Tuesday, 22 June 2010
The AWGIE nominations were announced yesterday by the AWG. Read the complete list of nominees here.
Monday, 14 June 2010
Dear Alexandra and Chris,
I'm writing as a representative of 7-ON, a playwrights' group of seven established playwrights resident in Sydney (Donna Abela, Vanessa Bates, Hilary Bell, Noëlle Janaczewska, myself, Ned Manning and Catherine Zimdahl.)
We were intrigued to note that when the Playwriting Award was not made this year as part of the Premier’s Awards, a decision was made that the funding would instead be diverted to new playwrights. It is our understanding that the funding was devolved to Playwriting Australia to administer, but that a binding decision has not been made on precisely how it will be spent.
We are in full agreement of playwrights being supported while they are writing their first few plays, but note that the Premier’s Award, for a produced play, was the only direct funding of an established playwright available from Arts NSW (apart from one annual NSW Writer's Fellowship, which is also open to writers of other genres).
This fact is unfortunate but just part of the general state of affairs that makes it extremely difficult not only to start but to maintain a career as a writer for performance in Australia.
In the meantime, the attached opportunity for an UK-based writer came to our attention. We wondered if it might not provide a model for funding an established writer (in tandem with any of the major theatre companies in the state)? That is to say, an alternative use of the $30,000 that would have gone to an established working playwright had the award been made in 2010.
Verity Laughton (for 7-ON)
Monday, 7 June 2010
We’re about to hit the half-way point of the year, so time for a bit of a round up. Here’s what we’ve all been doing outside 7-ON …
Donna: I’m headlong into the first few months of a creative writing doctorate which has brilliantly given me the chance to read read read plays and write write write new things in new ways. I’m having serious fun setting up ‘experiments’, the latest being to write a play a day for the month of June, which is scary and exhilarating and revelatory. Suzan-Lori Parks, who wrote a play a day for a year, inspired this somewhat more modest attempt. Other things? There’s a radio play for the ABC inching towards the end of a first draft. And another delay on the start of the draft of The Monkey King for Theatre of Image due to the complexities of international co-productions. And a scriptwriting curriculum to rehash before the start of semester two.
Vanessa: My new play Porn.Cake has been selected for this year’s National Script Workshop, I’m looking forward to rubbing shoulders with Lally Katz and Jane Bodie and other writerly folk in June. New short play Small Hard Things is floating in the ether. Was shortlisted for the AWG RomCom script competition with Love Struck Juliet, lovely to be one of five but no cigar there. I’m currently immersed in my final draft for my episode of series 3 EastWest101, and as soon as that’s off my plate other deadlines will be crossly bashing on my door. Plus, ongoing war with headlice and preschool, can I talk about that? No? OK then. That’s me!
Hilary: I’m working on a big sprawling epic of a play for Black Swan in Perth, inspired by John Bailey’s non-fiction book, The White Divers of Broome. I’m also collaborating with Julian Meyrick and Paul Capsis on Angela’s Kitchen, about Paul’s Maltese grandmother, to be performed at Griffin in November. I’ve just returned from Adelaide, workshopping Take Up Thy Bed And Walk, with designer Gaelle Mellis and three fabulous performers, about nineteenth-century fiction concerning ‘wheelchair-bound’ girls. And next month ABC Radio will record Beautiful Hands, written with composer Phillip Johnston and inspired by Charlotte Gilman-Perkins’ Gothic horror-story, The Yellow Wallpaper.
Noëlle: Been immersed in the world of weeds, working on a feature for ABC Radio called Weeds Etc (goes to air 31 July) and researching one of the 2 projects I got an OzCo Literature Board grant for. The other Lit. Board project is Bounce, a monologue about my journey to the Amazon and my father’s through Parkinson’s disease to our last ‘great unknown’—death. (It’s funnier and not nearly as grim as it sounds from that description.) What else? A poem won a prize in Scotland, Smashed, a short about binge drinking developed with Year 11 students at Springwood High School, goes on in Penrith early July, and then there’s a return to the commission for Melbourne’s Eleventh Hour: a sequel to The Merchant of Venice—sort of. Set in Berlin during the winter of 1946/7.
Verity: Joshua’s Books, a radio play of mine, was broadcast on the ABC in March this year and since then I’ve been working on two other projects. Crate of Souls, is a semi verbatim/semi magical realist piece to be produced as the graduate show for the 13 third year acting students at the Adelaide College for the Arts. My other script, What Has Been Taken, was written for a Literature Board grant in 2008 and deals with, among other things, political terrorism in Pakistan. And in October this year a play written some years ago, The Sweetest Thing, is to be produced in an upcoming indie-curated season here in Sydney (details out soon!).
Ned: My 2010 ‘Actors at Work’ shows are currently touring NSW schools. Rehearsals for the Vic/Qld/Tas and the SA/WA/NT teams begin in July. The shows will play to about 10,000 school kids throughout the country. My new play Alice Dreaming is about to be published by Cambridge University Press (July). I am currently working on a Drama textbook for schools to be published by Cambridge. I am also working on a new play for adults. My radio play, an adaptation of Women of Troy is with the ABC. I am hopeful (always hopeful!) of a workshop of a new play which I have been developing with Wayne Harrison some time later in the year. As well as this my screenplay for a kids film is doing the rounds and all my fingers and toes are crossed!
Catherine: Working very hard on ‘Primary Maternal Attachment’. Forthcoming ABC Radio National productions of A Day Too Great (adapted from the stage play) and The Fox, based on an Inuit Folk Tale.