The Martin Lysicrates Prize 2021

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The Martin Lysicrates Prize 2021

Venue Riverside Theatre
Dates 16 June 2021
Category Live Event

Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) is proud to be partnering once again with The Lysicrates Foundation and Riverside Theatres to present

Inspired by the Ancient Greek theatre festivals where audiences voted for a winner, The Martin-Lysicrates Prize champions the best new Australian writing for young people.
Playwrights submit the first 10-15 minutes of a new play for young people aged 11-14. The top three plays each receive a day’s rehearsal with a professional team of artists and are then performed on stage before an audience of young people who will vote for the winning play (adults don’t get to vote!)
Bring your students along or sign up to watch either the live-streamed or recorded performance via ATYP’s free On Demand platform for a fun, interactive and entertaining experience where they’ll learn about the democratic vote, creative writing, the history of Drama and experience the magic of live theatre. Many students have been inspired to write their own plays and stories after attending the prize.

The winning playwright (determined by the combined total votes of young people viewing in-person, via live-stream and via the recorded event) will receive a full $12,000 commission to complete the work, with dramaturgical support from ATYP. A special cash prize of $3,000 will be awarded at the live event to the playwright who receives the most votes on the day, and the runners up will receive $1,000 each.

ATYP will work closely with the winner to develop the script from the first draft to completion.
Please note: there is no commitment to produce the completed script.

Find out more about Martin-Lysicrates Prize here.

Find out more about ATYP here.

Suitable for Years 7 – 8

This is a free event and bookings are essential. Book now to register your place.

Please Note:

Tickets to this event are sold to 100% of capacity. All Riverside patrons will be seated in line with current NSW Public Health guidelines, allowing patrons to be seated alongside each other. NSW Health strongly recommends you wear a mask when you are inside places where it is difficult to keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.

Please note that NSW Health regularly updates areas where there may be concerns regarding potential case transmission of COVID-19.  Prior to attending your performance, we suggest patrons check the latest Case Alert Updates from Health NSW and follow the instructions regarding Close Contacts and requirements for self-isolation and/or COVID testing as stipulated by Health NSW and the current NSW Public Health Orders. Please note that patrons who have visited any identified alert area must NOT attend public performances or gatherings of any type. If you have any questions and would like to discuss this with a member of our team, please contact our Box Office staff on 02 8839 3399 or email

Riverside Theatres is registered with the NSW Government as a COVID Safe venue. Our COVID Safe plan was developed in line with federal and state government health guidelines, and following consultation with Live Performance Australia, other NSW venues, and various government bodies, on enhanced health, hygiene and safety measures. These measures include: defined audience capacity; social distancing; wearing face masks; mandatory Service NSW QR code registration check in; extra cleaning; increased sanitisation of high-touch surfaces; the provision of hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial wipes and hand washing facilities throughout the venue; traffic management plans to alleviate congestion in public spaces.

Please review our Patron Safety Information before you visit us at Riverside.

It is also important that if you are unwell you stay at home. We have updated our ticket conditions and our Box Office team are available to talk through possible exchange and refund options. You can contact the Box Office on 02 8839 3399 or email

Thank you for keeping our community safe.



According to the exemption under the public health order (COVID 19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 7) 2020 (NSW) under the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW), issued on February 1 2021, organised groups who enter a premises as part of a school, child care, aged care or disability group are not required to provide the premises with contact details of every person in their group. This is subject to the following conditions:

  • It is duty of the group organiser (teacher or carer) to keep an electronic record of the entire group and their contact details for 28 days after the event.
  • The group organiser must provide the premises (Riverside Theatres) with at least two contacts to make available to NSW Health.

Curriculum Links and Resources

Download the Curriculum Links here: The Martin Lyscrates 2021 Curriculum Links 

Teachers can access a resource kit from the Martin Lysicrates Foundation, designed to develop a love of theatre amongst your students. Containing a comprehensive store of content and classroom activities exploring the development of theatre and democracy, the kit contains eleven hands-on and participatory lessons specially developed for years 7 and 8 school classes: Download the Teachers Resource Kit 

Schools Bookings
For further information and to book please contact our Education Booking Coordinator on 8839 3308 or email, or fill in our Schools Bookings Form here.

Riverside’s Risk Assessment & Covid Safe Plan
Download our Risk Assessment 
Take a look at our Patron Safety Information and Download our Covid Safe Plan 


Download information about access at Riverside here: Access at Riverside


Schools who are unable to attend in person have the option to watch the performance live-streamed on ATYP’s free On Demand platform and cast their votes virtually. To sign up your school to attend the live-stream, contact with the subject line ‘ML PRIZE’.


A recorded version of the live event will be accessible until 3pm on Friday 25 June on ATYP’s free On Demand platform for teachers to view with students at their convenience (don’t forget to submit your voting form after watching!) Book your access to the recorded event by contacting with the subject line ‘ML PRIZE’.

In 1832, a 12-year-old Irish-born boy, brought up in the servants’ quarters of Parramatta government House, made up his mind to get the best high school education the colony had to offer. But the colony’s top school was in Sydney, 13 miles away and his parents had no money for the carriage fare. So that determined boy walked, hitched rides, stayed overnight and got the finest education in the city, learning Latin and Greek. Overcoming poverty and discrimination, the boy rose to become premier of New South Wales and Chief Justice, was an architect of the public education system and built Sydney’s copy of the ancient Lysicrates Monument in Athens. The centre of Sydney is named after him, but he has been mostly forgotten until now.

In 334 B.C., the annual drama competition that stopped the city of Athens for a week was won by a wealthy sponsor of the successful troupe of actors. The festival was free, and it was the audience, not an expert panel or an artistic director, that chose the winner. Democracy and theatre combined. The prestige of the win was enormous, and every year the victorious sponsor built a monument to celebrate. This year the monument – the only one to have survived – was so graceful and lovely that it has been copied all over the world. Ours is in the Botanic Garden.

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Ticket Prices

All Tickets $Free