Standing ovations are a playwright’s GOLD. You know you’ve probably hit the sweet spot when a bunch of possibly jaded theatre-goers could be bothered getting up out of their chairs to give your show their appreciation and applause. And what’s especially nice is when an audience comes into a theatre completely cold —they do not know you, or your work, or the actors or not a single thing about the story about to be told—and within the space of a 115 minute performance they are warmed through with joy enough to bring them onto their feet with wild stomping and carry on. From Campfire toRead More →

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 →

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 →

Recently I’ve been watching a sci-fi series Fall Out, a TV series adaptation of a video game. I’d never heard of this game but my 20-year old son says it’s an old school corker of a role-play game. General premise of the TV series: Set in a retro-futuristic world following a nuclear war, there exists a small pocket of humanity flourishing in a 1950’s moral bubble inside a bunker-like underground vault. Outside the world has gone to hell, a fact quickly realised by our hero, Lucy, a doe-eyed, goody-two-shoeing American sweetheart, when she must leave the vault to rescue her kidnapped father. She navigates theRead 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 →

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 →

A friend of mine is leaving town. She’s going to live at the other end of the country. I’ve known her, and worked with her on and off, since 1994. She is still reasonably young, and she’s off for a fresh start. Tonight some of her nearest and dearest friends organised a huge farewell theatrical event in which all kinds of people could go up on the stage and make an impact statement—big, small or ludicrous— about how this artist had changed their lives. The resulting bonanza made it clear; artists can and do leave very big footprints within their community.Read More →