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2016 Masterclasses

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PresentersIntroImageIn 2016 Playlab is once again offering three exciting Masterclasses across a range of topics presented by some of Australia’s leading practitioners. Playlab's Masterclasses are a fantastic way of engaging with the industry, while exercising and building your skill base. 

WHERE: Check individual class information

COST:    $120 per class.

(Students and Playlab Supporters $99 per class)

* Please note that we restrict the numbers of participants in order to provide a more intimate and experience, so book early if you want to secure a place. 



WebsiteHeadshotMatthewWhittetMasterclass 1: Conquering Monsters

Presented by Matthew Whittet

When: Wednesday March 16, 6.30 – 9.30pm 

Where: Queensland Theatre Company, 78 Montague Road South Brisbane QLD 4101

A young girl can’t cope with her world. Nothing seems outwardly wrong, but internally she’s falling apart. Something inside her is about to disintegrate forever and she can’t stop it happening. As a character she doesn’t have the words to articulate this. But her wild imaginings articulate a problem that is both epic and universal, whilst her surroundings ground her in the familiar and everyday.

Using the elasticity of the form, how do you articulate the epic inside the everyday? How do you use form and metaphor to connect on a deeper, more human level with an audience?

Matthew Whittet is an actor and writer who has worked extensively in theatre, film and television for the past 15 years. Matt’s first play Twelve was workshopped at the National Playwrights Conference in Perth, 2006. His second was SILVER, directed by Ben Winspear for Belvoir downstairs in which he also performed solo. In 2010 two further plays premiered in Adelaide; Fugitive (Windmill) and Harbinger (Brink Productions) beginning what has become an ongoing creative bond with the city and its audiences. In the same year, Matt was the Philip Parsons Young Playwright Award recipient sparking the development of the play Old Man which premiered downstairs in Belvoir’s 2012 season. Matt’s collaboration with Windmill has resulted in four plays with Girl Asleep being the most recent. Its predecessors are the Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards winning School Dance and Trilogy stable mate Big Bad Wolf.  All three of these plays were concurrently performed at the most recent Adelaide Festival (2014). Matt’s two hander Cinderella garnered outstanding reviews at the close of 2014 in the Belvoir downstairs space and his most recent play Seventeen will premiere in the upstairs theatre in 2015 . The feature film adaptation of his play Girl Asleep (supported by The Hive Production Fund) is currently in post production in South Australia. Matt was among the seven Sidney Myer Creative Fellows chosen in 2012.

Bio4colourMasterclass 2: Dramatic Action in Contemporary Theatre

Presented by Suzie Miller

When: Wednesday March 30, 6.30 – 9.30pm

Where: La Boite, 6 Musk Ave Kelvin Grove QLD 4059


      • Multi linear narrative, 
      • Writing for movement,
      • Heightened realism

A masterclass for writers of theatre and for directors/actors/theatremakers who would love to write!

The focus will be on creating works for theatre that use text writing to interweave formalistic ideas, multi-media, movement and/or multiple stories together into a piece that strikes a contemporary chord. A further focus will be on writing heightened realism for big stages. 

Create dynamic dialogues and garner confidence in taking risks with writing.

Suzie Miller is a multi-award winning Australian/ International playwright. She is a NIDA graduate, has an MA from UNSW in Theatre, an Honours degree in Science and a Masters of Law.

Miller has recently been in residence at the following theatres: Ex Machina Quebec with Robert Lepage (2012), National Theatre in London (2011 and 2009), National Theatre of Scotland (2013), Griffin Theatre Sydney (2012), Ransom Theatre in Ireland (2009), Critical Stages NSW (2013), Theatre Gargantua Toronto (2013), and is the 2016 writer in resident at La Boite Theatre. She is currently commissioned by companies in Australia (NSW, WA and Qld), England, Scotland and Canada.

Miller has had over 30 productions of her works in theatres and festivals around the world in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth), UK, Ireland, Canada, London and NY. Very recent shows include DUST Black Swan Theatre company Perth (2014), onefivezeroseven PIAF (2014), Driving Into Walls PIAF, Sydney Opera House (2013); Caress/ Ache Griffin theatre Sydney, (2015); The Sacrifice Zone (text & physical theatre) Theatre Gargantua Toronto (2013); Overexposed (dance/theatre work) WA State Theatre (2014); Medea La Boite theatre in Brisbane (2015).

In the coming year of 2016 Miller has written a new Australian opera to be produced by Queensland Opera/La Boite theatre & Brisbane Festival; will continue development on JUNE with ATYP Sydney, a London development of Two Geordie Boys; and Velvet Evening Séance will premier in Scotland.

Amongst other awards and nominations Suzie has won the 2008 National Kit Denton Fellowship for writing with courage; shortlisted for the 2010 and 2008 Australian Writers Guild Award for drama, Qld Premier’s Awards, Rodney Seaborne Awards and won an AWGIE in 2013; shortlisted for the Griffin Award 2009; Winner of Inscription 2009; and 2006: mentored by Edward Albee 2009; 2012 Best New Play Irish Times; Winner 2008 New York Fringe Festival ‘Overall Excellence Award for Outstanding Playwriting’; Arts Hub top 10 productions 2014 and in 2005 winner of the Theatrelab award. Productions of her plays have won 9 equity awards, various Helpman awards and have been in the yearly best-of lists of various Australian and over seas media outlets. She sits on the theatre committee of the AWG and the boards of various theatre companies.


stephen davis copyMasterclass 3: Creating Three Dimensional Characters

Presented by Stephen Davis

When: Saturday April 9, 1 – 4pm

Where: La Boite, 6 Musk Ave Kelvin Grove QLD 4059

David Mamet says that Character doesn't exists. Character is Habitual Action. 

Using this as a starting point, and drawing upon a wealth of experience writing for both stage and screen, this master class offered by screenwriter Stephen Davis will take you from the blank page to your very own cinematic protagonist.

Stephen Davis is an AFI nominated and multi award-winning writer with five features credits (City LoopBlurredMonkey PuzzleThe Reef and Drown) to his name. His work has played at the Toronto, Tokyo, Sydney and Cannes film.

He is a bestselling playwright with five published works for Playlab Press (A Very Black Comedy IndeedJuiceBlurred, and TranzitionsRites of Passage Trilogy) and one with Hawker Brownlow (Burnt). 

He has hours of award-winning produced theatre work (QTC: Drown. La Boite: Scar. QPAT: Juice, Blurred. QUT: Crushed, UCQ: Burnt. Barking Gecko Theatre Company: Turtle Island, Wet Dogs. Newcastle Theatre Company: Porn) and television work (NeighboursSpiritedBlinky BillCrash Palace

He has worked in Sydney and Los Angeles in head of development positions for 20th Century Fox and April Films and has developed and created 10 television shows for Channel 9, ABC, SBS Foxtel and Fox in Los Angeles.

He is currently doing his PhD at the University of New South Wales and curating the website, Bored Olives.


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Program supported by:

 LaBoite MONO


2014 Masterclass Program


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