Monday, 25 August 2014

Donna Abela

Jump For Jordan, Griffin Theatre Company, 2014, photo by Brett Broadman

Donna has written over 30 original and adapted stage plays for youth, community, independent and mainstream theatre companies, and radio plays for the ABC and Eastside Radio. She has been commissioned to adapt stories in the public domain, develop original narratives, devise works with young or professional performers, create works based on community consultation, and to collaborate with multi-writer teams. Donna’s earliest plays were written for Powerhouse Youth Theatre in NSW, a company she co-founded and continues to support as a member of the board. Her most recent plays include Monkey: Journey to the West (Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image), Jump For Jordan and Spirit (Griffin Theatre Company), Caylee’s Ukulele (Australian Performance Exchange) Aurora’s Lament and Mrs Macquarie's Cello (ABC Radio), The Greatest Show On Earth (Queensland Music Festival, co-writer with Patrick Nolan) and The Daphne Massacre (Parramatta Riverside Theatres). Donna has worked extensively in script and writer development, working as a dramaturge and script assessor for many organisations and theatre companies, and serving on the board of Playworks Women Writers' Development Network between 1999 and 2006. She is a graduate of UNSW, UTS, City Art Institute and the NIDA Playwrights' Studio, and is currently completing a doctorate at the University of Wollongong.

Donna’s plays can be purchased via Currency Press (Jump For Jordan, Spirit in Short Circuit), The Australian Script Centre (Fathom, Aurora’s Lament, Mrs Macquarie's Cello, The Daphne Massacre, The Rood Screen, Quest, Tidal Voices, Tales from The Arabian Nights, 4 Speed Blenders, Highest Mountain Fastest River), The Federation Press (A Cleansing Force, Afterlife and Among The Missing in No Nudity, Weapons or Naked Flames: Monologues for Drama Students by 7on), Longman-Pearson Education (Princess and the Pea), Meriwether Publishing (Highest Mountain Fastest River in New International Plays for Young Audiences: Plays of Cultural Conflict, Circus Caravan in International Plays for Young Audiences: Contemporary Works from Leading Playwrights). 

Awards and Nominations
Spirit winner AWGIE Award for Radio Adaptation 2016 
Jump For Jordan winner AWGIE Award for Stage 2015; winner Griffin Playwriting Award 2013; nominated Best New Australian Work in the 2014 Sydney Theatre Awards; shortlisted 2015 NSW Premier's Literary Awards.
Caylee’s Ukulele nominated AWGIE Award for Children’s Theatre 2014
Aurora’s Lament winner AWGIE Award for Radio Adaptation 2012
Mrs Macquarie’s Cello winner AWGIE Award for Radio Adaptation 2010
Fathom nominated 2006 Prix Italia International Competition for Radio Television & Web
Tales From the Arabian Nights shortlisted Play Award NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 2005; nominated AWGIE Award for Children’s Theatre 2005, 
The Rood Screen Honourable Mention 2004 New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest USA; top five finalist in 2002 Newham Lesbian and Gay Writing Out Awards UK
The Daphne Massacre shortlisted Patrick White Playwrighting Award 2000
A Summer Reign 2nd prize Australian Writers' Theatre NSW Play Competition 1992
Highest Mountain Fastest River Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Award for Drama 1992

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