Playwright Competition


The winning play will be provocative, challenging and inspiring for teenagers

Through a competition format, we are looking to commission a new South African text for our youth theatre company - OY!Theatre.

OY!Theatre was initiated by Theatre Arts in 2018. The company consists of approximately 6-10 young people from diverse backgrounds. 25 young people have been part of the company over the last 5 years with 2 members participating in all projects between 2018 and 2023. 2024 has seen a new cohort of seven young people enter the company. The company meets weekly for 8 months of the year and creates 3 productions annually, each production directed by an exciting emerging or established director who expands their understanding and experience of theatre and provides them with intense and excellent arts education. Since 2018, OY!Theatre has presented 9 productions, two of which travelled to the National Arts Festival, Makhanda where in 2022 they were awarded a Standard Bank Ovation Award for their production of The Children’s Monologues. To date, the company has performed both existing texts and workshopped new work, however, the existing texts have mostly been European. There are very few contemporary South African plays written for youth companies to perform as so few youth companies exist nationally. And there are precious few texts for young people and teens that are not driven by didactic educational content. This competition is designed to remedy this.

The Competition – a new work for OY!Theatre

We are looking for ideas that are provocative, contemporary, that speak to the times and that challenge and inspire teenagers. Have you got an idea for a script for a group of young teens to perform? Why not send us:

  • A short synopsis of the story along with a teasing out of the theme(s) you are wanting to excavate
  • A character breakdown
  • An 8-10 page writing sample of your script.

    Please remember: your script needs to be for a cast of 10 people and will be performed by young people between the ages of 13 and 18 years old.

The Prize
The winning playwright will receive a fee of R6000 to complete the script, along with a mentor. The play will be brought into production by OY!Theatre in April 2025.

Closing Date
Friday 14th June 2024.

To Submit
Submit your application here


  • Selection of 3 plays for the shortlist (mid June – mid July)
  • Shortlist to be read by OY!Theatre and along with the selection panel will select the winner (July)
  • Writing period between August and mid-November with 3 mentor engagements. Final draft by end of November
  • Rehearsals for the production will begin mid January with performances in early April.

The playtext will be added to the Yvonne Banning Reading Room play library and circulated amongst drama teachers as a possible text for students to perform.

With thanks to the Khula Cape Foundation.