Malta Council for Culture and the Arts (MCCA) has announced the winners of the Francis Ebejer theatre prize.
The prize for Scripts for Theatre for Children and young people was awarded to Id-Dlam taħt it-Teatru by Malcolm Galea. Prof Joe Friggieri’s Kwadri minn Wirja won the prize for Radioplays, followed by Anthony Portelli’s radioplay Lippu ‘d-Doggi’. In the category of Scripts, where seven works were presented, the jury felt that none of the deserved the prize. Each applicant will be receiving individual reports from the respective members of the jury.
The prize aims to encourage playwrights to produce original scripts in the vernacular that stretch the present boundaries of the local theatre scene. The prize also includes support for the production and publication of the winning works.
The plays awarded in this edition will be produced and published next year, when Malta commemorates the 20th anniversary of the demise of Francis Ebejer. The Prize is aimed at writers of any age, level of experience and nationality. At present, the Prize is divided into three categories, being Theatre scripts, Theatre Scripts for Children and Young People (audiences of 16 years old and under) and Radio Plays.
The board noted that a number of scripts had potential but lacked proper development to be ready for theatre production. This shortcoming was particularly pronounced in the category of Scripts for Theatre. The jury felt that many of the works were swayed in the culture of television and audiovisual media and they seem to be missing theatrical knowledge and culture.
This year, 14 scripts were submitted. The jury of was made up of Mario Philip Azzopardi (Chairman), Immanuel Mifsud, Paul Portelli, Carmel S Aquilina and Monica Attard. Ths ceremony was held on Thursday 26th July. MCCA Chairman Adrian Mamo announced that, as from next year, no fee is payable for submitting a play for the Prize.