Applications closed

About the Prize

The Nick Enright Prize ($30,000) is offered for a play, or a work of music drama given its first production in Australia between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022. The production may be given by a professional or amateur theatre company, but it must involve a season of several performances before a general audience. Plays written by more than four authors are not eligible for this prize. 

Assessment will be made entirely on the literary merit of the written text, and not on the merits of a particular production. The text should translate to the stage and be performable.  

Where a production has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances the judges may permit the entry at their discretion. 

The Judging Panel


Dylan Van Den Berg


Dylan Van Den Berg is a Palawa writer and dramaturg. His plays include Whitefella Yella Tree (Griffin Theatre Company), Milk (The Street Theatre), Ngadjung (Belco Arts), The Camel (Motley Bauhaus/FlickFlickCity), All that Glitters is Not Mould (NIDA), The Chosen Vessel (Early Phase: The Street Theatre) and The Flood (National Theatre of Parramatta). He is a two-time recipient of the Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, and was shortlisted for the UK’s Bruntwood International Award for Playwriting. He studied theatre at the ANU and the State University of New York.


Peter Matheson

Since becoming freelance in 2002, Peter Matheson has assessed scripts and worked dramaturgically with most of the major mainstage (and many more smaller) theatre companies and all the assessment agencies in Australia. He has taught playwrighting, handled residencies, contributed to development programs and tutored in organizations from tertiary institutions through to enthusiastic amateurs. His latest dramaturgical work has been with TasPerforms, Australia Plays Transform, Mudlark, Blue Cow, Black Swan & Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company with several individual projects including a run at Belvoir, La Mama in Melbourne and a creative development in Brisbane. He is focused and passionate about regional theatre.


Alana Valentine

Alana Valentine is a dramatist and librettist. She co-wrote the Helpmann award-winning Barbara and the Camp Dogs with First Nations artist Ursula Yovich, and co-wrote the Ruby Award winning libretto for Watershed: The Death of Dr Duncan with Christos Tsiolkas, music by Joe Twist. Her two plays on the HSC syllabus in NSW are Parramatta Girls and Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah. In 2022 Alana also co-wrote, with Stephen Page, Wudjang: Not the Past for Bangarra and wrote Wayside Bride for Belvoir Theatre. Her plays are published by Currency Press including Bowerbird: The Art of Writing Theatre Drawn From Life. 

Past winners

Cover image of Whitefella Yella Tree
Griffin Theatre Company/ Currency Press
Orange Thrower
Griffin Theatre Company and National Theatre of Parramatta/Currency Press
The Street Theatre
Counting and cracking bookcover
Belvoir and Co-Curious
The Almighty Sometimes
Image of the play Black is the New White
Sydney Theatre Company

About Nick Enright

Nicholas Paul “Nick” Enright (1950-2003) was an Australian playwright and dramatist. After his graduation from Sydney University, he worked for Sydney’s Nimrod Theatre before being appointed as trainee director at the Melbourne Theatre Company. He won an Australia Council Fellowship to study directing at New York University where he began writing plays. After his graduation in 1977, Enright joined the State Theatre Company of South Australia as actor and director before becoming Head of Acting at NIDA in 1983 and 1984. All of his plays, including Blackrock and On the Wallaby, have been performed by the major Australian theatre companies. Enright also wrote three musicals, Variations winning the NSW Premier’s Literary Play Award in 1983. He was co-nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay of Lorenzo’s Oil (1992).