The James Tait Black Prizes
The James Tait Black Prizes logo

Drama prize

The James Tait Black Prize for Drama is awarded annually for the best original play written in English, Scots or Gaelic and first performed by a professional company in the previous year.

Ricky Champ as Josef the Fool (left) and Ony Uhiara as Lizaveta in Cannibals.

The £10,000 prize is open to any new work by playwrights from any country, and at any stage in their career.

Judges and panel

The judging panel includes students and staff of the University's School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures and representatives from the Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland, The Traverse Theatre and leading members of the UK theatre industry.

Judges award the accolade to a play that displays an original voice in theatre and one that they feel has made a significant and unique contribution to the art form.

Prize winners

The 2016, Gary Owen’s one-woman monologue, Iphigenia in Splott, was the fourth play to win the £10,000 prize.

Previous winners include Gordon Dahlquist’s sci-fi thriller Tomorrow Come Today (2015), Rory Mullarkey’s first full-length play, Cannibals (2014) and acclaimed drama The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (2013) by Tim Price.

Drama winners

Traverse Theatre logo

Awards ceremony

The winner is announced at an event at The Traverse Theatre, during the August festivals in Edinburgh.

The event is supported by National Theatre Scotland and includes extracts of the shortlisted plays performed as rehearsed readings.

Playwrights' Studio Scotland

Attend the awards ceremony

Our partners

The James Tait Black Prize for Drama is presented in association with Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland and the Traverse Theatre.