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Published on 02.07.12

Nobel Laureate Scientists & Pulitzer Prize Winners to judge STAGE

Tony Kushner, American playwright and screenwriter, he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for his play "Angels in America". Photograph by Joan Marcus

As one of the main City of Science 2012 events, Dublin will host a special performance of the winning play of the STAGE International Script Competition for the best new play about science and technology.

A world class panel of judges including Pulitzer, Tony and Emmy award winners and Nobel Laureate scientists will select the best play from a shortlist of three scripts. The winner will be announced in July. A few months later, in October, the winning playwright will be awarded a $10,000 cash prize and their play will have a staged reading with professional Irish actors at the Samuel Beckett Theatre at Trinity College Dublin.

STAGE – Scientists, Technologists and Artists Generating Exploration - is housed at the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and comes to Dublin as a result of the efforts of CRANN, the Science Foundation Ireland funded nanoscience institute at Trinity College Dublin.

Of the over 200 scripts submitted to the competition from around the world, the three shortlisted scripts are:

  • Ear to the Edge of Time, by Alana Valentine, a playwright from Sydney, Australia, which focuses on astronomical physics and the culture of scientific discovery
  • Sequence, by daytime eye doctor/night time playwright Arun Lakra of Calgary, Canada, which explores the need for order in all of our lives
  • This Rough Magic, by New York advertising executive turned playwright Richard Manley, which examines the solutions that technology provides in increasingly solitary lives.

Judges include Dr. Robert C. Richardson and Dr. Frank Wilczek, Nobel Laureates in Physics; Tony Kushner, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, Olivier Award and Emmy Award, among others; David Lindsay-Abaire, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright; Dr. David Wineland, winner of the USA Benjamin Franklin Medal and National Medal of Science; and Donald Margulies, Pulitzer Prize and Obie Award-winning playwright.

Ireland was chosen as a venue because of our artistic heritage and scientific successes. Commenting on Ireland’s hosting of STAGE, Dr. Diarmuid O’Brien, Executive Director of CRANN said, “We are delighted to bring the STAGE competition to Ireland.  STAGE is the perfect fusion of art and science and the fact that Dublin was chosen to host the winning performance is a real celebration of our successes in these areas. The Dublin City of Science Festival aims to promote people’s awareness and understanding of science and STAGE is a great way to bring this message to the wider public.”

Details about obtaining tickets to the award ceremony and special performance of the STAGE Competition winning play will be made available later in the year.

The Dublin City of Science 2012 programme was developed to mark the honour of hosting one of the most prestigious international science events, the Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) 2012, the largest general science event in Europe, taking place in Dublin on 11th – 15th July.  This important gathering will provide a platform for debate, as well as for influencing policy and strengthening the links between science and society.

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