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This year we've compiled a meticulous short list of gift ideas for the theatre lovers in your life.  Plus every order we receive that contains one of our suggested titles will receive a free play as a bonus gift from us to you to ensure that your holiday season is merry and bright. 


Do you have a rising star in your family?  From zombies to chat rooms our ‘Prodigies’ selection has something for both primary and senior school aged students that will fuel their curious and creative minds this holiday season.     

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Sensational Scholars

The ‘Sensation Scholars’ selection is filled with a range of contemporary Australian plays with challenging themes and conventions perfect for friends or family studying in the creative arts.  Each can be read either for pleasure or for deeper contemplation with a pencil in hand scratching thoughtful musings in moleskin journals. 

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Seasoned Pros

A collection of acclaimed works sure to be treasured by any ‘Seasoned Pro’. Containing works from around the country that span across different cultures and perspectives these critically praised titles are sure to bolster any library. 

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Discounts Across Our Large Cast Collection
(Offer Ends 31/10/17)

talkingtobrickwalls coverTalking To Brick Walls:
Cast Size - 25
Was $23.95
Now only $19.95 -

Hey! We need to talk!  And we've needed to talk for over 8000 years.  Talking to Brick Walls is a hybrid verbatim piece exploring adolescent and parent relationships.  It was co-created be eleven young artists alongside facilitators Claire Christian and Ari Palani over a period of three and a half months.  This is the conversation they wanted to have.  The story the wanted to tell.  The show they wanted to make.

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Screen Shot 2017 10 04 at 11.16.03 amHeadspace:
Cast Size - 14
Was $23.95
Now Only $19.95

Penelope is a 17 year old girl who feels as if she has the weight of the world on her shoulders.

Everyday she travels to and from school on the train. It is the only time she has to herself; before the responsibility of being a mother figure to her younger sister, and housekeeper for her father, takes a hold of her. She listens to her iPod and the playlist becomes a soundtrack to imaginative episodes as she moves in and out of her own subconscious.

In this place, Penelope meets an assortment of characters that 

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represent the many roles she has to play in life; her rational and irrational self. Through each episode, a dilemma in her life is expose

d and reflected through her interaction with the exaggerated characters. The characters know everything about Penelope. They are a manifestation of her emotions, beliefs and internal logic.

Penelope's journey through this story is about coming to terms with responsibility and making the tough decisions we all have to in life.

Screen Shot 2017 10 04 at 11.20.14 amIn a Heart Beat:
Cast Size - 17
Was $24.95
Now Only $19.95

In a Heart Beat follows the story of Jamie, a frustrated teenager with big ideas to leave his school and family all behind at the very first chance he gets. An outsider in his town, Jamie is suddenly hurtled into a journey beyond his known parameters.

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kaboomfrontcoverThe Kaboom Collection:
Orbit Cast Size - 20
The Landmine Is Me Cast Size - 27
Was $25.95
Now Only $19.95

Orbit: Orbit is a science fiction adventure about 20 young people, of which two will be chosen to carry on humanity’s bright future on planet Mars. The teenagers must compete in a series of grueling tests, deciding their best strategies for survival. Will they form an alliance or go it alone? Admit their weaknesses or cover them up at all costs?

Kaboom ShopNOwThe Landmine Is Me: There’s a bomb in the school. It's going to explode. Do you know who did it?

The Land Mine is Me is a comic and contemporary take on the life of an adolescent. The school has been evacuated and we meet the misfits, the perfectionists, the drama queens and the socially awkward. More than an angst-riddled exploration of “teenage issues”, The Land Mine is Me asks the audience to consider, how far do you have to push before someone explodes.

front cover6Destinations Collection:
Please Be Seated Cast Size - 7 - 16
Australian Drama Cast Size - 17
Duty Free Cast Size - 11
Was $34.95
Now Only $28

Please Be Seated: 
This is a performance that knows it’s a performance. Collaboratively devised, drawing on verbatim, movement and music, Please be Seated tracks romantic relationships from reflections on the experience of elders, through childhood, into adolescence, then into the turbulent process of falling in and out of love: something that nobody can teach you how to do. It’s open-ended and messy. Lifelike. Like life. Take a seat. Let’s talk about love.

Black Shop NOwAustralian Drama: The drama class is about to start, and that’s not the only thing that’s beginning. These young people love Drama. So does their teacher, but not quite as much as he loves himself. He throws scraps of scripts at them. Fragments of Australian Drama. They all face unusual characters, unfamiliar settings, and blurry motivations as they try to find themselves in the work. Before they can connect with the script they must connect with one another, but how can they possibly make their scene work when they’re so busy working the scene? Australian Drama playfully plays with the playing of plays.

Duty Free: Combining monologue with blog, the spoken word with the social networking update, Duty Free explores the overseas adventures that fill some people’s ‘gap year’. The itinerary is not inclusive of a three-act structure, a hero’s journey, or blinding and timely revelations where it all makes sense. Monologue-based, with interludes of music and movement, it’s a quiet, concentrated, intimate show that travels through identity formation in both lived and described experience. Off on a journey to find yourself? Bon Voyage. There you are.

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Audition season for acting schools around Australia is fast upon us

With hundreds of thousands of plays out there it can be an overwhelming task to find monologues that resonate as prime audition pieces.  To make this process just a smidge easier we bring you ‘Monologue Month’.  

For the month of September we’ll be sharing the tantalising first bites of seven choice monologues from our catalog of plays.  If you like what you read and are keen to dig deeper into the text we’re offering 20% off each of the plays the monologues are from.  

You may be thinking ‘Playlab, you fools.  You’ve already given me half a monologue!  With a bit of pacing, if I pause long enough here and there to build the dramatic tension, I can make this text work as is!  I don’t need to “buy” your “play”.  Who cares what comes next, before or even ever!’.  

We bring you a message from our Artistic Director/ CEO Ian Lawson, a seasoned director who has auditioned actors extensively for the past 20 years:

“Quite simply, you need to read the play. To bring authenticity and integrity to your work you need to fully understand all the forces impacting a character’s life, and the context of the monologue in relation to the whole of the play. That way you can make informed and specific choices that separate you from other actors. If I know a play I can tell pretty quick if an actor hasn’t read it… So, please, read the play”.

At the end of the day a large part of acting is about the choices you make, so make those choices informed ones.

We’ll also be offering 20% off of our existing monologue collections for men and women.  If you purchase one of these collections you will receive a discount code for 20% off the original plays the featured texts are from.  

We hope you enjoy our Monologue Month and find the perfect audition piece you’ve been looking for.

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HEDONISM’S SECOND ALBUM by Claire Christian and David Burton, a comedy that dives into the themes of friendship, success and fame.

Sumo, Male, 20’s, pg 62:

“When I was a kid I made drums out of milk crates and made this fuckin’ awful racket. I think I’d seen something on RAGE — ACDC or some shit. I was six. And my next door neighbour, Tiff, she was super hot for like a six year old and she came over and said I was good. And at that stage my Mum had just left and everything was shit and I was just like — yeah awesome, drums.

My Dad bought me a kit, saved up, and fuck. Drums. I’ve just always played. In high school I was in a band with my best mate then, Scottie. Girls would always lose their shit and be like you’re good — so I was always like, yeah awesome, drums.

I dunno if I even love doing it. I dunno. Just always have. I know I’m not the best, but I know I’m not shit. Just drums is about mates and girls and, yeah, fuckin awesome.

I’m never…”

Need to read the rest?  Grab Hedonism’s Second Album for 20% off.

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THE PINEAPPLE QUEEN by Norman Price, a fantastical black comedy drama about a girl who dreams of being crowned the Glasshouse District’s Pineapple Queen.  Wearing a magnificent dress, riding on a float down the main street of Nambour — a glamorous new life away from the confines of the farm she grew up on with her cruel father.

The Pineapple Queen, Female, 20’s pg 11:

"Mr Mayor; Ladies and Gentlemen; 

Boys and Girls; other finalists; and my sponsor the fire brigade.

Good evening and thank you for attending The Pineapple Queen Talent Quest.  

As you know I grew up on a farm surrounded by delicious Pineapples.  

We grow the pineapples and send them off to the Golden Circle Pineapple Factory.  Golden Circle means so much to me.  And of course to this community.

So tonight, I would like to share with you …”

Need to read the rest?  Grab The Pineapple Queen for 20% off.

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cover image1TROLLOP by Maxine Mellor, a dramatic fantasy. Complex and challenging it both explores and exploits contemporary communication modes.

Eugenie, Female, 20’s, pg 77:

“Story time! I went to an all-girls school.

When I was thirteen I fell madly in love. Her name was Lorraine Kowalski —
She was a couple of years above me, and, I don’t know, different . She had spiky black hair, and wore boots instead of the regular school shoes — I think she lied she had bad ankles or something. Teachers didn’t much bother her anyway; they found her intimidating.

The first time I saw her, she was colouring her nails with a Nikko at assembly. I kept following her secretly at lunch breaks to try to find some way that I could accidentally meet her.

Sometimes her and her little group of outcasts would sneak behind the sports shed, which is a big no-no, and one lunchtime a teacher caught them and banned them from hanging out back there. That’s when I saw my opening..."

 Need to read the rest?  Grab Trollop for 20% off.

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Screen Shot 2017 08 30 at 10.50.38 amOEDIPUS DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE by Daniel Evans. In this dark and savagely funny play we’re led by a chorus of quirky characters into the secret, tragic, desperate lives of a family cursed to be the centre of attention. Evans asks what devils lurk in our own backyards? How do we point the finger when there’s nowhere to lay the blame? And who ends up playing the monster?

Eirene, Female, 18, pg 113:

You weren’t at school. 
I handed in your assignment. 
Your ancient history assignment. 
You got an A Minus. 
Looks just like your handwriting. 
The ‘p’s were hard. 
You put a curl in their tail. 
Took me a few goes. 
But I got them. 
Mrs Samios marked you — me — you — me down for going over the word limit. 
But there was just so much to say, you know? 
I could have written two essays. 

I DID.  

ShopNow BarThat wasn’t funny. 

That was stupid. 

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[To herself, privately:] Stupid..."

Need to read the rest?  Grab Oedipus Doesn't Live Here Anymore for 20% off.

pale blue dot frontcover lowres7PALE BLUE DOT by Kathryn Marquet, a captivating new comedy about aliens, alienation and the terrifying and comforting thought that we are not alone.

Joel, Male, 30, pg, 11:

"It may seem to you that this is unfair. You’re quite right. It is unfair. But let me tell you something about fair. You know nothing about it. Nothing. Zero. 

Because I have had to sit here for six hours and listen to you dissemble and lie, in an altogether humourless and unentertaining manner. And, that, to be quite open and honest, is unfair.

I have had to listen to you while you tell me an unconvincing and, quite honestly, imbecilic lie about how you own a BMW, for which you have conveniently misplaced the purchase receipt and all evidence of its existence in the universe. And, in that BMW, in the glove box, you forgot about the existence of 10,000 dollars worth of jewellery, for which you also happened to misplace the purchase receipt. 

Now, not only has the last six hours of my life left me bored merciless and drained of…” 

Need to read the rest?  Grab Pale Blue Dot for 20% off.

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OLD MAN by Matthew Whittet, is inspired by, and is about, fatherhood. More than that, though, it is about absence and presence. How do we become the people - specifically the parents - we are?

Carol, Female, 60, pg 24:

“When I find him, I get the fright of my life. He’s stepping out

onto King St, straight into the path of the oncoming traffic. And I

can see it’s like he’s blind, like he’s not thinking straight and I

start to scream. I scream out to him to stop, for someone to stop

him. And he still doesn’t hear me. I run from where I am on the

next block, and I can see the first car miss him by a hair’s

breadth, which he still doesn’t even see or register at all, and

then I can see a truck and I think that this is it. This is the

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moment that every mother, every parent dreads.

And all I can do is ...".

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Need to read the rest?  Grab Old Man for 20% off:

Screen Shot 2017 08 30 at 11.34.06 amTHE SUBLIME by Brendan Cowell.  Covering themes of sex, sport and power  The Sublime cuts through the media-managed clichés of professional football, plotting an emotionally charged trajectory to expose human faults that go way beyond the sporting field. 

Dean, Male, 20’s, pg 52 – 53:

"Our brother Jayson was always the one pushing it to the limit — with fun, with motorbikes, on the footy field … and yeah … um … this one night — Queen’s birthday bonfire Jay is off his face on pinga’s and acid and bloody who knows what — running round and like dousing himself with kero, shirt off thinking he is hilarious and everyone’s laughing and not thinking that his actions would be bad in any way. Then … ok Phil, you realise I have never told anyone this? Yeah? Jayson lights a durry off a stick — next thing you know his face is on fire. ’Cos the kero, and then … climbing up flame … body face legs … all of him. Jays. Voom.


Everyone in the park, neighbours, all screaming for Jay ’cos it’s him. Liam grabs Jayson, on fire he grabs him anyway, over his shoulder Liam runs with this ball of orange flame across the park to the houses — he throws him into the O’Brien’s out ground pool. I just … watched. I didn’t know it was real."

Need to read the rest?  Grab The Sublime for 20% off. 

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2017 Edition Digital Downloads: Summer Wonderland + Chasing The Whale

PLB2017 SummerWonderland 13JUL17Summer Wonderland began its life back in 2006. After a meeting at La Boite Theatre Company, I was trying to come up with an idea that would meet their request — “Bring new audiences to La Boite.” 

It was a trip out to see the annual Christmas lights that gave me the answer. Street after street of houses, covered in lights and decorations, celebrating a time of year when we let magic take over for a while. But there was something else. Owners would sit in chairs on their driveway, or cook sausage sizzles on their lawn. They would watch the smiling crowds walk by, looking for a response to their creation. 

Here, deep in the suburbs, an artistic exchange was taking place. Here the very idea of home was art. 

The La Boite production was a huge success, extending its season to meet demand. But it was what happened afterward that surprised me the most. 

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Requests started coming in from community theatres across Australia and New Zealand to perform the play. A play that spoke to their own sense of place. Their own experiences. Their own homes. 

Summer Wonderland has changed a lot over the years. Like a person, a play gathers a better sense of itself over time. I’ve made cuts and strengthened journeys. But always in the spirit of the original idea — that no matter who we are or where we’re from, we’re all in some way going home. 

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Chasing The Whale began its life back in 1999 when a strange image popped into my head. A man in a suit being chased by a desk. 

Intrigued, I began unpacking a story out of that image. 

I’ve been doing it ever since. 

The first version was performed at the Australian Theatre For Young People, directed by David Berthold. The second was at La Boite Theatre Company, directed by Sean Mee. Both were called The Dance of Jeremiah (a name I later abandoned), though they shared little in common. And what it is now is different as well. 

ShopNow WhaleTime and time again, I’m drawn back to this play. The central idea remains the same. The tired man, damaged by ambition, haunted by his creations. Yet every time it shifts and changes, absorbing who I am now. Ideas that once worked fall away and new ideas grow in their place. Over and over. Coming and going, like waves on the shore. 

I’m certain I’ll never be done with it. I’m sure it’s waiting for me down the road, ready to reflect who I’ll be when I get there. 

But here it is now. Here I am now. 

Still chasing the whale.

 - Matthew Ryan  

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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!


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