"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 innovative and exciting new work. Applications have closed for 2016.
Lab Rats Projects 2016
Magpie by Elise Greig
Mordecai, a writer dealing with a bad review and a long-standing quarrel with her daughter, returns to her family’s Brisbane home for the first time in over a decade following the death of both her parents, three days apart. The home conjures echoes from her distant past: the hot summers, the rise of Clem Jones, and the perpetual arguments between her Romani Mother and Father.
When she discovers her old journal; an innocent tapestry of ideas, drawings, facts, and imaginings; she is transported back to a long abandoned investigation into her parents’ dispute in an attempt to put an end to their unhappiness. Pushed along by her childhood friend Splinter, Mordecai sets out to unpack the long dormant secrets that cursed her family and led to her leaving home at fifteen.
Spanning from young love to aging cynicism, Magpie is an emotionally charged coming-of-age story that charts its way through generations of sorrow and blame, which now threatens to tear the present apart.
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
Kandy is a sweet natured young woman who sings, blogs and obsessively dreams of having her own reality TV show. When Kandy unexpectedly falls in love and marries recently widowed and elderly Harry Beckwith, owner of a confectionary company after a month-long courtship - anything seems possible. He has millions; plenty of connections and time to devote to making Kandy’s dreams a reality.
Only there’s a problem. Kandy’s estranged Mother has some terrible news that will devastate Kandy’s marriage and shatter her dreams of becoming famous… or will it?
Sugar Addict is a brutal, no-holds bar look at the sickly sweet world of modern fame, that satisfies in equal parts - delight and disgust - leaving you with a sugary taste on the tip of your tongue and rotten feeling in your stomach.
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."
Testify by Elaine Acworth
Desperate to achieve something positive in her disintegrating life, Betlinde breaks into the flat of a distraught young woman who abandoned her own rape trial. Betlinde, a juror, believes she can convince the girl to testify so justice can be done.
Vernica is going through hell. She has recently lost her foster mother, dropped out of university and is currently taking her rapist to trial. Now someone is breaking into her flat.
Betlinde and Vernica spar, laying bare their frustrations with the case and with each other. As the confrontation pulses and swells they pull skeletons out of each other’s closets, exposing past distresses and present fears - but when there’s a knock at the door, distress quickly becomes panic...
A thriller that weaves a delicate web of humor and pain, Testify is a visceral investigation into trauma and what it takes to claim your voice.
Elaine Acworth has been writing for performance for more than 20 years with a break in the middle for the birth and early years of her son and a return to higher education.
Her work has been critically and popularly awarded: her most recent play, Gloria, commissioned by Queensland Theatre Company, was a finalist in the Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award (2012), a finalist for 5 Matilda Awards (2014), and was the ‘smash hit’ of QTC’s 2014 season, playing to sold-out houses; Composing Venus (1994) won the George Landon Dann Award and was selected for the STC/SACD Australia-France Playwrights Exchange; Solitary Animals (1997-2001) won her a Matilda Award, was the Courier-Mail’s “play of the year”, was short-listed for the ANPC/New York New Dramatists Exchange and unanimously elected to France’s l’Association Nationale Theatrale; Water Wars was a 2011 finalist for the inaugural national Artshub Innovation Award, and for 8 Groundling Awards (people’s choice) and for 3 Matilda Awards (critic’s choice). Other works include Bod, a play about Tibet, RISK, set in the state forests north of Brisbane and the short plays Grace and The Runner.
Lab Rats 2016 Criteria - (Now Closed)
Season 2 of the Lab Rats program will see two playwrights’ work developed. Each playwright will receive a stipend, detailed face-to-face sessions with a professional Dramaturg and ongoing support. Before having a public reading of the developed work at the end of the process in November. 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 open to Queensland based playwrights at any level of experience.
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 Artistic 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.
Applications Closed 18/07/2016