Tommy Murphy receives Philip Parsons Young Playwrights Award 2007

Fresh from the US premiere of his award-winning play, Holding the Man, playwright Tommy Murphy has been awarded The Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award for 2007. Tommy has received a $10,000 Company B writer’s commission to develop a piece of work for the B Sharp Season, downstairs at Belvoir St Theatre.

The Philip Parsons Award is given each year to a playwright whose work demonstrates an original and compelling theatrical voice, and the competition attracts the highest calibre of artists each year. Previous Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award winners include 2004 recipient Kate Mulvany whose commissioned work, The Seed, saw great success in the B Sharp Season earlier this year and is now making its way upstairs as part of the Company B 2008 Season. Last year’s winners, Patrick Brammall and John Leary, will be premiering their commissioned work Vital Organs in the B Sharp Season in December this year.

On winning the award, Tommy said, “I’m very grateful to be presented with an award that gives me the opportunity to work. There is a genuine enthusiasm about new writing in this country - audiences are keen and playwrights are working hard to deliver. I was honoured to be short listed with such an outstanding group and am very excited to be working with Company B again in 2008,” he said.

The Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award is part of the annual Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture, which was this year given by Sydney Festival CEO and Artistic Director, Fergus Linehan. Fergus presented a lively discussion about programming and filling theatres “honourably”.

The Award and Lecture commemorate the life’s work of Dr Philip Parsons AM (1926-1993). Dr Parsons was co-founder of the performing arts publishers Currency Press, and an influential teacher and mentor to many of the students, scholars, actors, directors and playwrights who created the new wave of Australian theatre in the 1970s.

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