Gordon Pengilly was raised on a farm south of Lethbridge, Alberta. From 1971-78 he studied at the University of Alberta where he earned a BA in Drama and an MFA in playwriting, the first person to earn that graduate degree. A seven-time winner of Alberta playwriting competition and a three-time winner of national competitions Gordon was in university when Hard Hats And Stolen Hearts (co-written with Theatre Network) was produced at the Performing Garage in New York.
Nature Calls is Bolaji's third stab at the prize. When she writes, which, she says isn't as often as she'd like, she waits for a magical connection with her characters. Sometimes it doesn't happen. But when it does she finds they take up their own lives and live it while she merely chronicles events. With Nature Calls the connection was immediate and powerful. Start to finish it took four days to write. She says "That the play won is a tremendous bonus. I thank God for it".
Dean Barrett first arrived in Asia as a Chinese linguist with the Army Security Agency during the Vietnam War. He returned to the United States and received his Masters Degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii. He has lived in Asia for over 25 years. His writing on Asian themes has won several awards including the PATA Grand Prize for Excellence.
Stephanie McCarthy is a published author who has been writing for film, TV, stage, page and radio for 35 years, winning major awards especially for her radio and stage plays. She has been a book reviewer and a teacher of both adults and children. A long-serving member of the Australian Writers Guild, she is a script editor and a script assessor for the South Australian Film Corporation.
Lasha Bugadze for "When Cabbies Are Attacked" (Georgia - English as a second language)
Lasha Bugadze wrote his first play when he was 19 because his friends asked him to. It was produced by the Basement Theatre (Tbilisi, directed by Dato Sakvarelidze) and brought to the Russian ArtGruz Festival in 2000. Now Lasha Bugadze is the author of essays, short stories, one full-scale play, some one-act and five-minute-long plays. His story The First Russian (Perviy Russkiy) caused Georgian parliament to anathematize Bugadze, already a well-known literary man.
Vincent Vella for "The Pardon Beggars" (Malta - English as a second language)
Vincent Vella teaches at the University of Malta and is a writer of short stories and plays. Some of his plays have been staged in Malta as well as abroad. He has also published a number of books among them the novel ?Inside The Horse?, a collection of plays in Maltese and two books for children.
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