Screen/Play Award – Meet the Panel 25/01/2021

It's the final countdown! From 341 entries to just six finalists, it's now time for our industry panel to meet the writers before we unveil the two bursary winners of Box of Tricks' inaugural Screen/Play Award in partnership with Sky Studios. This week, each writer will talk to the panel about the story they want to explore for stage and screen, their voice as a writer and what drives them to put pen to paper. 

As our finalists get ready to discuss their ideas, find out why our panel got involved...

Mina Anwar

This is such an important and urgent time for artists to be seen and heard and it's especially vital for Northern voices as regional theatre tries to forge forward in these uncertain times.  We need to see our stories and our lived experiences reflected and represented in the Arts and I’m looking forward to being part of this search to discover some hidden creative voices and allow their stories to be lifted off the page and to be realised on stage and screen.


Mina is an acclaimed Northern actor on both stage and screen.

Chris Bush

"It's a pretty terrifying time to be an artist or a maker right now, but (without coming across too much like Hugh Grant in an airport) instead of descending into the pits of despair, a quick glance around will reveal thousands of phenomenally talented people in every corner of the creative industries performing small miracles to try and keep us all afloat. The Screen/Play Award is one of those small miracles - actually, it's a pretty big one. It's an ambitious, multidisciplinary scheme that will provide crucial support and cold hard cash to a pair of writers from perennially underrepresented backgrounds. It's not that these writers are 'hard-to-reach', it's that historically no-one has shown much interest in reaching them, and that needs to change. I'm incredibly proud to be on the judging panel, and really excited to see who comes our way"

Chris is an award-winning playwright, lyricist, and an Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres.

Melissa Johns

"At a time when we are isolating and feeling the distance in the creative world, how wonderful to be given the opportunity to come together with other artists and elevate the voices of writers from underrepresented groups. This industry will always be stronger and richer with more voices! And companies like the brilliant Box of Tricks that are initiating and supporting this movement really are paving the way for change"


Melissa is an actor and theatremaker and passionate advocate for the inclusivity of disabled people in the arts.

David Judge

"Box of Tricks have well and truly opened the door for me as a playwright, not in a ‘welcome to the industry’ way, but in a ‘welcome to yourself’ way. They were able to identify and nurture my ‘voice’ in a non-intimidating and collaborative environment. The work we have created has directly led to me working with Sky Studios, and again I cannot rave enough about the freedom and support I have received on this journey so far."

David is a playwright, performance poet and actor from Manchester.

Donna Metcalfe

"The aim of Sky Studios Innovation Hub is to support creative risk from ambitious, diverse and emerging talent, an ethos Box of Tricks shares.  It is no coincidence that several of their alumni are now working on Sky Studio Productions.  Therefore, we are thrilled to announce we are forming a creative partnership, to unearth, nurture and develop new writing voices of the future."


Donna Script Executive for Sky Studios' Innovation Hub based in Leeds.

Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder

"Following the launch of Box of Tricks' PlayMakers Network at the height of lockdown - for Northern playwrights to connect, collaborate and create - we’re delighted to share this game-changing opportunity for two writers. With so much uncertainty still ahead, we face the very real prospect of losing a generation of talent, so it is vital that we seize every opportunity to support, nurture and promote new voices in the North - especially those whose stories are too seldom heard on our stages or seen on our screens. It's time to make a change for the better"


Hannah is Joint Artistic Director and co-founder of Box of Tricks.

Temi Wilkey

“I'm so excited to be joining the panel of judges for the Screen/Play Award. I really admire what Box of Tricks and Sky Studios are doing and it's so wonderful to be part of a talent scheme that is so actively encouraging applications from underrepresented backgrounds."


Temi is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and actor.