Arts Centre Group Drama Awards 2017
In 2017 we were looking for 30 minute One Act Plays on the Theme: Faith Within A Contemporary Context. The play may cover any aspect of faith e.g. Women and the church; Faith in pop culture; Faith and the atheists; Faith and politics. Music and song may find a place in the script, but should not be in total more than around 7 minutes.
The Competition Administrator was Tony Jasper, author, broadcaster, playwright and actor.
Scripts were judged by a team of distinguished judges, including theatre and radio directors and producers.
The script should not have been broadcast other than on student, hospital or local radio. It should also not have been performed within a professional theatre context.
One award was made:
- The Jasperian Drama Award for playwrights age of 25 and over. Prize £100.
In addition the winning play was given a play reading in a London location by professional actors.
Photo Jason Blackwood. Left to Right: John Coutts, Michael Billington and Peter Moreton.
The presentation of ACG’s 2017 Drama Awards was made on Saturday 18th November at the Methodist Central Hall, Westminster with the award winner, John Coutts, receiving his prize from Guardian Theatre critic, Michael Billington for his play Jesus in the Broomcupboard.
Interviewed by the event organiser, Tony Jasper, Michael Billington gave his views on religious theatre writing of the last few decades. His position was that religious writing should have a certain seriousness and gravitas, and he wasn’t keen on the superficial gloss given by musicals such as Godspell. Tony Jasper asked questions and also quoted from his book Jesus Centre Stage. The book references over 200 plays which have covered or included the subject of the person of Jesus. While not always agreeing, they gave a stimulating overview of the religious writing for the theatre with astute observation and stimulating discussion.
After the interval Peter Moreton gave ACG’s inaugural drama lecture on the topic of faith in the theatre and in his personal experience as an actor.
This was followed by a play reading of the winning play – Jesus In The Broomcupboard. John Coutts explained, that while fictional, it had been based on events from his own Salvation Army background.
All photos Jason Blackwood.