Playwriting Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work and pays respects to the elders past, present and future. We recognise and respect eir cultural heritage, beliefs and relationship with the land as well as their stories and story tellers.
Playwriting Australia is the national organisation working with playwrights and theatre artists from all backgrounds and at all levels of their careers. Playwriting Australia seeks, develops and champions new stories for the stage by outstanding Australian playwrights; reflecting and inspiring present and future generations.
Our long‐term vision is to effect generational change in Australian theatre; contributing to a society where new plays are consistently excellent, more widely produced, representative of the diversity of all Australians, and embraced by audiences as central to Australian life; where our playwrights are esteemed cultural beacons with unique visions of the world.
We offer playwrights investment in the creative development of their new work, as well as the opportunity to participate in one of our professional development programs.
Each year, we receive and assess around 300 script submissions to our programmes, we support the development and promotion of up to 30 new Australian plays, employ more than 120 artists and reach audiences of over 1,500 with public performances, playwriting workshops and masterclasses. Some of Australia’s best new plays and finest playwrights have come through our programs.
Since our establishment in late 2006, Playwriting Australia has worked tirelessly to see more high quality Australian plays in production. We invest in the development and promotion of thrilling new work and nurture the career development of promising artists, delivering a critical mass of scripts to the sector.
Prior to the establishment of Playwriting Australia, responsibility for script development at a national level, besides individual theatre company commitments, fell primarily to two organisations: the Australian National Playwrights Centre (ANPC) and Playworks.
Established in 1973, the ANPC’s annual National Playwrights’ Conference quickly became a cornerstone of the industry. The Conference supported the creative development, and offered showcase opportunities, to many notable plays in the Australian repertoire. Playworks emerged in 1985 out of the Playing With Time Festival held at the Wharf Theatre, Sydney. Identifying itself as the national women’s performance writing network, Playworks’s primary occupation was the promotion of women’s writing for performance.
In 2006 the Australia Council for the Arts consolidated its investment in script development in a single, new organisation and both the ANPC and Playworks were wound up. An interim management committee, including representatives from both the ANPC and Playworks, was convened to steer the establishment of the new organisation.
The organisation became fully incorporated as Playwriting Australia and the management committee appointed to the inaugural board in March 2007. As the successor to both the ANPC and Playworks, Playwriting Australia shares many of the goals and ambitions of those two organisations and is honored to build on the combined legacy of more than 40 years representing playwrights and their work.
Playwriting Australia’s inaugural Artistic Director, Chris Mead, worked with a slowly growing staff base to build a range of programs that sought to achieve both access and excellence; balancing the demand of the industry for better product with the urgent need playwrights have to develop as genuine theatre artists. Following the departure of Chris Mead in late 2012, Playwriting Australia appointed Tim Roseman to the role of Artistic Director. With more than 15 years experience as a director, producer and dramaturg of new plays in the UK, Tim had brought the unique perspective of a writer-centric performing arts culture to the next phase for Playwriting Australia.
In 2014, the company relocated to brand new offices at the Arts Exchange, a hub for some of Australia’s most prominent arts organisations in the heart of The Rocks.