"Without the support of Playlab, not only would the work not have reached it’s artistic and practical potential, but I would also not have had the courage to present and share such a vulnerable piece of work."
“The approach taken by Playlab challenged me to set new and difficult goals, without tainting the process with pressure or overwhelming expectations.”
Lab Rats is a program that provides a structure to support the creative and professional development of promising Queensland playwrights. The aim is to facilitate professional engagement and outcomes by enabling, challenging and profiling the development of a new work.
Season 1, 2016
Magpie by Elise Greig
Magpie is a coming of age story. The coming of age of the central character, Magpie, and also the coming of age of Brisbane. It’s a fictional crime mystery with bi-lingual elements, set at a turning point in Brisbane’s history — 1961, the year Clem Jones came to power as Lord Mayor. Just as Clem is pledging to improve the footpaths, garbage and gutters, Magpie, a Scottish Romani teenager, has given up trying to fit in and is now intent on solving a family mystery so she can undo what she feels is a curse. Along the way she meets Splinter, a boy a few years older, who has a chequered history and a free-range existence. As their friendship grows, Magpie and Splinter inadvertently stumble on a hornet’s nest, uncovering details of a lighthouse murder and a man on the run who Magpie suspects is her father. The truth, however, proves to be more painful than anything their imaginations could concoct.
Elise Greig is a Matilda Award-winning actor, having been recognised for her outstanding contribution to Queensland Theatre on three occasions. Elise is an acting graduate from USQ and an Honors and Masters graduate from QUT, where she was awarded the University Medal. Elise also trained with Shakespeare & Company in Boston, USA and has received three Goldie Awards for her voice over work.
As a writer, Elise’s first play was a one-woman show called, The Romany Project, and was presented as part of Metro’s Year of Independents. Elise’s first full-length play, Crèche and Burn was a box office and critical success as part of La Boite Theatre’s 2005 mainhouse season and then received an extensive 10-week national tour. Her next play, The Sweet Science of Bruising, was shortlisted for the 2010 Playwriting Australia Festival. This was followed by Hopelessly Devoted, which had a successful season at Glen Street Theatre, in Sydney, during 2014. Elise’s short play, Flood, was presented as part of Short+Sweet Festival 2014. Her most recent work was a piece she co-wrote for Bleach* Festival called, All Aboard!
As an actor Elise’s theatre credits include the box office smash hit Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls (La Boite/QBFM), The Spirit of The Land (La Boite), Secret Bridesmaids’ Business (La Boite/QPAC), The Year Nick McGowan Came to Stay (La Boite), Explosions (QTC), The Mayne Inheritance (La Boite), Summer Rain (QTC), Sweet Phoebe, Two, Clark In Sarajevo (La Boite), Modd Madame Butterfly (QTC), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Harvest Rain), Honour and Mill Fire (OGS), Alive at Williamstown Pier, Jerusalem, Oleanna, The Big Picture, The Maids and The Vagina Monologues (green) and Hopelessly Devoted for Glen Street, Sydney. During 2015, Elise appeared in Mercy Thieves at Arts Centre Gold Coast and recently won a CentreScreen Award for her performance in the short film, Good Girls, which is headed to the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival. Elise has just finished playing Aunt Amelia in Seeing Place’s production of All Aboard!, which she co-wrote for Bleach* Festival.
Sugar Addict by Lisa Dewberry
Sweet natured Kandy Kane, 22, is a habitual online blogger who dreams of having her own reality TV show. Signing up with a sugar-daddy agency to find her meal ticket, Kandy unexpectedly falls in love with recently widowed Harry Beckwith, 60, owner of a confectionary company. They embark on a month-long courtship that results in a quickie wedding. When her mother Kristelle, 40, discovers the truth, she sets out to put a hasty end to it because Harry, as it turns out, is Kandy’s biological father!
Kandy’s online blog is suddenly ablaze, which gains the attention of famed TV producer Ari Winkle, who wants to turn the sordid love triangle into a reality show.
Mother and daughter go head-to-head in the battle to be the show’s biggest star while vying for Harry’s affections. As there can only be one winner, ambition will drive one of the women to attempt murder…
Lisa Dewberry "My passion for the writing harks back to childhood. In the late 1990’s I wrote, produced and directed my first short film, and assisted on other short films and theatrical productions thereafter. I continued to refine my craft over the next decade while engaging in studies (Bachelor of Nursing and a Bachelor of Law). In 2012, I was accepted into Screen Queensland’s Writers Room program where I received funding/mentorship to develop a dark comedy feature screenplay. My writing interests stretch across many platforms including novels, poetry, screenplays (TV, film - feature and short) and now theatre."
Season 2, 2016
Season 2 of the Lab Rats program will see two playwrights’ work developed. Each playwright will receive stipend, detailed face-to-face sessions with a professional Dramaturg and ongoing support. Before having a public reading of the developed work at the Brisbane Powerhouse in June. After the reading Playwright and Dramaturg will meet again to finalise the development phase and help plot the future of the work.
The program is targeted at emerging Queensland based playwrights in the first 5 years of their professional career.
Playlab also wants to encourage regional playwrights to apply, as we will bring you to Brisbane for the readings.
Interested playwrights will need to send in:
An assessment panel made up of Playlab’s Executive Director, members of Playlab’s Board, and external industry members will assess the applications according to the quality of the craft displayed, the currency of the ideas explored, potential audience, and their contribution to the diversity of Queensland theatre.
If you have any questions regarding Lab Rats please contact us via email or on (07) 3220 2763.
Lab Rats 2015
The first season of readings for 2015 included:
Reading 1 — Blue Bones by Merlynn Tong
Reading 2 — Nineteen by Shane Pike
The second season of readings for 2015 included:
Reading 1 — Love You Hate You Drive You Wild by Bianca Butler Reynolds
Reading 2 — The Salt Remains by Tom Gardiner
Reading 3 — Squint Witch by Shari Indriani