Tasmania’s Dylan Van Den Berg has been awarded the prestigious Griffin Award for new Australian playwriting for his piece, Way Back When.
The accolade sees Van Den Berg being awarded $10,000 after beating out 130 other plays in an anonymous judging process featuring a panel of artists to be placed into a top five shortlist. From there these five plays were then assed by leading industry professionals including: Shari Sebbens, Hilary Bell, Michele Lee and Griffin’s Artistic Director, Declan Greene. Who then chose Way Back When as the unanimous winner.
“The shortlist for this year’s Griffin Award was really remarkable: five plays of huge originality, innovation, and humanity. But the judges were unanimous in selecting “way back when” – we were blown away by the poetry of Dylan’s voice, and the incredible scope of the drama he has penned,” said Green.
Upon winning the prize Van Den Berg said, ““I’m beyond excited – stunned, really – to receive this award, particularly in the company of such brilliant writers, all of whom I admire, and whose work I will continue to follow with great interest. way back when is about four Aboriginal women telling a big exhausting, heart-rending story, which details their resilience in the face of colonisation. I feel very proud to tell this story and have it recognised by Australia’s premier new work theatre company.”