lotus playwriting project /

lotus playwriting project

On a mission to see more Asian-Australian stories on our stages, we’ve teamed up with Performance 4a to unearth a new generation of playwrights

The Lotus Asian-Australian Playwriting project provides high calibre training and mentoring for Asian-Australian artists who are interested in writing for theatre. Our goal is to energise a groundswell in contemporary Asian-Australian theatre as a way to address the shortage of high quality new plays from this vibrant and creative community.

In partnership with Performance 4a, we have identified and are nurturing extraordinary new voices and stories from perspectives rarely experienced in mainstage Australian theatre.

Lotus Stage One: 2014-15

Free Introductory Playwriting Workshops

From April to June 2014, we met with over 70 Asian-Australian artists, performers, writers and bloggers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne for our series of free playwriting workshops hosted by state-based partnering companies:

Read Peril’s coverage of the workshop in Brisbane
Read performance artist Jamie Lewis’ reflection on her experience in Melbourne

The Salon

The Salon is an intermediate playwriting course designed by Playwriting Australia and inspired by the UK’s Royal Court Theatre Young Writers’ Program. The three-month course is led by an established playwright offering emerging playwrights a supportive environment to learn the craft of writing for the stage and to develop their own original works. Through fortnightly group meetings, participants read and discussed a list of contemporary plays, and completed a series of writing exercises.

Melbourne Salon: Facilitated by Damien Millar
(Hosted by Writers Victoria. Made possible by Arts Victoria’s VicArts Grants Program).
Brisbane Salon: Facilitated by Maxine Mellor
(Hosted by La Boite in partnership with Playlab. Made possible by  Brisbane City Council’s Creative Sparks Program).
Sydney Salon: Facilitated by Lachlan Philpott and Angela Betzien
(Made possible by the Australia Council for the Arts In The Mix initiative).

The Showings

In 2015, we invited four of the most promising emerging voices in each city for a special presentation of their new work-in-progress. In collaboration with local theatre partners and Sydney Writers’ Festival, we presented collections of the most exciting new voices to Australian audiences around the country.

Brisbane showing new works by Shari Indriani, Michelle Law, Silvan Rus and Merlynn Tong.
Sydney showing new works by Adolfo CruzadoAnne LauVernon Pua and Disapol Savetsila
Melbourne showing new works by Hiroki KobayashiLian LowJeremy Nguyen and Hoa Pham


Lotus Stage Two: First Draft


Participants will be selected from Stage One playwrights as well as through expressions of interest with four writers per state (NSW, VIC, QLD) invited to participate in an intensive 6-month program. Stage Two will include individual tutorials with a playwright mentor, monthly group masterclasses and craft discussions with mentors and guest artists.

At the end of the training, and following 2-3 months of writing time, each playwright will be given a final, intensive session with their mentor to discuss their completed first draft.Excerpts from selected pays will be presented at the 2016 National Play Festival.

Closing date: Monday 7 September 2015

More info


Lotus Stage Three: 2016-17

The third stage of Lotus will be entirely writer-led, with the playwright charting the direction of their play’s development. Each writer will receive one-on-one dramaturgy from a member of the PWA artistic team, and a week-long creative development at the National Script Workshop with a cast of professional actors, a director and a dramaturg. One play will be selected for the National Play Festival 2018.

Lotus Stage Four: 2017-18

Three participating playwrights from Stage Three will be selected to partake in a residency with a key theatre company in their capital city. The writers will be offered a 6 -12 months paid residency to write a new or existing play, and become embedded in the host company’s activities.


 The Lotus Asian-Australian Playwriting project is proudly supported by the Girgensohn Foundation

Principal Partners 

Lotus Partners



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twelve writers embark on lotus first draft

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Playwriting Australia is proud to support twelve playwrights of Asian-Australian backrgounds through our Lotus First Draft program in 2015-2016.


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

With support from the Girgensohn Foundation, the Lotus Asian-Australian Playwriting program is set to extend to 2018.