24-Hour Playwriting Competition - 2018

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TheatreWorks 24-Hour Playwriting Competition 2018 Prize Winners

Open Category

Prize Name Title of Script
1st Ang Kia Yee Lizards
2nd Chuah Wei Qi Moving On
3rd Xavier Tay Yu Qin Untitled
Merit Wong Jin Yi Untitled


Youth Category

Prize Name Title of Script
1st Sarah Eva Van Riet Shape of Death
2nd Ariadna Padron Yassin Balik Kampung
3rd Ho Xu Rui Tiffany Flawed Beauty
Merit Elizabeth Laurel Caleb Seeing Red



Judges's Comments

Haw Par Villa turned out to be an inspiring location for the 24-Hour Playwriting Competition. The competition yielded close to 50 plays that showcased the playwrights’ flights of imagination. More often than not, their plays deal with weighty, ambitious themes such as life and death, truth and artifice, the physical world and the afterlife. A few plays boast fantastical characters in strange otherworld settings. In these cases, reading the stage directions of how these worlds might look like is in itself a treat.


Ultimately, the plays that stand out are the ones that tell their stories clearly and compellingly. I remember a playwriting teacher once said to me: “Finding a playwright who can tell her or his story clearly and simply is hard enough.” The best playwrights here know how to tell a story in a somewhat good old-fashioned way: their plays don’t meander; they have a beginning, a middle and an end. The best entries also display the playwrights’ good understanding of the various aspects of theatre production and how a play differs from, say, a film or a novel. A good ear for dialogue, believable characters and recognisable existential struggles instantly distinguish the best plays from the mediocre ones.

- Helmi Yusof


The atmospheric grounds of Haw Par Villa proved to be a rich source of inspiration for the participants of this year’s 24-Hour Playwriting Competition. It was exciting to see a diverse range of scripts, with their own distinctive spin on topics ranging from the afterlife to family relationships to religion and tradition. I was personally heartened to see many plays reflecting the diverse, multicultural society we live in, and taking on complex issues with sensitivity and authenticity. My congratulations to all the prize winners for overcoming the pressures of time and sleep deprivation, to craft pieces with great dramatic potential. It is my hope that they will continue to work on and develop the first drafts that were forged in the crucible of Haw Par Villa, to allow them to reach their full potential.

- Jean Tay


To write a good complete script in 24 hours takes skill and a lot of imagination. And to write one with 5 given stimuli and in a designated (confined) space takes courage and a lot of craft. Telling a story through a play is quite different from telling a story through other mediums (such as a film, a novel or social media). The convention of having a good structure: a beginning, middle and end is important. For me, a good play is mythical, mystical and magical. You need to invest in the who (characters), where (space), why (motives), when (time), how (staging) and most importantly what (theme or subject matter). The overall “voice” of the play must be engaging, effective, economical, and it should be entertaining. The fact that you have submitted a script is the first step towards birthing a play – a process which in actuality, will take many months (and in some, years) to come to production. Seeing your play eventually on a stage will be the best reward and motivation for any playwright. And may this be a wish come true, for many of you.

- Jeremiah Choy



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