National Play Festival Comes To Melbourne

In 2012 PlayWriting Australia brings the National Play Festival to Melbourne for the first time, running 22 – 25 February at the Malthouse Theatre.

Celebrating excellence and ingenuity in Australian playwriting, the fifth National Play Festival showcases the best new Australian plays to inspire playwrights, producers and audiences. Travelling each year to a new location, the Festival presents a curated season of performances, workshops and discussions that bring together artists, industry professionals and the general public in a celebration of Australian theatre and theatre-making.

“We are absolutely delighted to bring the National Play Festival to Melbourne next year – as a UNESCO City of Literature and home to an enormously diverse and renowned performing arts community we are excited about the opportunities and connections that will be forged.

“For the 2012 Playwrights Festival we are bringing together a high-calibre collection of Australia’s respected directors, dramaturgs and performers, so you’re in for something very fine indeed” said PlayWriting Australia Artistic Director, Chris Mead.

At the centre of the 2012 Festival is the Showcase Season in which five new Australian plays get their first airing in front of an audience at the Festival. The five plays selected from 160 submissions to be developed, rehearsed and presented as part of the National Play Festival in 2012 are: Therese Raquin by Green Room Award winner Gary Abrahams (Something Natural but Very Childish, Dir. The Laramie Project); Every Second by AWGIE Award winner Vanessa Bates (Porn.Cake, Oscar Darling); The Sun and Other Stars by Nicki Bloom (Tender, Summer, Bloodwood, Footsoldiers); One Scientific Mystery by first time playwright Victoria Haralabidou (Blessed); and Faces Look Ugly by multi-award winning Tom Holloway (Red Sky Morning, And No More Shall We Part).

In 2012 the National Play Festival is focussing on our international connections, exploring the ways Australian playwrights and theatre companies can connect globally. International theatre heavyweights who will attend the Festival include; Sebastian Born, Associate Director (Literary) at the National Theatre in London; Jason Loewith, Executive Director of the National New Play Network in the United States; Colin McColl Artistic Director, Auckland Theatre Company; Huzir Sulaiman Artistic Director Checkpoint Theatre in Singapore; and George Aza-Selinger, the Literary Manager at the National Theatre of Scotland. These guests will participate in public forums, view all the Showcase plays and participate in closed industry sessions.

The National Play Festival will also welcome two playwrights from the UK as part of an exchange with the National Theatre of Scotland. Lynda Radley and Morna Pearson will present a public reading of their plays as part of the Festival.

The full program will be announced on Tuesday 31 January 2012.

Program and ticketing information will be available at

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