D.A. Nixon has been announced as the first winner of the WiT (Writers in Theatre) Award, a prize created to discover and nurture new writers working in the theatre industry.
He wins an £8,000 commission, and additionally a dramaturgical relationship with Out of Joint, which will include a public reading of his submitted play, Look Me In The Eye When We’re Dancing.
Nixon was selected from 220 entries. A former Associate Literary Agent at Blake Friedmann, he has also worked on projects with organisations including Hampstead Theatre and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.
The other finalists were: actor Oliver Bennett; Marek Horn, Front of House Assistant at Bristol Old Vic; producer and practitioner Bethany Sharp; and Chloe Todd Fordham, Literary Manager at Graeae theatre company. All five finalists will receive £100 in Theatre Tokens, and copies of Steve Waters’ acclaimed book The Secret Life Of Plays. The organisers are grateful to both Theatre Tokens and Nick Hern Books.
The panel of judges consisted of playwrights Mark Ravenhill and Winsome Pinnock; theatre publisher Nick Hern; director Max Stafford-Clark; script editor and Out of Joint’s Literary Manager Catriona Craig; and Clive Webster, member of the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust, which instigated the award.
Catriona Craig said: “We were impressed by the high quality of the entries, and encouraged by the range of theatre professions represented.”
“Actors, front-of-house staff, administrators and stage managers all sent in their plays. The shortlisted plays are all written by highly skilled emerging playwrights. Every one of them demonstrated a really confident original voice. Daniel’s play impressed us with its original subject matter, the knowledge and passion he has for the world he’s writing about and the characters he has created. He is also evidently a writer with an impressive work ethic and a genuine commitment to his craft.”
Look Me In The Eye When We’re Dancing follows two young men with dreams of being a successful DJ duo. Spanning nearly two decades it explores the pursuit and abandonment of dreams, love and authenticity within a diverging friendship. Vivid characters in their own right, Nat and Rowan come to represent the complex clash between rave culture and urban regeneration.
Nixon was named the winner at a ceremony held at London’s Royal Court Theatre on Thursday 25 May 2017. More information about the award can be found here.
If you’re interested in non-performance careers, be sure to check out TheatreCraft, the biggest free non-performance careers event in London for anyone aged 16-25.