Photo by Angelina Litvin on Unsplash I do a lot of work with people new to playwriting. They are so ’emerging’ as to be absolute beginners. Theatre companies don’t normally encourage absolute beginners but mine does. We encourage it because we recognise that only paying attention to ‘established playwrights’ is a surefire way to exclude diversity, eschew community relevant stories, and support pale, stale and elitist theatre. So in my work I see great stacks of freshly minted scripts by hopeful new playwrights, mostly by early career playwrights. There’s are a few novice playwriting habits that regularly come up and I just need to pointRead More →

I often work with new writers and more specifically writers who have never written for theatrical performance. Over the years, my classes have been populated with slam poets, film-makers, novelists, rap artists, copywriters, country singer/songwriters, documenters, academic writers, historical researchers and journalists.  They all have this urge to learn how to put their ideas into a theatrical arena. And the weirdest thing is that many of them don’t really know why. Some of my former students have seen theatre, and writing for theatre, as the gateway to writing for film. As if theatre is a stepping stone to film. Or worse, they have thought theatreRead More →

Ever been to a writer’s retreat? It’s a noble idea, but do they actually allow you to get ahead with your work? That depends entirely on….so many things. I’ve hosted and facilitated mini playwright retreats for JUTE’s Write Sparks playwrights and JUTE Writers-in-residence way back in the day, like just weekend ones. I want to investigate more by going to another source for inspiration. I’m way far from being a professional writer’s retreat guru, but I still have some ideas about what it means to retreat. We live in an age of retreats. We’re fond of retreating for all sorts of reasons: health, meditation, yoga,Read More →

I went to the National Play Festival in Sydney, facilitated by Playwriting Australia (PWA)- five days of play readings, masterclasses and industry discussions. Are we any wiser? Are we any stronger? Are we any better equipped as writers to meet the challenge of telling Australian stories with truth and vigour and integrity? What are the PWA takeaways?Read More →

A weird but inescapable fact— making theatre is to cause a huge group of artists with a huge variety of skills and creative drives to come together to produce a single, comprehensive, cohesive piece of art.  It’s a miracle that not more blood is spilt over it.Read More →

  The word theatre comes from the Greeks. It means the seeing place. It is the place people come to see the truth about life and the social situation. — Stella Adler I was reading an article about the 2014 film “Selma”, a Black rights film. The director was saying that the release of his film could not have been more timely, with the latest round of civil unrest regarding violence against black people in America. The Black Lives Matter movement had by then caught the attention of American and world media. He did not claim to have designed the film to coincide with the tumult,Read More →

There’s revenge. Served hot from anger. There’s revenge served in cold measure. Then there’s revenge served neither hot nor especially cold. We call it justice. I’ve heard this play being described in various places as a dark comedy, a murder ballad, a riff on ancient myths, and a performance poem. It’s all those things. Bleeding clever clogs Cerini.Read More →

“One must never place a loaded rifle on the stage if it isn’t going to go off. It’s wrong to make promises you don’t mean to keep.” —Anton Chekhov, 1860-1904 Good Old Chekhov’s Gun Theory. It mostly works on the principle that everything within a story should be necessary to the telling of it.  Gun on stage?—someone gets shot for sure.Read More →