17 October, 2016The Bleeding Tree, a play by Angus Cerini, has won the $60,000 David Williamson Prize for excellence in writing for Australian theatre at this year’s Australian Writers’ Guild 49th Annual AWGIE Awards.The Bleeding Tree, which was first produced by Griffin Theatre in 2015, has also just been announced as part of Sydney Theatre Company’s 2017 program.Reviewed by SMH as ‘a powerful look at domestic violence’ and by the Guardian as ‘powerful, visceral and deeply exhilarating’, the play has already won the Helpmann Award for Best Play.David Williamson, who awarded the prize at this year’s AWGIE Awards ceremony, said it is vital that young scriptwriters receive all the help they can get.‘I am so pleased to be able to present this Prize to a writer who is patently one of our most talented and exciting playwrights,’ he said.‘Angus Cerini blends powerful themes, words and movement to create theatre with impact and relevance,’ Williamson said of the winning script.‘Due to the incredible generosity of Shane and Cathryn Brennan, this prize offers a very real incentive for a theatre company to stage the work. As distinct from so many commissions, this work will end up on stage. And that’s what playwrights crave. Prizes are fine but productions turn a script on the page into living theatre by adding that vital element, the audience.’This year, the David Williamson Prize was increased by $20,000 to $60,000 following additional funding from Shane Brennan – the man behind the recently launched Scripted Ink. initiative – his wife Cathryn Brennan, David Williamson and his wife Kristin Williamson.The prize is broken into three parts:
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