Playwright Travis Cotton has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Lysicrates Prize for his play Starfish. Co-presented by Griffin Theatre Company and The Lysicrates Foundation, the prize— now in its fourth year—celebrates the best new Australian writing.
Travis Cotton graduated from WAAPA in 1999 and been has working in the theatre ever since. Some of his plays include, Rites of Evil, Robots Vs. Art and 80 Minutes No Interval. They have played around Australia at venues such as The Blue Room, The Old Fitz, Red Stitch, La Mama, and The Store Room.
Starfish was shortlisted alongside The Hollow Queen by H Lawrence Sumner and GALILEE by Christine Evans. Cotton will now receive a full commission of $15,000 to finish the play.
“Firstly, I would to congratulate my fellow playwrights for their outstanding work. It was a joy to listen to their words. Secondly to Griffin, not only for the grand prize, but for the support and fanfare the three finalists receive,” says Cotton. “Writing can be a very lonely job. Months can pass by— heck, years—whilst receiving little to no encouragement. Hundreds of thousands of words can be written in a void of self-doubt that, quite simply, must be overcome. To listen to actors speak the words I have written, and to have people discuss my work, makes my heart soar, and strengthens my resolve as I work towards being a great Aussie contemporary playwright.” Griffin Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Lee Lewis says: “It’s a rare opportunity for playwrights to be able to put their plays in front of an audience at such an early stage in their development. It may only be the first act, but that first act is crucial. To know that you’ve got the audience onside, that they’re invested in the story, that they’re dying to know what happens next, is an invaluable encouragement for a writer to receive. I know that Starfish will be a much stronger play for the experience here today and I can’t wait to see the finished script.”