In June 2012, PlayWriting Australia opened its doors to a group of 12 incredibly dedicated and enthusiastic theatre makers keen to learn about our script development practices, play selection processes and about dramaturgy in its Australian context. Artistic Director Chris Mead has led fortnightly meetings with the company for the past four months, discussing scripts submitted to us but also inviting industry leaders to speak with the group about their own practice, including Associate Director Susanna Dowling, playwrights Jane Bodie and Declan Greene and Ola Animashawun from the Royal Court in London. Our interns are also invited to observe and co-ordinate our National Script Workshops, advise on National Play Festival programming and gain access to our library of Australian scripts and regular invitation to theatre events.
We warmly thank Griffin Theatre Company, Belvoir, Carriageworks, Currency Press and Australian.plays.org for generously supporting this initiative.
The Dramaturgy Internship aims to develop the next generation of committed Australian dramaturgs. Now it’s time to introduce them:
|Zoe Cooper studied at Curtin University’s Hayman Theatre, gaining a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Cultural Studies, with a major in Performance Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. She furthered her training during a two year stay in London by completing several short courses at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), working with renowned tutors Che Walker, Garri Jones, and April Pierrot. Zoe was also a member of Theatre Royal Haymarket’s Masterclass program for young theatre practitioners. Through the program she completed workshops with Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy, New York acting coach Jennifer Gelfer, and acclaimed British playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz. She has been published on Sitelines, an online journal for students and graduates of Curtin University’s writing program.Zoe is a member of Red Rabbit Collective, who devised Flirt Fiction for The Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights season in January 2011. The show was then presented at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to great critical success. In 2012, Zoe received a Jump Mentorship from the Australia Council for the Arts and is currently being mentored by WA playwright Hellie Turner.|
|Cathy Hunt is a director, writer & performer. She studied English Literature and Theatre & Film at the University of New South Wales and undertook postgraduate studies at the University of York (UK) as the recipient of a Commonwealth Scholarship. There she directed Jean Genet’s The Maids, played Nell Gwynn in Howard Barker’s Victory, Thomasina in Arcadia, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, amongst other roles. Other directing credits include Jane Bodie’s Still for Mad March Hare (March 2012), Judith: A Parting from the Body by Howard Barker as part of Tamarama Rock Surfers season at The Bondi Pavilion Theatre (Oct 2011).As a performer, Cathy regularly appeared as Ms Beige Brown (feminist performance poet) for over 10 years, most recently at the 2011 Crack Theatre Festival and Novemberism and Griffringe. Cathy wrote the screenplay for Beige Brown: Wombless Without Words, which won the Audience Choice Award at the 2005 Reel is Real Film Festival, Wagga Wagga. With Bec Allen she formed independent theatre company The Impending Room, and recently presented Dangerous Lenses by Brooke Robinson at The Old 505 Theatre. Cathy is currently directing a workshop of a new Australian play Tiny Remarkable Bramble by Jessica Tuckwell. She has worked for Belvoir since 2008.|
|Dominic Mercer completed a post-graduate diploma in Dramatic art – Directing at NIDA in 2011 and has been enjoying his role as one of Griffin Theatre Company’s Affiliate Directors since then. He was invited back to NIDA in 2012 and 2013 to be a dramaturgy teacher in the post-graduate department. Recently, Dominic worked as assistant director for Sydney Theatre Company production of Sex with Strangers directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and on The Trojan Women along Jeff Janisheski at NIDA (June 2012).Prior to NIDA, Dominic completed a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in English and Performance Studies in 2010 at the University of Sydney. During this time he was heavily involved in the Sydney University Drama Society, participating in over 20 productions and serving on the executive committee for 2 years. Dominic was an intern at Griffin Theatre Company for two years and founded the popular artist card program. Dominic has worked with Sport For Jove Theatre Company, Little Room Theatre, Brand Spanking new and was a founding member of So What Productions.|
|Felicity Pickering is an emerging playwright and dramaturg. She is currently studying Writing and Cultural Studies at UTS and recently returned from a year in New York. While there she co-wrote and acted in Mistress Quickley’s Time Travel Café, she also enjoyed her time working for Under The Radar, the annual international theatre festival produced by the Public Theater in Manhattan.In 2012, Felicity saw her monologue Colgate Cares featured in ‘Mall Stories’ as part of the You Are Here Festival in Canberra. She also wrote and directed The Banquet and devised Neighbours with Backstage, UTS Theatre and Film Society. She is currently working on Freshly Squeezed run by StageJuice and to be presented at PACT later this month.Felicity has been published in VibeWire, Vertigo Magazine and the Stonesthrow Review: the State University of New York, New Paltz Creative Writing Anthology. She is the Director of Marketing and PR for charity organization Creative Revolt and social media co-ordinator for Augusta Supple’s production A View From Moving Windows at Riverside Theatres.|
|Danielle Maas (AADA 2010; STS 2008) is an award-winning actor/creator/producer with a passion for both holistic theatre making. She is proud to have worked as an actor, director, dramaturg, front of house, production manager, marketing manager, stage manager, technical operator and… a writer. Danielle is the co-founder of Cupboard Love, which staged their debut play, Country Matters, to critical acclaim at the 2011 Sydney Fringe Festival. Her student credits include Attempts on Her Life, The Question,The Rabbits, Blood Wedding, The Urban Archive, The Laramie Project, Ophelia Thinks Harder (AADA), Much Ado About Nothing, A Dream Play and This Mortal Coil (STS).Since graduation, Danielle has worked for the Acting Factory, Apocalypse Theatre Company, Australian Institute of Music, bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company, CrinkleCut Productions, New Theatre, Project 51, Short & Sweet, Stories Like These, Sydney Chamber Opera and Sydney Theatre School in various capacities.|
|Ashley Walker is a playwright with a particular interest in comedy. He studied at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2004 and in August 2006 saw the staging of his first half- hour play The Chicken or The Egg by the Australian Theatre For Young People at the Old Fitzroy Hotel. Ashley is a regular contributor to the the Short and Sweet 10 minutes Play Festival with a total of seven short plays presented to date. He also wrote for television, and notably for ABC TV series The Glass House.He is currently working on his own sketch comedy series, The Outside Lane.Ashley has done volunteer dramaturgy work for the Hurstville City Council on their project Discoverability Radio Playhouse, as well as working as a freelance dramaturg for Short and Sweet participants. Ashley has enjoyed being a theatre reviewer for the past nine years and currently writes for Australian Stage.|
|Katie Pollock is a Sydney-based playwright and dramaturg. Her plays for theatre are: Stop/Slow (HeartDotCom, TAP Gallery, 2012) Contact (GRIFFringe 2012); I’m Not Sure I’m An Adult Yet (co-devised, NovemberISM 2011); A Quiet Night In Rangoon (subtlenuance & The Spare Room 2011); You Awake Love (Women, Power and Culture Then and Now, New Theatre 2011); Basketcase (GRIFFringe 2011); Hook, Line (Mardi Gras Colour Blind Project 2011); A Girl Called Red (Newtown Theatre 2010); One Percent (Brand Spanking New 2010); Under A Suicide Cow (Short+Sweet 2010); Blue Italian (The Street Theatre 2008); Last Drinks (Belvoir St Downstairs 2001); and Missing (Sydney Fringe Festival 2001). Her plays for radio are: O is for Oxygen (ABC 2009) and Blue Italian (ABC 2003). She is currently adapting A Quiet Night in Rangoon for ABC Radio National and her play The Blue Angel Hotelwill be produced at The Old Fitzroy in November 2012.Katie holds an MA in Theatre from UNSW. She was the inaugural festival director of Short+Sweet Canberra, has been a board member of Playworks, the ACT Writers’ Centre and Canberra International Film Festival, and has worked as a dramaturg for independent theatre productions.|
|Creative Director of Squeaky Floor Productions, Lara Kerestes graduated from UNSW majoring in Theatre Performance Studies & French.With over fifteen years experience in the Arts, Lara founded Squeaky Floor Productions in 2008 with the intention to promote fresh, contemporary and new Australian works while providing an artistic space for artists to create and collaborate without limitation.Her directing credits include Still by Jane Bodie (Old Theatre 505, 2012), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Importance of Being Ernest, The Gipsy Dancer, A Squeaky Cabaret, Wolf Lullaby, SLAM, Cabaret and Bombshells.Lara was an assistant director on various productions including Women of Troy, The Seagull (Siren Theatre Co.), Roadkill, and Richard III (Siren Theatre Co.)As a dramaturg she has worked on such productions as Pigeon and SPROUT by Jessica Bellamy and Freddie & Eden (Harvey House Productions). In 2011, Lara was shortlisted for the Theatre Director course at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Arts (LAMDA).|
|Robin Dixon is a Sydney-based academic, writer and musician. He studied Performance Studies at Sydney University, graduating in 2012 with a PhD on Roman comedy in performance (specifically, Plautine spatial dramaturgy). Over the last five years Robin has taught several theatre and performance courses at Sydney University, UWS and NIDA, while maintaining a sporadic creative practice.Some notable past projects include The Raven and the Writing Desk (2004, Seymour Centre) as co-writer and co-director; The Migrant Project (2005-8, Curiousworks) as co-writer, performer, composer, and dramaturg; Cold (2011, NIDA) as composer and musician; and contributions to over twenty albums as a multi-instrumentalist and arranger between 2004 and 2012. He currently plays regularly with Melodie Nelson, the Singing Skies and the Leichhardt International Ukestra, and is working on two academic monographs and a novel.|
|Charles Purcell is a Sydney-based actor and writer. He graduated from UTS undergraduate creative writing program in 2011. Charles is a member of performance ensemble piLAB and a current artist in residence through the Rocks Pop-Up initiative with independent company Starving Wolf, which he co-founded with Sophie Mathisen.Charles was recently selected to take part in the ArtStart Young Screenwriters’ Program at Metro Screen and Australian Theatre for Young People’s playwriting program Fresh Ink.In 2012, he wrote and performed for Shopfront Contemporary Arts and Performance, Griffin Theatre Company’s Griffringe, and Word Travels. His recent acting credits include The Bonfire by Sime Knezevic (The Deconverters) and Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine by Tim Spencer (Tamarama Rock Surfers, Bambina Borracha, 2012 Melbourne Fringe Festival).|
|Leonie Tillman has worked as a dramaturg, script reader, producer and company manager. She produced Best We Forget a devised work by isthisyours? at The Old Fitzroy Theatre (2012), For a Better World by Roland Schimmelpfennig with Company No. 3 at Griffin Independent (2010) and the Australian production of Kiss Me Like You Mean It by Chris Chibnall with Unit 107 at The Old Fitzroy Theatre (2008). She was the Company Manager of Tamarama Rock Surfers in 2011/12 and enjoyed taking part in the artistic programming.Since 2011, she has been a script assessor for the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award & Fellowship and the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award. She worked as a dramaturg on The Mind’s Eye (Bell Shakespeare) development process for the hip-hop version of As You Like It (2009) and the Colour Blind Project (2010) and a short Australian Play festival. Leonie also worked on Lynda Ng’s Endless Blue at PlayWriting Australia’s National Script Workshop (2007), as a graduate dramaturg mentored by Chris Mead and Sam Strong.|
|Olivia Satchell is a theatre director dedicated to the development and production of new Australian work. In 2011 she was the SUDS (Sydney University Dramatic Society) President and as part of it she established the program Blank Space, which invited Sydney theatre professionals to talk about their work in conversation with SUDS members.She directed Antigone in 2010 (SUDS), and was the assistant director on Brand Spanking New (New Theatre; 2010) with Augusta Supple as well as on A Little Room with the Living Room Theatre Project (Carriageworks, 2011). She had a one-week residency for the development of her one-woman show My Name is Truda Vitz at PACT in August 2011.In January 2012 she directed the Australian premiere of The Bedroom, a new play by Phillip Roser (SUDS) and she is currently the Artist Card Coordinator at Griffin Theatre Company. She is responsible for coordinating Griffringe and was also involved as a director in Lovely Ugly during Griffin’s Festival of New Writing and performed in Basketcase, written by Katie Pollock. Olivia just finished directing her first independent production, the multi-playwright project Heart Dot Com, at the TAP Gallery.|