The CASA Award is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2020 playwriting award is writer, theatre-maker and educator Genna Gardini of Cape Town, South Africa. The Jury, consisting of South Africans – educator and voice-body guide/sonic dramaturg Lieketso Mohoto, and writer/adaptor/director/ theatre-maker Janice L. Honeyman – and Canadian actor/playwright/librettist/ dramaturg Marcia Johnson worked with Canadian Chair and writer/educator/theatre-maker Sally Stubbs. They had this to say about the winner:
“We find Genna to be a writer with a strong and intelligent voice, the ability to create multi-faceted and intriguing characters and situations and to bring humour as well as poignancy to an intense and personal drama. Genna’s play, MANY SCARS, is a fantastical semi-autobiographical play about Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system that disrupts the relationship between the body and the brain. This sophisticated and brave piece is well underway. It will be thrilling to see Genna complete it with the help of the CASA mentorship.”
Genna will receive financial support ($5000 CAD) giving her time to write. She will be partnered with two senior mentors: a Canadian dramaturge and a South African director; and will receive a small collection of Canadian plays, generously donated by Playwrights Canada Press and Scirocco Drama.
Now in its fourth year, CASA is thrilled once again with the excellence of this year’s applications.
The Jury noted: “Special recognition must be given to finalists Campbell-Jessica Meas, Nwabisa Plaatjie and Napo Masheane. Their work stood out the among submissions. We also wish to celebrate Daisy ‘Dmapz’ Maphathe and Sanelisiwe Yekani, whose applications received honourable mention. We note that South African womxn playwrights continue to bravely engage with challenging and personal subject matter.”
Genna Gardini Bio
Genna is a writer, theatre-maker and educator. The South African playwright has an MA in Theatre-Making from the University of Cape Town and is currently a PhD candidate at Queen Mary University of London. In 2013, she was named one of the Top 200 Young South Africans by The Mail & Guardian. Genna co-founded the queer theatre company Horses’ Heads productions with Gary Hartley. Her plays WinterSweet (2012) and Scrape (2013) won Standard Bank Ovation awards. Genna’s poetry collection, Matric Rage, received a commendation for the Ingrid Jonker Prize. She was a 2016 National Fellow at the Institute for Creative Arts, working on a project about Multiple Sclerosis and creative writing.
CASA is a Canadian and South African partnership. In 2015, Beverley Cooper, Marcia Johnson, Sally Stubbs and Colleen Wagner were part of the Canadian delegation that attended the Women Playwrights International (WPI) Conference in Cape Town, and during this time formed a partnership with Amy Jephta, then President of WPI, in order to find funding opportunities for South African women. We invite all people of marginalized genders to apply.
CASA is a partnership between The Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Women’s Caucus and The African Women Playwrights Network. The Canadian committee consists of Beverley Cooper, Cheryl Foggo, Marcia Johnson, Natalie Meisner, Sally Stubbs, Colleen Wagner and Deborah Williams, with PGC advisors Rebecca Burton (Membership Manager) and Robin Sokoloski (Outgoing Executive Director). South African partnering organizations are Theatre Arts in Cape Town and The Outreach Foundation in Johannesburg.