The Competition: The Warwick Business School (WBS) has joined forces with the IATL strategic projects funded initiative Playwriting at Warwick to offer a playwriting opportunity for University of Warwick students. The challenge to those entering the competition is to submit a play, of between 7 and 10 minutes in duration, responding to the brief below. The brief relates to a case* developed to support teaching and learning in WBS.
The Case: The case is based on the Bhopal Disaster of 1984, when a Union Carbide plant released approximately 40 metric tonnes of a poisonous chemical called isocyanate, leading to the death of 4,000 people. An estimated 20,000-30,000 have died from related causes since this incident. Residents in this area also continue to suffer from a variety of long-term medical complications.
There has never been any clarity as to what caused the leak and nobody seems to have taken ultimate responsibility for it, leaving many of those affected without recourse to adequate compensation for their injuries or the subsequent environmental impact of the disaster.
The Prizes:The competition winner will receive a prize of the value of £250 and there will be two runners up prizes of the value of £100 each.
The Brief:Please note that plays will be used in a teaching setting, so most commonly in a lecture theatre or seminar room. The plays need to be highly portable!
In your play, you can present the perspective of one or more of the following stakeholders, as they are presented in the case:
Jabbar Khan (an activist)
The Indian Government (at the time and immediately after the disaster)
Warren Anderson (CEO) and/or Union Carbide
The Bhopal community (you might want to consider different clans within the community)
The Supreme Court of India
Any other stakeholder mentioned in the case
The case provides all the material needed to start writing the play and beyond the brief given above there are no constraints of any kind. It’s all about your creativity and the quality of the writing.
The Criteria: The criteria that the panel reviewing the plays will be using is that the successful case based plays will:
Accentuate the questions raised and difficulties of judgement rather than necessarily offering conclusions
Provoke thoughtful as well as emotional engagement with the case
Stimulate discussion and argument
Problematise ethics and codes of global business
How to enter the competition: If you are interesting in entering the competition contact Emma.Shaw@wbs.ac.uk and she will forward you a copy of the Bhopal Disaster Case. Please note that this case is the property of WBS and can only be used for the purpose of this competition. The deadline for submitting plays to the competition is midday on 16th June 2014. The plays should be emailed through to Emma and the covering email should give your full name, student number, state which programme you are studying and your current year of study. A panel will consider all entries and the winners will be announced by midday on 30th June 2014.
If you have any question about the competition, please contact Emma in the first instance.
*Definition of a case: A case is “a partial, historical, clinical study of a situation which has confronted a practising administrator or managerial group.” (Christensen, 1987) It is presented in a coherent narrative with the purpose of introducing complex and ambiguous problems in the classroom. The students use the case-text as a basis to debate and discuss critical issues an