Hi, Hilary here.
I have the honour of being Director of this year's Playwriting Festival, to be held this Saturday, March 19 at the NSW Writers' Centre in Rozelle.
Why 'honour'? Because it's meant taking the time to look at what's going on here and now in the playwriting community: what concerns, sources of inspiration, opportunities and shifts in thinking are driving us. Usually, we're too busy actually working to stop and think about these questions. The other fun part was having the freedom to create panels and then to people them with writers - as well as directors, dramaturgs, literary managers - whom I admire and want to hear speak. And also to build panels on aspects of playwriting that are often sidelined, like musical theatre: as a librettist/lyricist myself, I'm happily anticipating a discussion of craft and ways forward between some of our finest practitioners.
Kicking off at 10 am with a keynote address by the brilliant Angela Betzien, the day offers ten panels featuring many of our most celebrated playwrights, as well as an all-day 'dramatic speed-dating' session, where writers pitch their ideas to directors, producers and designers. There is also plenty of opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new ones, over lunch or drinks at the end of the day.
It promises to be an action-packed day, celebrating playwrights while examining aspects of craft, questions of appropriation, the joys and challenges of working outside the mainstream, and more.