Editor-In-Chief, Wendy Thomson, said: “We’ve been championing women in the performing arts for five years this spring so we’re delighted to work with Effie Samara – our Edinburgh Editor – on her vision for an award for emerging female playwrights. It’s so important to improve visibility and recognition of female voices in all our diversity, which is why I founded Female Arts magazine to promote gender equality in the arts. The Female Arts team are fully behind RED Women’s Theatre awards, including Amie Taylor and Kate Saffin who are directing. It’s fantastic to have the first regional showcase of the awards at Greenwich Theatre who do so much to support female theatre makers.”

Artistic and Executive director James Haddrell said: “Women are not only outnumbered by men by two to one among British playwrights, they are not often writing this kind of work, not because of a lack of desire but because of such a low expectation of having their work produced. Submissions could have a historic or modern setting, could respond to particular real events or be entirely fictitious, could be about local, national or international politics, as long as they responded to the call to action issued by RED. As part of the panel I read the fourteen plays on the long-list and was struck not only by the quality but by the sheer diversity of approach. After an incredibly difficult series of discussions, we are all incredibly proud of the four shortlisted plays, and the evening of play-readings on March 6 is set to be an exciting event.”

The four plays are GONE by Kate Webster; UNDER MY THUMB by Cassiah Joski-Jethi; DISSONANCE by Paper Cage Theatre and SPURN THE DUST by Sian Rowland.

RED Women’s Theatre Awards
Presented by: Effie Samara, Greenwich Theatre and Female Arts
Sunday, March 6, from 6.30pm. Tickets £7 (including £1 booking fee)
Box Office 020 8858 7755

For full details visit or

About 17Percent

A campaign to get more plays by women playwrights onto UK stages.
This entry was posted in Awards, female playwrights, feminism, gender equality, Launch event, new work, plays by female writers, Plays for today by women, playwriting competitions, prizes and awards and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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