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The National Play Festival may be over for 2014, but the conversation continues beyond the theatre

This year’s National Play Festival was enormously successful: featuring new work by 8 Australian playwrights, engaging more than 60 theatre artists and clocking over 2000 attendances across 4 days of cracking performances, artist talks and masterclasses.

We challenged playwrights to think bolder, speak louder and imagine the vast world of Australian stories, kicking off with Andrew Bovell’s landmark Keynote Address right through to the Open Space gathering, bringing playwrights in to lead the agenda. Theatre makers and audiences responded, packing the theatre and joining the conversation on social media.

For those who couldn’t make it to Sydney, re-visit the highlights and discussions below, read the media coverage and catch up with the tweets from our #npf14 stream

You can also check out the National Play Festival in photos at our Facebook page here: National Play Festival 2014 Album


Andrew Bovell’s Keynote Address

Andrew Bovell Keynote For the opening of the 2014 National Play Festival, playwright Andrew Bovell delivered an inspiring and emotional Keynote Address, issuing a call to action to Australia’s playwrights and the theatre-making community. Andrew’s stirring Keynote has been shared nationally, with the transcript published in Crikey and uploaded to Sound Cloud where it’s had thousands of downloads.
If you haven’t already, read, listen or watch the Keynote Address here:


Go behind the scenes

Ausplays Video Our friends at the Australian Plays website created a special behind-the-scenes look into the Play Festival, featuring interviews with the talented playwrights and directors behind this year’s showcased plays. Taking us into the creative process behind each of our showcase plays, Tom Healey (Literary Manager of AustralianPlays.Org) explores the relationship between the writer and their creative team. Watch all the video interviews here:


Songrites on NITV

NITV showcased SONGRITES, our uplifting collaboration with musicians Troy BradyCasey Donovan and Abie Wright, presented in partnership with the Sydney Opera House. Featuring interviews with Songrites artists, Abie and Troy, actor Luke Carroll and producer Rhoda Roberts as well as a glimpse of the powerhouse performance. Watch the NITV feature here:


The conversation continues…

Books & Arts Daily Following on from the themes in Andrew Bovell’s Keynote Address, Artistic Director Tim Roseman and theatre critic Alison Croggon spoke to Michael Cathart on ABC RN’s Books and Arts Daily about the role of the playwright in Australia and the presentation of Australian and adapted work. You can listen to the podcast of the interview on the Radio National website now.


Playwriting in the press

Playwriting Australia’s Artistic Director Tim Roseman spoke with The Daily Review on the playwrights’ role in society, urging playwrights to step up to cultural conversations.

“Despite the sophistication and liveliness of the Australian literary scene there is little room for playwrights. They rarely feature in the literary pages or magazines as subjects or reviewers and they are seldom recruited to contribute their ideas to bigger issues.” Read the full article now

Andrew Bovell, Michele Lee, Pearl Tan and Rachael Maza spoke to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Elissa Blake arguing for a more vibrant, diverse and ambitious theatre.

(Pearl) Tan said you could put a whole cast of white people on stage and nobody would notice, ”but if you come to a play and there are six Asian-Australians on stage, then it’s a political statement”. Read the full article now

Sydney-based playwright Nakkiah Lui responded in The Guardian with an articulate discussion on Australian racism and its impact on our theatres

“Ultimately, diversity in theatre sits within the bigger discussion of racism in Australia. We need to remember that diversity is the means to an end. Diversity isn’t complexity, and ultimately, what we want is not a diverse country but a complex one. By accepting diversity as an end we are just fooling ourselves into thinking that the playing field is equal.” Read the full article now


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