Monday, 17 December 2018

The 11th International Women Playwrights’ Conference in Santiago de Chile

Here is a photo of the four Oceania delegates - clearly jet-lagged - on the opening night of the most recent WPI conference which was held in Santiago de Chile from the 7th to the 12th of October 2018: Grace Pundyk, Donna Abela, Emma Mary Hall (from Australia) and Desiree Gezentsvey (New Zealand). 

This was the first time the conference has been held in Latin America, and with Spanish as the main conference language. The program consisted of playreadings and performances, workshops and roundtable forums, and a day trip to the street-art-besotted and gorgeous port town of Valparaíso. 

We each had a play read in Spanish translation during the conference: 

Steppe by Grace Pundyk
Jump For Jordan by Donna Abela 
We May Have To Choose by Emma Mary Hall 
Nuclear Family by Desiree Gezentsvey 

Speaking personally, the conference fell short of some of my expectations, but provided a sobering and heartening set of contexts in which to profoundly reflect on the transformative capacity of art and writing in an age of advancing ultraconservatism. 

Grace, Emma and I are currently putting our heads together for an essay which will be published in January by the Australian Script Centre as part of their State of Play commissioned essay series. You’ll be able to find it on line at

The Australian delegates would like to thank the Australia Council for funding our conference expenses. It would have been difficult if not impossible for us to go otherwise. 


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