more culturally diverse stories set to be a reality on Australian stages

more culturally diverse stories set to be a reality on Australian stages

Playwriting Australia is on track to achieve a first for Australian theatre with the installation of an Asian-Australian resident playwright in three theatre companies by 2017, ensuring a more culturally representative theatre landscape.

Year One of its four year Lotus Project to bring more Asian-Australian stories to our stages, initially supported by The Australia Council and Arts Victoria, is already delivering results with twelve emerging Asian-Australian playwrights benefiting from showcase readings in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in May and June.

The Lotus Asian-Australian Playwriting Project is a Playwriting Australia initiative in partnership with Performance 4A, made possible by the Girgensohn Foundation, which is aimed at unearthing, nurturing and developing Asian-Australian playwrights and embedding them within the Australian theatre culture.  The generous three-year grant allows the Lotus program to extend to 2018.

More than 70 Asian-Australian artists, performers, writers and bloggers have benefited from the first year of the Lotus Project with 24 also participating in The Salon, Playwriting Australia’s intermediate playwriting course. The Salons were facilitated in each state by well-known, established playwrights Maxine Mellor, Damien Millar, Angela Betzien and Lachlan Philpott.

This phase has successfully created a groundswell of contemporary Asian-Australian writing to start to address the shortage of high quality new plays from this vibrant and creative community” says Tim Roseman, Artistic Director of Playwriting Australia.

The next three years of the Lotus Project will see these writers further evolve through a number of Playwriting Australia’s programs including full-scale script development, full play reading at the National Play Festival and the opportunity for the production of at least one of these plays by a partner theatre.

By year four, we will have one writer from each state as a writer in residence at a main-stage theatre company. An Asian-Australian writer in resident establishes these writers within our national theatre ecology, throws new perspectives on a company’s programming and demonstrates the practical commitment of our industry to diversity and changing the existing landscape to reflect modern Australia.

Read more about the Lotus program here.

Download the full media release here.

Photo credit: Sydney Lotus cast and crew with Performance 4A’s Executive Producer Annette Shun Wah (far left), Artistic Director Tim Roseman (front row second from right) and Diversity Coordinator Teik-Kim Pok (front row far right) at Parramatta Riverside Theatres after the Lotus showing. Photo courtesy of William Yang.

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