Questions with Lex Marinos

Hailing from the Riverina, Lex Marinos OAM career spans across Australian theatre, film, radio and television for over forty years. Perhaps most fondly remembered as Bruno, the son-in-law from 80’s comedy series Kingswood County, Lex is returning to HotHouse in Suzie Miller’s Sunset Strip.

You were involved in the early days of HotHouse. Can you tell us a bit about that ?

I was part of the Artistic Directorate which set up HotHouse in 1997 and oversaw the artistic programming of the company for the first 3 years.  The Artistic Directorate was drawn from all across the nation and had a great range of people, including the then MTC Artistic Director Rodger Hodgman, Designer Eamon D’Arcy and STC resident director Marion Potts. I remember it as being a very stimulating and rewarding process.

How important do you think the telling of uniquely Australian stories is to regional audiences?

It’s absolutely essential that all Australians have opportunities to participate in cultural pursuits and have access to Australian stories which reflect their own lives and allow them to have a voice in national discussions. Culture is not something that is the exclusive domain of privileged metropolitan areas. We all have the right to contribute to our own stories which help define our identity, and engage in the discourse about ideas and issues which will determine what kind of society we wish to become.

You play a man who has dementia. This is a real and frightening challenge a number of people. How did you prepare for the role?

Sadly, as our population ages, it is an issue which will inevitably affect most families. In my case, my mother and her three sisters all suffered from varying degrees of dementia from mild to serious (Alzheimers). The youngest one (aged 91) is in the middle of this horrible process and it is heartbreaking to see this once vital energetic woman deteriorate before my eyes. Needless to say, I’ve spent many, many hours in nursing homes and have had the opportunity to observe the behaviour of people dealing with this condition.

You were one of the first actors in Australia from a non-anglo background to reach mainstream popularity. How well do you think we are telling the stories of our diverse nation?

I think we have made some progress, but not enough. It is still difficult for non-Anglo actors to gain employment in general roles rather than just ethno-specific ones. The core issue remains the lack of diversity and representation at the decision-making level. A look at the Major Performing Arts organisations tells a grim story. Of the 29 companies, only one is Indigenously driven, none cater for disability or youth, none are located regionally, only three are fronted by women, and less than 10% have directors from culturally diverse backgrounds. This means our major companies are predominantly presenting work by middle-aged, white Anglo men! This is not just a problem in the arts, but in society in general.

Looking back, what advice would you give your 20 year old self about working in Theatre and Television?

Take the work seriously, but get over yourself. Leave your ego outside the rehearsal room. Ask questions, expand your knowledge of the world. Learn a musical instrument, learn more languages, acquire more skills – singing, dancing, juggling, etc. Learn to be resilient. Be respectful, generous and have fun.

Sunset Strip by Suzie Miler plays from 5 November at the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre for six performances.

Bookings can be made here

Splinter production image with Simon Gleeson and Lucy Bell.

Questions with Lucy Bell and Simon Gleeson

With Mamma Mia opening in Albury Wodonga this week, we’ve been saving these special notes from the stars of Splinter until just now. We talk with Lucy Bell and Simon Gleeson.

What’s cool to know, is that one of Simon Gleeson’s early roles was in the original Australian production of Mamma Mia, the Musical. It went so well that he then went on to appear in the West End production in London. This was before he appeared as Jean Valjean in the 2014 Australian tour of Les Miserables for which he won best actor in a musical at The Helpmann Awards.

Equally, the film and television prowess of Lucy Bell is astounding. You’d likely remember her from All Saints, City Homicide, Rake, and Love Child. She and her sister Hilary Bell (the playwright) have reached critical acclaim in their own right, stepping into the limelight away from their family legacy in John Bell AO OBE, of Bell Shakespeare.

There is a quality of performance coming to the Hume Bank Butter Factory stage.

HotHouse Theatre: What characters do you play in Splinter?

Lucy Bell: Simon and I play a married couple. In the play they are called Woman and Man and we have a child that has gone missing. And at the start of the play she has just come back to us.

Simon Gleeson: That’s right, after nine months of being a way she has just been returned so we start the play in a very joyful place where she is finally back… which is how you’d think the end of the play would be but we start there.

HHT: What do you think makes the play compelling or interesting?

LB: It’s a very intense study of this relationship and how this couple copes with pressure of having had a child missing for 9 months and then dealing with what happens when she returns. It’s not as straight forward as you might think.

SG: I think what makes it interesting is that is a great exploration of trauma and what it does to any individual and a couple. We are being cagey with what we say so as to not give away anything, because there are lots of twists and turns.

LB: Its not a “who-done-it” but it is a psychological thriller… its very twisty.

HHT: What ways is this role different from other roles you’ve played?

LB: This is the first play that Ive done with only two actors – it’s a two-hander – and we are both pretty much on stage the whole time. It feels like rehearsals are going really really quickly because there is no time when we are sitting out – its very intense but I’m really enjoying being in such a little cast.

SG: Me too. I think there is a lot more ownership. What I’m enjoying, I don’t know whether Lucy is, is the sole reliance that you have on other person. I think a three-hander is the least I’ve been involved in so its nice that’s its really small, not just between Lucy and I but everyone in the creative team. We are just around a small table and being able to have a “bigger” voice is great.

HHT: This is the second season of an Australian play. What is it like coming back to a play that you know works?

LB: Well this play has been done before but in a very different way. We say it’s a two-hander but it is in fact a three-hander.  The way the third character is represented in our production is very different from when it was first produced, so we are actually having to rediscover ways of doing things. But knowing that the play has been done before, we can absolutely trust it. There are no radical re-writes or that kind of thing – so that’s nice.

SG: With every other play other than a new play, you come up against exactly the same thing. We were talking about Noel Coward this morning, it’s been done for decades and it works. What so nice about this is that it is Australian. That is the joy of this. It has been done once before, but it hasn’t been so thoroughly mined within an audience’s mind, that’s there is knowing or too much expectation of what it is. It’s so nice to be able to bring a work that a lot of people have never experienced before.

HHT: How would describe the play in three words?

SG:  Just going for three words “Chilling”, “Suspenseful”, “But Loving”. It seems like you wouldn’t put all those together but that’s how I’d describe it.

LB: Can I go with those three?

Splinter plays from 15 October at the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre for six performances.

There are only a small number of tickets left.  Bookings can be made here

Ghenoa in rehearsal and Rachael Maza observing her performance.

Questions with Rachael Maza

Rachael Maza is the director of My Urrwai by Ghenoa Gela, and Artistic Director of ILBIJERRI Theatre in Melbourne. She shares some broader perspectives on the priority of First Nations’ story telling.

 

Rachael, you are a highly regarded and award winning director. What is the priority of First Nations story telling at this time?

(Nearly choked on that first sentence!!) Self-determination: True creative and cultural authority over our stories and how they get told. We are still in a time where the paternalistic all-well-intended “you need my help” attitude still prevails with no intention of handing over the power.  We are seeing an extraordinary body of First Nations work coming out that is bold in its realisation both content and form, even unpredictable.  The work that is coming out is unapologetic, brave and full of passion and urgency.  The priority for our First Nations story-tellers themselves is to trust your voice and ‘go for it!’ Our job as a sector is to support them in a culturally safe way, and get out of the way!

This is Ghenoa’s personal story. As a Director, what are the bits of story you chose to include and why?

It was very much a collaborative process.  In the development Ghenoa told many anecdotes from her life, and soon the wall was full of story cards. The challenge was how to crystallise it down. The other collaborator critical to this selection process was Kate Champion, who worked very much from a instinctual process of linking and countering stories like beads on a necklace. One of the stories that stood out to me as a key to getting to the heart of this story was when she talked about how her anger as a young woman manifested itself almost as an alter ego, and we talked about the rage that lies just below the surface in all First Nations people, in fact just under the surface on which we all walk. This land has seen much blood shed, there has been no justice, there’s been no grieving, no healing… only pent up rage.  This became the climax of her play in the scene called RAGE in which the sky cloth pulses blood red and Ghenoa embodied pure rage.

You also have Torres Strait ancestry – there are cultural differences between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. What ways does this open cultural conversation between First Nations communities? 

We premiered at Belvoir in Sydney Festival 2018, upstairs was My Name is Jimi.  I recall at the time  commenting on the significance of the programming: “This must be the first time Belvoir has ever programmed 2 Torres Strait Islander shows at the same time – A-Torres-Strait-Out!!, But then I thought – its actually the first time they’ve programmed 1 Torres Strait Islander show!”

What these shows did is make visible the Torres Strait Islander cultures as distinct and strong.  It was very clear that people had no idea who they actually were.

Ghenoa is a Young One, emerging in artistic leadership. What is the invitation you pose to young artists exploring their cultural identity?

Catapulting is the word I would use when describing Ghenoa’s trajectory.  She is truly a unique and exceptional talent, as anyone who has seen her perform would have noted.  I can’t say I’ve worked with anyone like her. The thing is – its who she is as a person – not just as an artist.  She in life is extraordinary, her conviction, her instinct, her strong spirit, her politics, her humour, her rage, but most importantly her cultural respect and humility – she’s the real deal alright.

If I was to give advice to other young fella’s coming up, from what I have learnt working with Ghenoa is to let yourself be your full confident self, but don’t ever forget your place in the bigger network of family, community and land – if you can find the balance between these 2 seemingly opposing forces you will find your voice.

My Urrwai plays from 29 August at the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre for three performances only.

It’s suitable for audiences aged 12 and above.

There are only a small number of tickets left.  Bookings can be made here

Ghenoa Gela in the spotlight during My Urrwai performance. Image by Daniel Boud.

Five Questions with Ghenoa Gela

Whilst jetting about the countryside with her extensive tour for My Urrwai, Ghenoa Gela shares a little bit about the show in anticipation for the HotHouse Theatre season.

Ghenoa, What’s it like coming back to communities you’ve visited but this time with your own story? Ghenoa visited Albury-Wodonga last year with Shakespeare.

Pretty exciting! I like showing my versatility not only as a performer but as a blak artist navigating the climate of the arts industry in this country. It also shows the unapologetic visibility of the need for more blak bodies on these stages and in these spaces. 

What initially brought you to performance and art making?

It was by chance. I mean I’ve been surrounded by it my whole life! My mum is a visual artist, my dad an artefact maker and between them they dance and sing amongst other things. My first real public performance that I can physically remember was when I was 5 years old doing traditional Torres Strait Islander dancing with my parents and my brothers! We would travel around QLD for NAIDOC week sharing our culture in schools! Through storytelling and dance. I never however, thought I could make a career out of it. I wanted to be the next Cathy Freeman! Haha.. I was really into sport when I was growing up as well – so that’s why it was by chance. Because I never thought about it in this way. Sharing culture is just what I’ve grown up with.

What do you experience ‘in process’ when creating new work?

What I personally experience is NEW EXPERIENCES – all the time! I learn more about myself and that’s actually something I really like! Sometimes it can be really confronting, but I have a bunch of AMAZING mentors to help me navigate my processes. So I know I’m always in a safe place and/or in safe hands.

My Urrwai holds many of your stories. Why this journey now?

Why not? The need to hear more blak stories will ALWAYS be IMPORTANT! Especially in this country. I’m just finding my own space to tell mine. And the conversations that have been I’ve sparked along the way by people who have seen my show, proves the NEED for more – because people now WANT MORE.

Rockhampton was a totally sold out show, how was it bringing your very personal story back to your home town. Is it quite a different experience to bring it back?

It. Was. Amazing. About 3/4 of the audience were friends and family! So their support was proper solid! Also, since my parents can’t really travel that much anymore, taking my show back home to perform was really the best gift I could have given them and for me to equally receive. My big brother has only seen me perform once before in my career, so having him there – no words will ever describe the immense feeling of love and happiness. The Rocky Show was proper special and I’m thankful for all the support from my family, friends and the Rocky mob and Darumbal Community. 

My Urrwai plays from 29 August at the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre for three performances only.

It’s suitable for audiences aged 12 and above.

There are only a small number of tickets left.  Bookings can be made here

Five Questions with Brendan Hogan

 

We sat down with award winning playwright Brendan Hogan to ask him five questions about his play The Last Boy on Earth which is being performed this July School holidays as part of the 2019 HotHouse season.

What inspires you to write for children and families?
There are lots of plays for really young kids, and there are lots of plays for young adults and older, but where are the plays for those kids aged 10-14? Not musicals or school productions, but actual funny, challenging plays. Kids in this age bracket are very aspirational in what they what to see and be engaged by. They’re not quite ready for the heavy adult stuff, but they also don’t want to be patronised by kiddy stuff. I want to give the audience something that the whole family can genuinely enjoy and be affected by.

The play is very funny. Do you have fun in rehearsals working with the young people in the cast?
One of the most satisfying things about writing a play is seeing what the actors bring to it in terms of other layers and jokes. Kids are great to work with because they have a different perspective and ask all kinds of tricky questions I hadn’t really thought of. We know we are onto something when, after hours and hours of rehearsals, we still find and create new moments that make us fall to pieces with laughter.

The play is set in the near future. What do you think the world will really be like 2043?
It’s fair to say a future where everyone, except for a young boy, has died, is not your normal fodder for a family friendly comedy. Do I really think the world will be like that in 2043? I hope not – I’ve got things I need to do! But there are other elements of the show I do think ring true, even in 2019, such as our inability to properly manage our waste and our dependence on technology to solve all our problems for us.

What are you looking forward to the most about doing the play at HotHouse?
HotHouse is one of the best regional theatres in Australia and it’s right on our door step. As a playwright, you always write with the hope of having your work performed in front of a large audience in a professional theatre. The reality is that for most playwrights, those opportunities are few and far between. It’s been a thrill to work with professional producers, designers and crew. In the end, however, I’m looking forward to opening night and seeing the audience respond to what we have created. We think it’s great and we hope other do to.

For those who saw the play last time – why should they come back and see it again?
It’s a different show to last time. Bigger and better! The story has been tweaked and Ben, our musician, has been working on a completely new score for the show and will be performing live for the audience. Sophie has designed an amazing set, which has to be seen to be believed, and Rhys has been working hard on a new lighting design which is a world away from the couple of lights we had in the tiny Masonic Hall in Yackandandah. Visually and emotionally, the story will be different and we can’t wait to show everybody just what we’ve done with it!

The Last Boy on Earth plays from 9 July at the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre for six performances only.

You can read more abo0ut the play here. 

The Last Boy on Earth is suitable for humans and aliens aged 8 earth years and above

Bookings can be made here

The production contains: Haze, Loud noises, and Strobe lighting.

Meet HotHouse Theatre’s new Artistic Director and CEO – Karla Conway

Thursday 6 June 2019

Today the Board of HotHouse Theatre announced the appointment of Ms Karla Conway to the role of Artistic Director/CEO. Karla will relocate to the region in early July and commence full-time in her new role from the 8th of July 2019.

Karla is a director, dramaturg, theatre-maker and respected arts leader. She studied Theatre at the University of Missouri-Columbia USA, and graduated from NIDA (Directing) in 2009. Since then, Karla has worked professionally in numerous leadership roles: as Artistic Director/CEO of Canberra Youth Theatre, Creative Producer for Warehouse Circus, and currently, as Program Manager for Canberra Theatre Centre. Alongside this, Karla has maintained her freelance practice as a director/dramaturg of theatre, contemporary dance and circus for professional artists and companies including The Street, Warehouse Circus and Australian Dance Party.

Karla has created numerous innovative works as a theatre-maker, including site-specific works for the National Library and the National Gallery of Australia, and has collaborated with artists and companies across the country on works for: Sydney Opera House, Black Swan State Theatre Company (WA), The Street (ACT), Action Transport Theatre (UK), Long Cloud Youth Theatre (NZ), and Academy of Interactive Entertainment. Among her many productions include international collaborations, interstate and international tours and a body of work amassing over 40 award nominations and wins – including three Canberra Critics Circle Awards. She will also bring to the role a depth of experience in developing and supporting emerging and mid-career artists.

Ms Conway said: “It is extremely humbling to be entrusted with leading this formidable company, and one that is so fully embraced by the community and the country. I look forward to ensuring HotHouse continues to evolve as one of the nation’s most prolific breeding grounds for new Australian theatre and new voices, and as a creative sanctuary for artists across the country”

Paul Robb, Chair of HotHouse said: Karla was an outstanding applicant for the role of Artistic Director of HotHouse. Karla is graduate of the NIDA Directors course, previous Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Theatre, and most recently was a senior member of the programming team for Canberra Theatre Centre.  Her own professional practice as a director and creator of theatre has covered a wide range of theatre genres. We look forward to welcoming Karla and her family to the region, and working with her in the next exciting stage for HotHouse.

Five Questions with Kamarra Bell Wykes

Kamarra Bell-Wykes (Yagera/Butchulla/European) is the director of the reading of STOLEN on the 24th of May to acknowledge National Reconciliation Week.  In 2017, Kamarra was appointed ILBIJERRI’s Creative Director and works as a playwright, performer, director and dramaturge across mainstage and community productions. Kamarra is dedicated to the development of First Nations ways of working across all of her practices.

Q1/  What is it about STOLEN that excites you as a director?
The opportunity to direct STOLEN is such an honour  as I played the role of Ann in the Victorian VCE tour for many years and the work and the experience of performing for so many  young people that had never heard of the Stolen Generation had such a huge effect on me. STOLEN provides so much opportunity for actors through its character transformations, time/place jumps, song, rhythm and movement. Despite its very serious content and message its actually an incredibly fun and enjoyable show to work with.

Q2/  What can audiences expect when seeing the reading?
The magic of STOLEN is that no matter how old you are or where you come from, every single person that sees it finds something they connect with. For First Nations Peoples this is even more so. These are the stories of our old people, of our grandparents and our Aunty’s and Uncles. Whether we like it or not these are stories that have shaped our collective experience. This is just as important for non-indigenous people as the Stolen Generations are part of our shared history. Just from different sides of the fence. I believe that STOLEN has a power because every single time a different Aboriginal person plays one of these characters, they bring with them the perspective of their families and their ancestors which the role is born anew through. I think having the opportunity to have these amazing young people and community members bring their voices and with them their collective old people, the audience can expect to experience a moving and powerful night of theatre seeped in the truth of the historical experiences of the area.

Q3/  The play has been around for 20 years – why do we still need to see/hear it?
The Stolen Generations are still a very recent part of our history and the trans-generational trauma created by these experiences still resonates within our communities and families today. With rates like 2 in 5 Aboriginal children removed from their families (and in some areas even higher) I don’t think there are any First Nations Australians that haven’t been affected in some way. It is crucial that upcoming generations of First Nations and Non-First Nations Australians understand what our old people went through and the impact this had on us. Unfortunately, the rates of First Nations children in care are now reportedly at higher rates than during the official Stolen Generations, this story is not over.

Q4/  You’ve worked in the region before – What do you love about working here?
Its always such a refreshing change to get out the big smoke and get close to the big river. Its such beautiful country up there and to be able to combine my love of theatre and being in the bush is a pretty special privilege. HotHouse is an amazing venue with incredible programs and phenomenal staff and for me it’s a bit of aspiration. I would love to see something like this taking place in my own community. Im always so blown out by the enthusiasm, talent and powerful voices I encounter when working in the space and I have no doubt this experience is going to be just as special.

I am always super excited about staying at the FarmHouse as well, as I believe this such in iconic space in Australia’s art landscape and is filled with so much magic. When I stay there, I know I’m sleeping in the shadows of Kings.

Q5/  What was the piece of theatre that made you think  – “yep that’s for me”?
There are a lot of pieces that have this impact on me but I think most recently I would have to say Future D. Fidel’s Prize Fighter , Dee and Cordelius’ SHIT, and ILBIJERRI’s Beautiful One Day. I think the mark of a great play is one that you still think about years after seeing it and I would have to say that of David Brown’s Eating Ice cream with your eyes closed which I actually saw at HotHouse many many moons ago.

 

Lyn Walis portrait

Artistic Director Says Au Revoir, Not Goodbye

The Board of HotHouse Theatre announces that after more than four years with the Company, Artistic Director/CEO Lyn Wallis will step down from her full-time role at the end of June: for personal reasons, and to pursue other creative endeavours. Lyn will work with HotHouse until new artistic leadership is in place, and will continue in a contract capacity as an Associate Producer until the end of the year providing production
support to the Company and incoming Artistic Director, and shepherding the company’s new independent performance program (Celsius), through its first season.

Lyn has led HotHouse from strength to strength, enabling it to remain one of only a few producing regional theatre companies in Australia. HotHouse Chair Paul Robb said:

“Lyn leaves the Company in excellent health, both artistically and financially. Through leveraging dynamic partnerships with some of Australia’s most accomplished theatre artists and companies, Lyn has significantly expanded our programming profile – and our audience base. Her new work commissions ‘The River at the End of the Road’ by Caleb Lewis and ‘At The Hip’ by Roslyn Oades, were based on local stories and experiences and spoke deeply to the uniqueness of the region, and our community. The establishment of the Celsius performance program by Lyn will leave a long-term legacy for the development of local independent artists. Lyn leaves the
Company with our best wishes and we thank her for the valuable contribution she has made to the Company”.

Lyn Wallis said, “Leading HotHouse through such a dynamic period for the arts in Australia, in partnership with a vibrant regional community, has been one of the richest experiences of my career. I love Albury-Wodonga, and am proud to call it home. I am looking forward to working on a freelance basis and continuing to contribute to this thriving arts community.”

The role of Artistic Director/CEO will be advertised today. A Position Description and other recruitment details can be obtained by contacting HotHouse Theatre Chair Paul Robb at [email protected] or General Manager Michael Huxley: 02 6021 7433 or [email protected]

Ends.

Media contact: Vanessa Keenan, Marketing and Communications Manager 0418 445 131 or [email protected]

Hotel Bonegilla is on its way!

A fantastic community cast is busily rehearsing with director Anni Gifford for our presentation of Hotel Bonegilla, 16-18 November. 25 local community actors – including our 2017/18 Studio Ensemble – are exploring Tes Lyssiotis’ moving play about the early migrant experience of Wodonga’s Bonegilla Migrant Reception and Training Centre. The Hotel Bonegilla presentation will be a part of the Centre’s 70th anniversary in November, and HotHouse’s 20th birthday celebrations.

The cast of Hotel Bonegilla is a mix of actors new to our stage, and some original actors from the 1997 production. These actors have vivid recollections of Tes Lyssiotis’ original production, and the meaning it had for them. It’s wonderful to see them sharing these experiences with a new generation of community actors engaged with our region’s history.

Rehearsals are travelling well: in the photo above you can see some of the actors, including original participants Martin Fussell and Robyn Smithwick. There are only four performances of Hotel Bonegilla, so don’t miss out!

7pm Thursday 16 November
7pm Friday 17 November
3pm Saturday 18 November
7pm Saturday 18 November

Find out more about Hotel Bonegilla.
Book here now!

Mary Rachel Brown

Award winning playwright to give write advice to SOLO Monologue shortlist

Award winning playwright, Mary Rachel Brown, will be giving shortlisted SOLO Monologue competition entrants dramaturgical advice on their entries.

Emerging and established playwrights have just one month to get their entries into the HotHouse Theatre, La Trobe University and Write Around the Murray SOLO Monologue competition that closes 5pm AEST on Friday, 24 June .

International entries have been received from Ireland, California, London and South Africa, while most states and territories are represented in the Australian entries.

The competition carries a $500 prize for the winner of each of the three categories –  unpublished/unperformed monologues; published/performed and monologues written by high school students – and the chance for entrants to rewrite or fine tune their entries if shortlisted.

Mary, who wrote the highly popular opening play for the 2016 HotHouse Theatre season, The Dapto Chaser, is the recipient of the following National Playwriting Awards – 2016 Lysicrates Prize, the 2008 Rodney Seaborn Award, 2007 Max Affords Award and the 2006 Griffin Award. Her play Last Letters has been in repertory at the Australia War Memorial for the last seven years. Other works for the stage include – Inside Out -Christine Dunstan Productions, Die Fledermaus (Adaption) – Sydney Conservatorium of Music, National Security And The Art Of Taxidermy – The Glynn Nicholas Group, All My Sleep And Waking – TRS.  Her TV credits include sketch writing for The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fightin’ for ABC and several episodes of Home and Away for Channel 7.

As well as working with individual playwrights, Mary has worked in a dramaturgical capacity for Canberra Youth Theatre, Albany Youth Theatre and The Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre. She has also conducted playwriting workshops for The Canberra Theatre Centre, Griffin Theatre’s Ambassadors’ program, The Albany Writers Festival, NIDA, Canberra Youth Theatre, Charles Sturt University and Hothouse Theatre.

Mary has been a member of script selection panels for The Griffin Award and Inscriptions Edward Albee Playwriting Scholarship, and has also participated as both a speaker and a playwright in numerous Playwriting Australia script workshops and The National Play Festival.

After receiving advice from Mary, the shortlisted writers will be given the opportunity to rewrite or fine tune their monologues for the final assessment process. As part of the Write Around the Murray Festival there will be a rehearsed reading of their monologues by local performers on Thursday, 8 September.

For more information, competition guidelines and entry forms click here.