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QPAC and Playlab are collaborating in2019 to work with First Nations writers to support them through taking their first steps into playwriting, by providing an intensive experience that goes far deeper than a typical introduction class. Taking place over three phases, Sparks is comprised of a 5 day intensive with Moogahlin Performing Arts, and a series of workshops under the guidance of First Nations industry practitioners designed to stimulate ideas, introduce elements of craft and provide strategies for undertaking a brand new script idea into performance. 

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An introductory program to professional playwriting for First Nations writers

Application for Sparks in Conversation closes 6 June 2019.  

Playlab in partnership with QPAC, seek to support 6 First Nations writers taking their first steps into playwriting, offering an intensive experience that goes far deeper than a typical introduction class. 

Under the guidance of a facilitator and industry practitioners, participants will be led through a range of activities and workshops designed to stimulate ideas, introduce elements of craft, and provide strategies for undertaking a brand-new script idea. 

Sparks will take place over 3 Phases.


– 5 day workshop intensive with Moogahlin Performing Arts

– focus on initial concepts, professional development sessions, interactive workshops and cultural conversations


– 8 conversation-based workshops

– participants will be guided through the elements of craft that underpin playwriting. Each workshop will focus on a different element, allowing for deep engagement and will include guest speakers. 


– one-on-one session (1/2 or 1 hr each) to receive feedback to draft for outcome

– outcome aim is reading of work with actors (optional)


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Waverly is a Gumbaynggirr and Barunggam man currently living and studying in Brisbane. He is studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing. Once he finishes his degree he would like to work in the film and theatre industry. 






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Ellen is a Mununjali woman from South East Queensland. Ellen’s first book, the award-winning Heat and Light was published by UQP in 2014, and a poetry collection, Comfort Food (UQP, 2016), followed. Ellen’s writing has been published in Australian and international publications such as Griffith Review, Australian Book Review, The Saturday Paper, The Lifted Brow, Best Australian Short Stories, Best Australian Poems and McSweeney’s. Ellen has had work commissioned by Museum of Brisbane and the National Gallery of Victoria, and made festival and conference appearances across Australia and in The United States, Canada, India and Indonesia.

Ellen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative Writing Production) from QUT. Until late 2016, Ellen was Managing Editor of the black&write! project at the State Library of Queensland.





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Emily is a proud Kamilaroi woman and a passionate creative, born and raised on the Sunshine Coast. Emily is a keen producer and performer whose creative practice spans diverse roles and art forms but particularly focused in theatre, contemporary dance, festivals and non-for-profit arts organisations. Having recently graduated from QUT with a Bachelor of Entertainment Industries with Distinction, Emily is passionate about supporting creatives, empowering our youth and strengthening the visibility of Indigenous knowledges, perspectives and practice in the Australian arts sector. Emily is currently working as a Producer with BlakDance and Supercell: Festival of Contemporary Dance, as well as Assistant Director on Steven Oliver’s new work From Darkness through La Boite Theatre Company’s Assistant Creatives Program.





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Hannah Belanszky is an emerging playwright and actor. Her debut play, Broken Fence, was a finalist of the 2018-19 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award. She wrote, co-directed and performed in her cabaret, The Wives of Wolfgang in Brisbane Powerhouse’s 2017 Wonderland Program . Hannah was the Young Playwright-In-Residence at Playlab in 2017 and is part of the 2019 Sparks program with Playlab in partnership QPAC and Mooghalin Arts as well as Playlab’s Emerging Female Playwrights Commission. As an actor, Hannah has performed in Harrow (ABC Studios), Julius Caesar (4MBS), various short films and was part of the advertising campaigns for Ascent Footwear, Dominos, Humira and Village Retirement Group.





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Aidan is an emerging actor, poet, director and producer based in Brisbane. He is a proud queer Butchulla man from K'gari (Fraser Island). Aidan graduated from the University of Canberra with a Bachelor of Acting and Performance. He has worked in classical and contemporary theatre including Henry V by William Shakespeare, The Chair Plays by Edward Bond, Dislocated and ANTHRO APOLOGY by Alethea Beetson and Digi Youth Arts. He has also performed poetry as a part of IMA's First Thursdays, Queensland Museum's Black Out and Jungle Love Festival to name a few.





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For QTC, Paula has appeared in Head Full of Love (National Tour) Mother Courage and Her Children (co-production with QPAC), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (co-production with Black Swan State Theatre Company), An Oak Tree, The Crucible, The School of Arts (co-production with QPAC). Other Credits: Queensland Arts Council/Artslink: My Story, Your Story, Tales My Mother Told Me, Blow ‘Em; State Library of Queensland: A Night with Paula Nazarski, Yarnin Time, Yuletide Celebrations; QUT: Box the Pony; NAIDOC Week: This Woman’s Journey; Kooemba Jdarra: The Mack, Bitin’ Back, True; Canto Choir: 1975; Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts: Up the Road; Brisbane Festival: Are We There Yet? Film: The Second Sense & Centsability, Australia Day, After The Apology, The Butterfly Tree. Television: Wake In Fright, Hoges, Deadline. Positions: Emerging Artist 2011 – Queensland Theatre Company, Australia Council for the Arts – Indigenous Artist Mentorship 2011. Training: Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts, ACPA; Cert IV in Training and Assessment. Paula is from the Quandamooka country.

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Playlab is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland     



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