You hear a good story. It fires you up thinking about how that story would look on a stage. The story is coming from someone who has a very different culture to your own. Stop, stop, traffic light. Before you walk away saying (low key sanctimoniously) ‘this is not my story to tell, I have no business here’, I want to consider if there might be a collaborative opportunity. Ok, sure, I’ve been outspoken here before about leaving the stories of under-represented cultures alone. I stand by this. One or two celebrated Australian playwrights I could name have embarked on telling stories belonging entirely toRead More →

I have the impression that writers tend to undersell themselves. I see writers underselling themselves all the time, a habit that comes hand in hand with lack of self confidence and general bambozzlement. I keep coming across this with writers who are asked to talk about their work and writers who are asking for funding. Whether we fear we aren’t worthy, or we fear rejection or we fear what others will think of us, it’s time to unpack it. Sit ourselves down and give ourselves a good talking to. Perhaps it’s a theatre thing, or an Australian cultural thing or a women thing (most playwrightsRead More →

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 →

Have you ever been baffled by failure to get the funding you’ve been counting on? That grant you applied for and got the dreaded ‘unsuccessful submission’ email, that wickedly compelling artistic rationale, that water-tight budget, that impressive CV that bizarrely didn’t rate? You didn’t make the cut. What happened? What did you do wrong?!?? The disappointment of not getting the grant you really needed can be absolutely crushing and can desiccate your enthusiasm for a script idea you once loved like a wee-wickle baby. The truth is, most regrettably, that arts funding is crazy competitive. There’s only so much money, and only so many projectsRead More →

I had the absolute pleasure of being on the assessment panel for the Erin Thomas Award this week, a fund awarded through Australian Plays Transform (APT), the national playwriting peak body. Erin Thomas was a regional playwright (from Tamworth!) who created a career for herself as a playwright and dramaturge. She passed away in 2015 and her family created a legacy of an annual award program where regional playwrights of merit receive dramaturgical support and a travel bursary to help them establish their career. Such a cool idea. Being a regional playwright and dramaturg myself, I know it is really very hard to find accessRead More →