CRANN to Host International Script Competition during Dublin City of Science 2012

(Nanowerk News) CRANN, the SFI funded nanoscience centre based at Trinity College Dublin, today announced that it is bringing the STAGE International Script Competition to Ireland during Dublin City of Science 2012. The competition judges will include a Pulitzer Prize winner and a Nobel Laureate.
The STAGE International Script Competition is a unique collaboration between art and science that awards a prize of $10,000 for the best new play about science and technology. STAGE – Scientists, Technologists and Artists Generating Exploration – >began as an alliance between the Professional Artists Lab, a dynamic artistic laboratory, and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Through CRANN's relationship with CNSI, Dublin has beaten off stiff international competition to bring STAGE to Ireland.
Each cycle, the winner of the STAGE International Script Competition is chosen by a stellar panel of judges. Judges for the last cycle were Pulitzer Prize and Tony-Award winning playwright David Auburn; Tony, Olivier, and Obie Award-winning playwright John Guare; Nobel Laureate Alan Heeger; Nobel Laureate and KBE Sir Anthony Leggett; and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. In addition to Mr. Lindsay-Abaire, who has shown his support for STAGE by signing on as a judge 'in perpetuity', the judges for this 5th cycle of the competition will include two science Nobel Laureates and two additional distinguished writer-artists from the theatre world. The names of these jurors will be announced in early 2012.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Diarmuid O'Brien, Executive Director of CRANN, said, "We are delighted to bring the STAGE competition to Ireland. As a country, we are internationally renowned for the arts and for materials science research, so this initiative is the perfect fusion between the two cultures of science and art. As part of Dublin City of Science 2012, we hope to promote the understanding of the sciences among the general public, and STAGE will be instrumental in doing so."
As the 2012 City of Science, Dublin will host a programme of science-related events and activities throughout the year. The city will host Europe's largest science conference, the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2012 from July 11-15, 2012, at which the winner of the 5th STAGE International Script Competition will first be announced to the public.
Later in the year, STAGE and CRANN will collaboratively host the award ceremony, at which the winning playwright will receive their STAGE Award from a science Nobel Laureate. In tandem with the ceremony, there will be a staged reading of the winning play, performed by professional Irish actors. Nancy Kawalek, Founder/Director of STAGE, will direct the reading.
Previous Winners of the STAGE International Script Competition
4th Cycle Winner: The Altruists, by Craig Baxter
About the Playwright: British playwright Craig Baxter was the first winner of the Competition from outside of the United States, a sign that STAGE's efforts to expand its international reach are succeeding. Mr. Baxter is a published and produced playwright whose plays have been performed in London and throughout the U.K., as well as in the U.S., Canada, Turkey and, in translation, in Berlin and Madrid. His plays have also been broadcast on the BBC World Service and BBC Radio. He has been both a scriptwriter and script consultant for BBC TV. Baxter, who lives in Cambridge, England and divides his professional time between playwriting and scientific publishing, holds a B.S. in zoology and an M.A. in playwriting.
About the Play: While living on the fringes of Swinging '60's London, American eccentric George Price's scientific work parallels his personal quest for answers to fundamental questions: How should we live – for ourselves, or for others? And what are the benefits and costs of our choices? Based on a true story, The Altruists takes us behind the scenes with George Price, Bill Hamilton and John Maynard Smith, whose fundamental work in evolutionary biology in the 1960's and '70's resonates with today's investigations into fields ranging from social networking to cell behavior and beyond.
3rd Cycle Winner: Photograph 51, by Anna Ziegler
A film version of third STAGE Competition winner Photograph 51 is being produced by Academy Award-nominated director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz, and Ari Handel. Playwright Anna Ziegler will adapt her play for the screen. Photograph 51 was featured at the 2011 World Science Festival in New York City; the play has also enjoyed prestigious productions in New York City and Washington, D.C.
About the Playwright: Anna Ziegler's other plays include Dov and Ali (Theatre 503, London, June-July 2008), BFF (W.E.T. at the DR2 Theatre, 2007), Novel (SPF, 2007), Life Science (Bulldog Theatrical, 2007), Variations on a Theme (workshopped in July 2008 by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Ethan McSweeny), In the Same Room, The Minotaur, To Be Fair, and Everything You Have.
Ziegler's plays have been developed by the Sundance Theatre Lab, The Old Vic New Voices program, Primary Stages, The Geva Theatre Center, The McCarter Theatre, The Lark Play Development Center, Ars Nova, Theater J, New Georges (where she is an Affiliate Artist), Clubbed Thumb, The New Harmony Project, The hotINK Festival, Icicle Creek Theatre Festival, Catalyst Theater, The Playwrights' Center PlayLabs Festival, The Fireraisers Theatre Company at the Hampstead Theatre (London) and The Birmingham Rep, and by Company B at the Belvoir St. Theatre (Sydney, Australia).
About the Play: What does a woman have to do to succeed in the world of science? It is 1953 and Dr. Rosalind Franklin, brilliant, passionate and ambitious, pours herself into her work at King's College Lab in London. When fellow scientists Watson and Crick find out about her discoveries in the field of DNA, her work is suddenly not her own – and shortly thereafter they claim credit for a major breakthrough. A compelling drama about a woman's sacrifice for professional success, Photograph 51 asks how we become who we become, and whether we have any power to change.
2nd Cycle Winner: Frequency Hopping, by Elyse Singer
About the Playwright: ELYSE SINGER'S writing/directing credits include Love In The Void (; the groundbreaking 1995 multi-media adaptation of Courtney Love's Internet postings, performed by Carolyn Baeumler at HERE and P.S. 122; Private Property (Edinburgh Festival; BBC-TV; 1993 Jane Chambers Award finalist); and Care-less: Eva Tanguay (Dixon Place). Singer's Off-Broadway directing credits include the 2007 Obie Award-winning production of Trouble in Paradise, adapted from the 1932 Ernst Lubitsch film; the first New York City revival of Mae West's play, Sex, at the Gershwin Hotel; and Deborah Swisher's Hundreds of Sisters & One BIG Brother at the Harold Clurman Theatre, following runs at HERE, HBO Workspace in Los Angeles, and Brava in San Francisco. Recent projects include the world premiere of Ruth Margraff's new music-theatre piece, Wellspring, at the Century Center, the Public Theater, and BAM; and Margraff's Red Frogs, at P.S. 122.
About the Play: Frequency Hopping is the story of the remarkable collaboration in 1940 between film icon Hedy Lamarr and avant-garde composer George Antheil on a military communications device now recognized as the model for wireless communication. Based on a true story, Frequency Hopping is a darkly comic multidisciplinary play about the rhythms of human connection. It celebrates the process of scientific invention – and the electrified nature of the collaborative process itself - while also exploring the relationships between beauty and intelligence, science and art, and celebrity and identity. Multi-media is intrinsic to the play; it's used to explore the fantasy lives of the central characters, as well as to illuminate and make visual that highly charged imaginative space where scientific and artistic collaborations happen.
1st Cycle Winner: Splitting Infinity, by Jamie Pachino
After winning the STAGE Competition, Splitting Infinity went on to garner several other awards, including the American Theatre Critics Association Francesca Primus Prize, the Laurie Foundation Theatre Visionary Award, and the Pinter Prize's Gold Medal for Drama.
About the Playwright: Jamie Pachino is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter with national and international credits. Her plays have been produced in four countries, commissioned, published and honored. Jamie's work has been named the winner of dozens of awards, including the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays production grant and Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award for Best New Work. Her plays have been nominated for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (twice), the Illinois Governor's Award, and runner-up for the Osborn Award (American Theater Critics Association) and Jane Chambers Award (twice). Her work has been invited to new play festivals with American Conservatory Theatre, Hartford Stage, A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle), and Geva Theatre (Rochester), Florida Stage, New Theatre (Florida), as well as the Women Playwrights Conference in Athens, Greece
As a screenwriter, Jamie has written features for DreamWorks, Disney, Vanguard Films, Walden Media, and Smith/Hemion. Other film scripts have been optioned by Greenestreet, Hearst, Trigger Street Films, and Lions Gate. On television, Jamie has written teleplays for Lifetime Television and the Hallmark Hall of Fame, and currently writes for the series Fairly Legal, on USA Network.
About the Play: A Nobel Prize-winning astrophysicist pursues evidence of God, through physics. As she single-mindedly pursues her goal, she upsets the balance of her relationships with her oldest and closest friend, a rabbi, and her star post-doctoral student, the son of a Christian Scientist. Set between the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (known as the Ten Days of Awe), and reaching back into the past, each character seeks answers to questions of faith and science, love and work, and life and death. The play details the ache inside each of us to know, to dream large, to demand more, and the cost of such ambitions. An ambitious, sexy, funny and ferociously hungry play, Splitting Infinity takes on our struggles to connect to each other, and the world around us.
Source: CRANN
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