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Playwriting Australia is working towards a society where new plays are consistently excellent, more widely produced, representative of the diversity of all Australians, and embraced by audiences as central to Australian life; where our playwrights are esteemed cultural beacons with unique visions of the world.

Ignition is a 4-year creative script-development program in partnership with producing companies, which will increase the investment, range, ambition, diversity and quality of Australian playwriting, leading to new landmark productions.  It seeks to extend the range, scale and diversity of works, providing necessary resources to develop scripts to an exceptional quality. 2016 was the first year of the Ignition Program, through which 6 partnerships for bold new work were supported.

Through an EOI process, PWA will select a number of new works each year for development over a 12-24 month period. This may be for a co-commission, or for a work at an early stage of its development.

Each process will be bespoke, built around the partner’s working methods and supported by PWA’s creative development expertise.

Although each process will be unique, it is likely that each new work will be given 4-8 weeks development time before reaching the rehearsal room through workshops, readings, creative developments and/or long-term mentorship with dramaturges/PWA artists.


Ignition’s artistic priorities are:

  • Works of ambition and range. PWA isn’t trying to define ambitious here – it is entirely different for each company. However, we are looking for projects that expand the range of experiences for your audience. Projects could be formally ambitious, larger than normal cast size, working with a playwright whose experience level differs from your usual program, work that is built to tour, a collaboration not normally possible within your normal resources, etc.
  • Diversity – work by Indigenous/non-Anglo (CALD) playwrights,; work for younger audiences, geographic diversity , etc.


PWA will ensure gender parity across projects and include non-traditional performance forms.

Partnership Expectations

  • There is an explicit commitment to producing the work being developed, all things being equal
  • The program of development and associated budget will be mutually agreed between PWA and the partner
  • Companies, venues and festivals will have their contribution of the budget approved by their board before the finalisation of negotiations
  • Major Performing Arts Companies, Festivals and Venues will contribute 50% of the agreed budget of direct development costs
  • Small-to-medium-scale companies will contribute UP TO 50% of the agreed budget of direct development costs (to be agreed with PWA). This can include support-in-kind.
  • PWA / Partnering company will contribute in kind company staff time as needed
  • In the eventual production, PWA receives mutually agreed producing billing


EOI Process

We would like to make this as simple an application process as possible. So, no forms, no support materials, no budgets. Do please give our Artistic Director Tim Roseman a call on 02 8274 0906 ( for a discussion about your project.  Once we’ve had a conversation, potential partners are invited to send us a 2 – 3 page Expression of Interest to be involved in Ignition by 25 September 2017 for co-commission/development of work in 2018.


In this EOI, please include:

  1. Your company’s details and contact person
  2. A brief description of the project
  3. Key personnel
  4. Your initial thoughts on the development plan for the piece, including development and production timeline
  5. An explicit statement that commits to providing development resources and to production (all things being equal)
  6. Why / how it fits the priorities identified above, which may be a definition of the priorities from your perspective (i.e. how does Ignition give you the opportunity to do something that you otherwise couldn’t do)


Please send this to Michelle Kotevski, General Manager of Playwriting Australia, by email by 25 September 2016.


Companies may only submit one project per EOI round. We will invite new proposals annually.


We will only ask for more detailed information if your project progresses to the shortlist.


Our hope is to shortlist the EOI’s by end of October and finalise projects by December.


Photo Credit: Jodie Hutchinson Photography of the Red Stitch 2017 Ignition Project

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