From Iceland — Jón Gnarr’s “Absurd Drama” Wins Prize In International Playwright’s Contest

Jón Gnarr’s “Absurd Drama” Wins Prize In International Playwright’s Contest

Published May 12, 2014

Larissa Kyzer
Photo by
Stll from "Hotel Volkswagen" YouTube Preview, Borgarleikhús

Reykjavík mayor and all-around talented guy Jón Gnarr has been awarded a prize for his 2012 play “Hotel Volkswagen,” in this year’s International Playwright’s Contest, Vísir reports. The award is administered by a Canadian organization called the International Talent Club (ITC), with148 plays considered in this year’s contest. 

When asked about the award, Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, the chair of the Icelandic Dramatists´ Union, replied that it was very appropriate that Jón received the award for such a good play. “This is really mysterious and fun,” she said. “I don’t know much about the award.”

Jón has won the contest’s Special Prize for his “absurd drama’s” Original Idea. In recognition of this achievement, he will be awarded a special certificate (which, the website specifies “has no cash value and can’t be sold or transferred to another party”), as well as a one year membership with to ITC’s Independent Playwright’s Association, one year’s script circulation via ITC’s DramaMarket system, and a cash prize of 550CAD (equivalent to 56,550ISK).

Submissions for the 2014 International Playwright’s Contest were open to playwrights over the age of 18 from anywhere in the world. In order to be considered in the category of “Drama, Comedy, and Alternative Plays,” as Jón’s play was, the submissions must have been made in English or Russian, include up to five characters, and be staged on one set with no special lighting. Submissions were also supposedly restricted to plays that are “unproduced,” although Reykjavík’s city theater staged “Hotel Volkswagen” in March 2012.

You can watch a preview video for the play below. 

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