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 →

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 →

Memory is a funny thing. It defines our motives. It helps us define our lives. What we can remember is what we can pass on. What we remember is our truth. But here’s the kicker. Writing true stories, whether they be of your memories or the memories of others as told to you can be a real challenge. Here’s some stuff I’ve noticed about it.Read More →

Ever watch that trainwreck of a reality TV show Intervention? Compelling viewing, wasn’t it, watching the details of a human tragedy unfold with the promise of redemption and release always hanging the air? See now, I’m living in my own private script intervention, complete with a rehab program, and turns out, it’s far from entertaining. Damn right unpleasant.Read More →