Awards & contests

Photo credit: Dahlia Katz

New Play Contest

2018 Winner: The Women of the Fur Trade by Frances Koncan
2018 1st Runner Up: Barbarians by Peter Midgley
2018 2nd Runner Up: Gobbledygobbledygook by David Gagnon Walker


The Fringe New Play Contest is the “hit-maker” of the Fringe theatre scene. Responsible for launching the careers of artists like Ins Choi and Kat Sandler, the New Play Contest gives an emerging artist the chance to have their work presented at the Fringe Festival for free – one of the only ways to circumvent the lottery process. The winner of the contest is offered:

The New Play Contest accepts applications every fall. The winner is notified at the Fringe Lottery Party in November. More information on how to apply.

The New Play Contest is sponsored by the Aubrey and Marla Dan Charitable Foundation.

Past winners include:  “The Seat Next to the King,” by Steven Jackson (2017), “Cam Baby,” by Jessica Moss (2016), “Rukmini’s Gold,” by Radha Menon (2015), “Potosi,” by Alexander Offord (2014), ”The Oak Room” by Peter Genoway (2013), “Help Yourself” by Kat Sandler (2012), “Kim’s Convenience” by Insurp Choi (2011), “Short Story Long”  by joel fishbane (2010), “A Singularity of Being” by T. Berto (2009), “Wake” by Rachel Blair (2008), “Expiry Dating” by Alison Broverman (2007), “Love Songs from Unlikely Places” by David Egan (2006), “Bella Donna” by David Copelin (2005), “Stealing Freedom” by Stephanie Nickerson (2004), “That Boy” by Paul Gibson (2003) and “Fish/Wife” by Rick Roberts (2002).

Paul O’Sullivan Prize for Musical Theatre

2018 Winner: The Preposterous Predicament of Polly Peel by Julie Tepperman and Kevin Wong (read a statement from the creative team)
2018 1st Runner Up: Compulsion by Scott White
2018 2nd Runner Up: Der Funkster vom Atlantis at the Cafe Diglas by T.A. Gambarotto


The award is named in honour of Canadian Actor Paul O’Sullivan (1964-2012). Mr. O’Sullivan acted both on stage and in television shows such as George Shrinks, Friends and Heroes, Grossology and Getting Along Famously, as well as in guest roles on The Red Green Show, Murdoch Mysteries, Dan for Mayor and Little Mosque on the Prairie. He previously taught for Humber College’s Comedy Writing and Performance program.

Pat and Tony Adams were devoted fans of jazz music, theatre, improv and comedy, and had great respect and affection for those who dedicated their lives to pursuing these arts professionally. Paul O’Sullivan was one such artist. As an improviser, a song and dance man, and a consummate comedian, he brought an unbridled passion, dedication, and sense of play to everything he did, whether it was Skippy’s Rangers at the Fringe or The Producers for Mirvish.

“When we were thinking about initiating a new musical award with the Fringe, it seemed obvious to name it after Paul — an artist who embodied the Fringe spirit of risk, energy and irreverence. The prize not only encourages new artists, but also honours a great Fringe artist who left us far too soon.” – Shari Hollett

First place winner will receive the following:

The Paul O’Sullivan Prize for Musical Theatre accepts applications every fall. The winner is notified at the Fringe Lottery Party in November. More information on how to apply.

This award is generously sponsored by the Pat and Tony Adams Freedom Fund for the Arts.

24 Hour Playwriting Contest

This fan-favourite contest is a ton of fun, and a great way to connect your work with a larger Fringe audience. Every summer, on the first Thursday of the Fringe Festival, we gather in the Fringe Club to announce the topics and themes for the contest. Then, playwrights have 24 hours to write a completely new piece of theatre based on the themes and topics provided! It’s a race to the finish line every year.

The winner receives:

This contest is sponsored by the York University Theatre Department.

Applications open every year in late May. For more information, and to apply for this year’s contest, please click here.

Tosho Cutting Edge Award

Want to vote for the most cutting edge show in the festival? Simply email with your pick and both you AND the show will be entered to win a draw for two sets of $200 premium knives from Tosho Knife Arts.

The show that receives the most number of votes by Wednesday, July 12 will be crowned the most cutting edge show at the festival! The winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony at the Fringe Club on Thursday, July 13, at 8pm.