The Play Festival is an opportunity to bring people together to experience great art. This year, the Industry Program gets down and dirty with how we make that great art. Our focus for 2016 is on the craft of developing new writing. What do we as a country do well? What are the gaps? How do we fill them?

For the first two mornings of the Play Festival we’ll be immersing ourselves in a detailed conversation about the how, the what and the why of developing new work for the Australian stage.

The Industry Program is open exclusively to professional artists and representatives of theatre companies, particularly artistic and associate directors, literary managers, general managers and others in key creative and management roles.



Wednesday 27 July


9.30 am            Registrations Open, Tea & Coffee

10.00 am         Invisible Ink

All great plays have something fundamental in common: great dramaturgy. We invited some of our best artists to turn their x-ray onto  a great existing work of their choosing. Join them as they walk us through the wonderful   and invisible substructure of their favourite master works.

Andrew Bovell on The Floating World by John Romeril

Nicki Bloom on Wolf Lullaby by Hilary Bell

Reg Cribb on The Man From Mukinupin by Dorothy Hewett

Kathryn Kelly on Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset by Stephen Carleton

Suzie Miller on Scenes from a Separation by Andrew Bovell and Hannie Rayson


11.30 am           Silver Bullets

A crew of Australia’s most prolific workshop dramaturgs share their carpentry skills from the plant-room floor. In a series of short sessions they will shine a light on their individual processes, illuminating some of the most common artisan blind-spots and how they turn things around to signal safe harbour.


Raimondo Cortese Playwright and dramaturg; head of Writing for Performance MA, Victoria College of the Arts
Louise Gough Development Executive, Screen Australia; formerly dramaturg, Queensland Theatre Company
Tom Healey Director and dramaturg; Literary Manager, Australian Plays
Polly Low Dramaturg; Literary Director, Black Swan State Theatre Company
Peter Matheson Dramaturg
Chris Mead Dramaturg; Literary Director, Melbourne Theatre Company
Kyle Morrison Director and dramaturg; Artistic Director, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company
Emma Valente Director, lighting designer and dramaturg; Co-Artistic Director, The Rabble
Anthea Williams Director and Dramaturg; Associate Director – New Work, Belvoir


Thursday 28 July


9.30 am            Registrations Open, Tea & Coffee

10.00 am          Welcoming Our Relations

It’s been too long since we all got all the family together!

Of course, we aren’t the only industry to make effective use of dramaturgy. Our gifted cousins in Dance, Screen and Cyberspace have been arranging events in time for the best possible impact since the very birth of their artforms.

We have invited story crafters from our kindred dramatic arts to share the wealth, talk over tea (and resist the urge to bitch about our parents) – let’s hope we all get included in the will.

Panel: Julian Meyrick (chair), Jonathan Gavin (tv), Louise Gough (film), Lucy   Guerin (dance) and Lucas Taylor (gaming).


11.45 am          Ghost Light

Is this burning … an … eternal flame?

A single bulb must always be left burning when a theatre is dark. Some argue that its function is to chase away mischievous spirits; others insist it lights the way for the ghosts that are said to inhabit virtually every theatre, keeping them happy and contented. Either way, that light ensures that no one takes an accidental tumble off the stage. In this final session we discuss ways of keeping the dramatist’s ghost light burning.



Industry Pass holders gain pre-paid entry into all National Play Festival performances and special events. You won’t miss a thing!

Industry Pass: $250 (Major Arts Org/Festivals/Venues) / $180 (Other Arts Org)


EOI’s for Independent Artists 2016

Expressions of Interest are now open for playwrights and independent theatre artists keen to be part of the Industry Forum. We are looking for a mix of experienced, mid-career and emerging artists. Those selected will get access to the subsidised rate of $100 to attend all performances at the National Play Festival and the Industry Forum sessions, and the opening night reception, taking place from 27-30 July in Melbourne.

Applications close: Friday 24 June, 5pm


Please Note: Industry Delegates must be nominated by an Australian theatre company. EOIs for independent artists and theatre producers are now closed.

Please contact or call us on 02 8274 0900 if you have any questions regarding your registration.