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TaPRA Postgraduate Essay Prizewinners 2016

TaPRA is delighted to announce the details of the winning entries in this year’s Postgraduate Essay competition, decided by a panel led by Professor Joanne Tompkins of the University of Queensland.

We were hugely impressed this year by the range and level of postgraduate work across all disciplines of theatre and performance displayed by entrants to the competition, and would like to thank all those who took the time to send us their work. However we did have to make a choice, and our winners are as follows:

First prize is awarded to Hannah Greenstreet, Master’s student at Jesus College, University of Oxford, for her essay ‘“For what are we, Maureen, if we are not our stories?” Narrative dysfunction in The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh and On Raftery’s Hill by Marina Carr’. Professor Tompkins remarks that ‘This paper provides a novel approach to naturalism and to the work of Enda Walsh and Marina Carr via the trope of storytelling. While naturalism may seem to be well-worked over territory, this paper encourages us to re-evaluate this genre. It also produces a detailed, rewarding reading of the plays. The structure of the paper is very elegant and nuanced, helping to contribute to a good overall understanding of the contemporary relevance of these writers. This paper tells its “story” very well.’

Hannah’s essay will be considered for publication in a Routledge journal and she will also receive a choice of five free books from Manchester University Press and a year’s free membership of TaPRA.

The runner-up prize is awarded to Becca Savory Fuller, PhD candidate in Drama in the University of Exeter/NIAS joint-doctoral programme, for her essay ‘“Flash mob Mumbai”: performing a “politics of forgetting” in the semi-public spaces of globalising India’. Professor Tompkins felt that ‘This paper analyses how we might think about understanding ‘social media performance’ in the highly-charged city context of Mumbai, a city where attempts to use social media have in the past backfired. The author situates the recent tensions of this geographical/social context well and intriguingly looks to both the potentials and the ironies raised by social media performance. The paper has relevance to contemporary performance informed by technology well beyond its exploration in Mumbai.’

Becca receives a £50 voucher for Palgrave books from Palgrave.

The prizes will also be formally announced and celebrated at the TaPRA conference which is taking place in Bristol from 5-7 September 2016.

TaPRA would like to thank Professor Tompkins for her efforts in leading the judging panel, and the prize sponsors – Routledge, Manchester University Press and Palgrave – for their ongoing support. Congratulations to our winners!

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