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Playwright In Residence Bar

Playlab’s Young Playwright-in-Residence program is a year-long mentorship for one young Queensland based playwright who is offered: dramaturgical support from our Playwright-in-Residence Kathryn Marquet, professional guidance from Playlab’s Artistic Director Ian Lawson and access to Playlab’s resources.

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Meet Hannah Belanszky our 2017 Young Playwright-in-Residence, during her time at Playlab she will be working on a text that answers the universal questions, ‘Where did I come from?’ and ‘Where am I going?’. 

To learn more about Hannah and the work that she is doing check out this interview:

What compels you to write?

I am compelled to write often by things I read, overhear or observe, people I know and stories I am told. It is through writing that I can try to make sense of the world that I am living in. I find it a challenge at times to appear present in some situations because I am mentally writing it all down! I think it all comes down to a need to communicate and share in experiences. I love to talk…most people who’ve met me will agree it is difficult to get me to stop once I’ve started…yet writing has become a welcome refuge in my life as another form of storytelling and expression.  

What has stood out to you so far from your meetings with Kathryn?

So far, our focus has been on the importance of being clear and specific about every single detail of the play. I’ve always had the tendency to just jump in and write scenes without knowing where they are even going (often scrapping them later when they aren’t right!) I’ve learnt that whilst organic, spur of the moment creation is wonderful and has its place, it definitely goes hand in hand with planning. In the end, this process will save time and ensure the scene is focussed and has a purpose in the larger scheme of the play. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with Kathryn. I am loving being able to meet with another writer to discuss and develop a new play… as we all know, writing can be quite an isolating task! 

What is your favourite artwork?

When asked this question, I can’t not say my mother’s artwork because I know too well the back stories to the paintings she produces and the hard work that goes into her creative practice. Her contemporary Indigenous artwork: bold and magical, is important to me for it is a reflection of her, a person who never fails to inspire and support me. I think she is a rare person for she is so unabashedly herself. She is the ultimate dream-chaser!

What do you as an artist stand for?

When given the platform for your voice to be heard (or read) by others, I believe artists are obliged to be truthful, to use their voice wisely and to take the chance to say what everyone is thinking but not necessarily saying out loud. As an artist, but also just as a human being, I strive to be as genuine as possible. I think if you truly care about something and are really passionate about it, other people will connect with that honesty. It is the artist’s job to be observant, to break from the comfort of their private bubbles and to engage with the world around them. On a personal level, I believe it is my responsibility as an artist to always be working on my craft so that I am constantly growing while improving the quality and the boundaries of my work. I figure if something makes me nervous or a bit uncomfortable, I am probably on the right track! 

What’s your background?

I decided when I was six that I wanted to be an actor while watching The Sound of Music on stage, green with envy of the young girls performing.  I was very interested in writing short stories and poetry as a child but it didn't cross my mind until years later when I was completing my actor training that I would ever write for the stage. I was reading a lot, looking for monologues and audition material, and I found myself craving something outside of the repertoire of popular monologue choices. I was finding it quite difficult, as a young woman, to find many meaty characters in my age range. This started me thinking about writing my own material. I think my background as an actor definitely helps when I am writing as I consider how an actor might approach the text and whether I am leaving just enough clues for them. 

What art do you most identify with?

I enjoy reading journals as they are so personal. In particular, I really connected with the diaries of Anais Nin and was inspired by them to start journalling myself, which more or less lead to my playwriting. I started by writing whenever I was in any kind of heightened state because I felt that whatever came out would be uncensored. I was interested in what my language choices would be like when I wasn’t premeditating what I was going to write next.  What I love about the diaries of Anais Nin is how she can find meaning and passion in every single moment of her life, even the seemingly mundane. I definitely identified with her analytical nature. It was also interesting to read her journals as an accompaniment to her stories and essays, for their insight into her process as a writer and how her personal life was feeding into her work.

I love nothing more than sitting in some kind of moving vehicle and staring out the window while listening to music as my mind wanders. I find music a very powerful tool when I am writing and also performing for getting in the right headspace. 

Professionally, what’s your goal?

My goal is to be writing and performing in my own work on a professional level. I want to be involved in the creation of a piece as well as the performance of it but would love to be commissioned to write for others as well. I am interested in venturing overseas to train further at some stage. My aim is to keep moving, learning, feeding my soul and being challenged by the new and unfamiliar!

New Perspectives Bar

Introducing the New Perspectives bundle

Our collection of new contemporary plays representing fresh, young voices that reflect the diversity and politics of contemporary Australia. 

Previously priced at $71.85 you can now grab all three works for $54.95.

Only available for the month of August in 2017.

Shop Now

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To celebrate the addition to our catalogue of Premier Award Winning titles RICE by Michele Lee and OEDIPUS DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE by Dan Evans we're offering 50% OFF all previous QPDA winning plays in our collection.

That means these stellar texts are only $11.95!!!

Trollop by Maxine Mellor  (2012/13 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.41.46 pmClara is uncomfortably numb. Cocooned in her spartan home, she wallows in tracky-dacks and the misery of the recently jobless, feeding on apathy and the images of natural disaster piped into her living room by the pitiless glare of the TV.

Clara is haunted by what she could aspire to if she could break from her funk. Her relentlessly upbeat partner Erik has devised a plan for her to get back on her feet. Instead, she devises a series of increasingly gruesome ‘quests’ for him.

Then, one stormy night, a stranger calls – and the chinks in the pair’s relationship begin to widen. Uncomfortable truths are revealed and there are hints of horrors to come, as ancient myths are dragged, growling, into the modern day.

The winner of the 2012/2013 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Trollop is a complex, uneasy and challenging work that both explores and exploits contemporary communication modes.


Fractions by Marcel Dorney  (2010/11 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.42.57 pmIn Fifth-Century Egypt, Alexandria – Alexander the Great’s namesake city – has ambitions to be the most powerful city in the world. And knowledge is power. The great Library of Alexandria houses the collected wisdom of the world – science, mathematics, astronomy, and literature. One of its greatest scholars and inventors is Hypatia – a woman ahead of her time in a man’s world. She’s revered for her devotion to the search for knowledge. But the power politicking of one man, Kyril, starts a holy war in the city, which threatens to destroy the great library. Hypatia must find a way to protect it – and prevent civilization from sliding into the Dark Ages.

This thrilling play is based on the real-life events of one of history’s most remarkable unsung heroines.




25 Down by Richard Jordan  (2008/09 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.44.41 pmIn a world that’s lost all meaning, 25-year-old art school dropout James is searching for answers. To uncover the truth about himself, James embarks on a mission to become everything he’s not. But when all-nighters at gay bars, drug use and sex fail to provide what is missing, will James accept that life is all downhill after 25? Winner of the 2008-2009 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, 25 Down is a fast-paced, funny and insightful play about the ‘children of ’ the children of the revolution.







The Estimator by David Brown  (2006/07 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.47.15 pmMartin is an estimator for a removal company, trained to help people with the nightmare that is moving house. But no amount of preparation could have prepared him for his latest job ...

Yonni and her granddaughter Sharday share a junk-filled home in the suburban outskirts. Their lives revolve around poetry, acting, singing and rhetorical questions. Knowing the life they live is far from healthy, Yonni’s daughter Karen calls in the help of an Estimator. But once they meet, their lives will be changed forever.



Mano Nera 
by Adam Grossetti
(2004/05 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.50.17 pmIn the 1930s, letters of extortion were written to the migrant Italian community in North Queensland’s cane growing districts. Mano Nera – the ‘black hand’ – was the name of the group claiming responsibility for the letters. But was Mano Nera a slick criminal organisation, or simple-minded thugs?

Either way, Mano Nera instilled fear that divided the community. Australians argued for the deportation of the Italian migrants. While the Italian community, who had bravely fled political oppression and a fast deteriorating society to make North Queensland their home, faced a choice. Would they put up with their reputation being sullied by the actions of Mano Nera’s desperate men? Or would they flight for the privileges their adopted country could offer?

Mano Nera richly evokes the tense stand-off between the British authorities and a divided Italian community desperately trying to make the most of its hard-won freedom.

PLaylab Indie Renovation bar

Discovering New Works Just Got Easier!

Playlab Indie, is a digital collection designed to bring together under one banner, new work that has debuted in the Australian independent theatre sector creating, over time, a go-to collection of quality, innovative work.

We believe that it is incredibly important to be constantly familiarising and engaging ourselves with the freshest works being produced. So, to make finding the perfect new play even easier we’ve done two things. Firstly we’ve dropped our prices, every Playlab Indie publication can now be downloaded for only $9.95. Secondly, we’ve updated our product pages to include: samples of the text, production images, and numerous reviews so that you can get an in depth picture of the core of the work.

We hope that you enjoy submerging yourself into Australia’s independent theatre sector.

Check it out

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Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 11.30.30 am David Stewart is a Brisbane based writer and performer. He is the writer and co-founder of enigmatic musical comedy trio The Architects of Sound. The band’s latest work The Architects of Sound: Arena Spectacular was commissioned by Brisbane Festival in 2016 and has since travelled to Fringe World, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival. His recent writing credits include Numb and Non-Vegan Hoagies and Other Signs of the Impending Apocalypse as part of ATYP Fresh Ink National Studio 2016, An Intimate Evening with the Architects of Sound (Wonderland, Melbourne Fringe Festival; 2015, Woodford Folk Festival 2014), Slug (Rock Surfers Theatre Company 2014) and The Art of Conversation (Short + Sweet BEST COMEDY winner 2013). David is also a recent graduate of the NIDA Writing for Performance Masters in 2015.

Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 11.59.00 amHeidi Harrison is an emerging writer and performance maker from Brisbane. Last year she graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Drama with a minor in Creative Writing. This year she is undertaking her Honours degree with a focus on the relationship between feminist theory and physical performance. She has a keen interest in contemporary, highly physical performance that experiments with form.






Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 12.05.32 pmZachary Boulton is a graduate of both Griffith University and Southbank Institute of Technology, Zachary performed lead roles Sven Swenson's The Truth About kookaburra's (2012) Dangerfield Park (2014) Beautiful Souls (2015). Since graduating Zachary has also toured The Box and An Experiment With The Caucasian Chalk Circle through Artslink and Backbone (2013-17). In 2015 Zachary Performed a one man show called The Fever by Wallace Shawn at The Anywhere Theatre Festival and most recently he performed in Hanako by Belloo Creative (2016). Currently Zachary is teaching acting at QUT and Yeronga State High and acting in numerous short films and TVC's.

Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 12.06.04 pmEileen O’Hely is the award-winning author of the Penny the Pencil and Kitten Kaboodle books for primary school children and PEP Squad for older readers. Her debut book Penny the Pencil won the Children’s Books Ireland Bisto Honour Award 2005/2006, and both Kitten Kaboodle books were shortlisted for awards in 2015 and are on the Premier’s Reading Challenge in several Australian states. Her books have been translated into three languages, and she is published in five countries.
In addition to writing novels for primary-aged children, Eileen is expanding her practice to develop work for Young Adult readers and more interactive audiences, including locative fiction for Brisbane City Council’s Outdoor Reads and most recently writing for the stage.
Eileen’s path to becoming a writer and aspiring playwright is unconventional. With a double degree in Arts/Science (Hons) and a PhD in Astrophysics, she has worked as a university tutor, IT professional, English teacher and sports journalist.

Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 12.06.33 pmOlivia Hall-Smith.  At the end of 2015 as part of Underground Production's Playground Festival, she produced and performed in a short musical she had written based on the television series The Bachelor, called Roses Are Red (And So Is Blood). She is always writing in her spare time, as well as continually editing, reading and collaborating on scripts either on her own or with other creatives, all in addition to constantly working and creating with The Miscreants.





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Merilee Ettia is a writer and performer of musical theatre and theatre practice. Her play Fallen Olympus was the highest selling show of MUSE Theatre Festival in 2015 and later won first runner up in QT’s Young Playwright’s Award. As an actor she has trained in realism, comedy, classical and contemporary theatre with QACI, QT’s Youth Ensemble and QUT Drama. Some of her notable roles include Coral in Away, Hamlet in Hubris and Alex in QT’s Landmine is Me. As a singer she has advanced vocal qualifications and has performed solos at QPAC and the Powerhouse. She has also sung in various musicals, playing the Genie in Aladdin, Gabriella Montez in High School Musical and originating the role of Melania in You’ve Been Trumped. Her other passions include marketing and arts management, as a three time La Boite Ambassador and a member of Vena Cava Productions.




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Playlab New-writing Theatre is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland     



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