The National Play Festival was in Sydney 21-24 March 2018. Over four days a celebration of Australia’s most ambitious new playwriting included the Nick Enright Keynote Address by Wesley Enoch, ten playreadings, five masterclasses, and four artist talks. View our complete program brochure here

All playreadings, keynote address, and artist conversations were held at, Darlinghurst Theatre Company Eternity Playhouse. 39 Burton Street Darlinghurst NSW

[ai1ec view=”monthly”]

MARCH 2018 FESTIVAL EVENTS

WED 21

2 PM

CUSP

CUSP by Mary Anne Butler. Elvis wants Rosie. Rosie wants to escape. Maddie doesn’t know what the hell she wants, but it sure isn’t this. Cusp examines the lives of three young adults as they swim against the tides of irrevocable change. How do you move into the future, when your past keeps dragging you backwards?

4 PM

BORN, STILL...

BORN, STILL… by Jane Harrison. Maggie is a pregnant building-owner tree-changer, overwhelmed with decisions about tiles and taps—until tragedy strikes. Her small, private grief sits alongside the sudden, very public death of the ‘People’s Princess.’ Eventually, the flowers wilt and the condolence cards stop, and the tribute songs don’t play on the radio, but Maggie can’t stop wondering — how do you keep a small memory alive? One woman, with songs, relives a sorrow that impacts countless families in this cathartic, ultimately uplifting play.

6.30 PM

THE NICK ENRIGHT KEYNOTE ADDRESS

The Nick Enright Keynote Address will be presented by Wesley Enoch. The Nick Enright Keynote Address recognises his immense and continuing contribution to our community and is proudly supported by the Nick Enright Estate, Playwriting Australia, the Darlinghurst Theatre Company and the Enright Family.

8.15 PM

WHITE PEARL

WHITE PEARL by Anchuli Felicia King. Whitening cream is the bestseller for cosmetic firm Clearday. When a leaked racist video goes viral, the millennial management team scramble to deal with the fallout. Casual blackmail, allegations of corruption and a clash of philosophies fuel this dark comedy about toxic ideas and the complexity of Pan-Asian relations.

THU 22

9 AM

MASTERCLASS WITH
HILARY BELL

This masterclass is open to emerging playwrights only.

9 AM

MASTERCLASS WITH
JOHN ROMERIL

For this masterclass, priority will be given to emerged and mid-career playwrights.

2 PM

THE DISABILITY
SLAPSTICK PLAN

THE DISABILITY SLAPSTICK PLAN co-created by Betty Bobbitt, Jax Jacki Brown, Trevor Dunn, Jonathan Haynes, Jess Kapuscinski-Evans, Eva Sifis and David Woods. A triple-decker narrative of unconventional comedic proportions that navigates the intricacies of access and inclusion. The Disability Slapstick Plan is a daring, funny, and complex work featuring artists with perceived physical disability. Examining the right to begin and end life from a polyphony of perspectives – euthanasia, sex, abortion, IVF, suicidal terrorism, and extremism.

4.15 PM

ON WHITENESS

FREE EVENT – They say that Australia is the most successful multicultural nation on the planet. In a country where a third of us are non-Anglo Celtic, it’s understandable (and necessary) that many of our debates about Australian theatre focus on diversity. But why don’t we ever talk about whiteness? Why does pointing it out make us so uncomfortable? Are anxieties about the whiteness of our stages actually a problem, or just PC nonsense? This panel examines what we mean when we talk about whiteness and what we can – and should – do about it.

5.30 PM

FROM DARKNESS
WHENCE WE CAME

FROM DARKNESS WHENCE WE CAME by Steven Oliver. A middle class nuclear Indigenous family, complete with Elder, live an unremarkable life in the Australian suburbs — apart from the occasional visit from spirits, the Birilungs. Unable to communicate with them, the only thing the family knows is that the Birilungs are now visiting 17-year-old Preston. When he finally comes out of his room and reveals the spirits’ plans, the family must grapple with a new kind of future.

8 PM

MINNEAPOLIS

MINNEAPOLIS by Will O’Mahony. What if you fell in love with the person who publicly shamed you? Turning the ‘boy meets girl’ formula on its head, Minneapolis is an ‘almost’ love story set in a world conditioned to hate. Exploring complex questions about privilege and privacy, the play looks at what it means to be a pariah in our clickbait times.

FRI 23

12 PM

WHITE PEARL

WHITE PEARL by Anchuli Felicia King. Whitening cream is the bestseller for cosmetic firm Clearday. When a leaked racist video goes viral, the millennial management team scramble to deal with the fallout. Casual blackmail, allegations of corruption and a clash of philosophies fuel this dark comedy about toxic ideas and the complexity of Pan-Asian relations.

2 PM

ON LANGUAGE

FREE EVENT – Festival play White Pearl by Anchuli Felicia King, vibrates with an urgent message about cultural identity, racism, consumerism, and power. Its characters deliver that message in a dynamic hybrid language born of globalism — language that draws from multiple cultures while feeling utterly specific and accessible. Within its distinct rhythms, the dialogue tells its own story of how and when language might be the common ground that brings people of disparate backgrounds closer together. Join Felicia and Steve as they examine the part language has to play, in a global economy and an increasingly cross-cultural world.

3.30 PM

THE FEVER AND
THE FRET

THE FEVER AND THE FRET by Jub Clerc. Lizzy and her grandparents have endured, suffered, and even celebrated loss for decades – but now unseen events are tearing their world apart. A beautiful ode to love and memory, The Fever and the Fret examines one family’s tale of resilience as they reconcile small town life with a new, ever-changing world.

5.45 PM

ON ANGER

FREE EVENT – The world’s pretty awful nowadays, and a lot of us are fired up about it. Anger ripples through our Facebook feed and clogs up our brain space, so it’s only natural that playwrights sometimes write from a place of anger. How do we best channel our fury? What does it look and feel like when our frustration with the world’s dysfunction pulses beneath the surface of a play? When does it serve us and when does it tear art apart? Listen in as Andrea James and Alana Valentine thrash out what it means to write in these times of toil and trouble.

6.15 PM

TRUE WEST

TRUE WEST is a unique showcase of new works from Western Sydney Playwrights. Experience three fresh and dynamic voices before the rest of the world catches on. Featuring Nick Atkins, James Elazzi and Monikka Elazzi.

8.15 PM

FROM DARKNESS
WHENCE WE CAME

FROM DARKNESS WHENCE WE CAME by Steven Oliver. A middle class nuclear Indigenous family, complete with Elder, live an unremarkable life in the Australian suburbs — apart from the occasional visit from spirits, the Birilungs. Unable to communicate with them, the only thing the family knows is that the Birilungs are now visiting 17-year-old Preston. When he finally comes out of his room and reveals the spirits’ plans, the family must grapple with a new kind of future.

10 PM

THE WORST THING I EVER
WROTE
(STAY UP LATE EVENT)

FREE EVENT – We asked some of Australia’s finest to dig in the back of the drawer for the ‘worst thing they ever wrote,’ early-day writing they wish they’d lost but, lucky for us, didn’t! Come grab a drink and enjoy dramatic readings from a much greener time.

SAT 24

10 AM

PLAYWRITING 101
WORKSHOP

Have you ever wanted to write a play? Here’s your chance! Working with Playwriting Australia core artists, we take you on a whirlwind ride through the ins and outs of writing for the stage.

10 AM

PLAY: RELAY

A multi-skilled, multi-layered, tag-team masterclass presented by five leading Australian playwrights, willing to share their top writing tips. Get ready to fill your playwriting toolbox.

12.30 PM

MINNEAPOLIS

MINNEAPOLIS by Will O’Mahony. What if you fell in love with the person who publicly shamed you? Turning the ‘boy meets girl’ formula on its head, Minneapolis is an ‘almost’ love story set in a world conditioned to hate. Exploring complex questions about privilege and privacy, the play looks at what it means to be a pariah in our clickbait times.

2.30 - 5.30 PM

MASTERCLASS WITH
LEAH PURCELL

This masterclass is reserved exclusively for First Nations writers.

3.30 PM

ON QUEERNESS

FREE EVENT – Feeling a little queer? Good. Australia has had a very public debate about equality. The conversation strayed into anxieties and affirmations about shifting notions of family, the safety of our children, the fluidity of gender and the queerness that has always underpinned Australian society. Two of our leading LGBTQIA+ playwrights, Angela Betzien and Tommy Murphy, come together for a conversation about this Queer moment and their own missions as gay playwrights.

4 PM

CUSP

CUSP by Mary Anne Butler. Elvis wants Rosie. Rosie wants to escape. Maddie doesn’t know what the hell she wants, but it sure isn’t this. Cusp examines the lives of three young adults as they swim against the tides of irrevocable change. How do you move into the future, when your past keeps dragging you backwards?

5.30 PM

BORN, STILL...

BORN, STILL… by Jane Harrison. Maggie is a pregnant building-owner tree-changer, overwhelmed with decisions about tiles and taps—until tragedy strikes. Her small, private grief sits alongside the sudden, very public death of the ‘People’s Princess.’ Eventually, the flowers wilt and the condolence cards stop, and the tribute songs don’t play on the radio, but Maggie can’t stop wondering — how do you keep a small memory alive? One woman, with songs, relives a sorrow that impacts countless families in this cathartic, ultimately uplifting play.

7.30 PM

THE DISABILITY
SLAPSTICK PLAN

THE DISABILITY SLAPSTICK PLAN co-created by Betty Bobbitt, Jax Jacki Brown, Trevor Dunn, Jonathan Haynes, Jess Kapuscinski-Evans, Eva Sifis and David Woods. A triple-decker narrative of unconventional comedic proportions that navigates the intricacies of access and inclusion. The Disability Slapstick Plan is a daring, funny, and complex work featuring artists with perceived physical disability. Examining the right to begin and end life from a polyphony of perspectives – euthanasia, sex, abortion, IVF, suicidal terrorism, and extremism.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt