Our Legacy of New Writing
Canberra Youth Theatre is committed to investing in the creation and development of new Australian plays for young people.
From Debra Oswald’s now Australian classic Dags, and works by writers Tommy Murphy, Mary Rachel Brown, Lachlan Philpott, Angela Betzien, Liv Hewson, Ross Mueller, Emily Sheehan, Jessica Bellamy and Tasnim Hossain, we have nurtured new voices and commissioned professional artists to create acclaimed works for young people.
Emerging Playwright Commission
Canberra Youth Theatre’s Emerging Playwright Commission offers a professional commission to an emerging Australian playwright, to create a new full-length work that brings the voices and stories of youth to the stage.
Our Emerging Playwright Commission is generously supported by Holding Redlich.
This initiative places emerging playwrights at the centre of the creative process, and is specifically designed to springboard writers at a crucial point in their career. This commission is for emerging Australian playwrights aged under 35 who have created a modest body of work, but have not yet been professionally produced by a major theatre company.
The commission offers a successful emerging playwright or writing team $16,500 to develop a full-length script suitable to be performed by actors aged anywhere between 7 and 25.
Our goal is to nurture an emerging playwright’s professional growth by investing in their artistic development at the early stages of their career, and supporting them through a creative development process that results in a new, challenging and intelligent theatrical work that expresses the voice of youth, whilst contributing to the development of a rich canon of new Australian plays written especially for young people.
The commissioned playwright will receive dramaturgical support and a creative development workshop on their script in Canberra with the Artistic Director and Resident Artists.
The commissioned playwright receives ongoing dramaturgical support, collaborates with an ensemble of young emerging artists, participates in a series of creative development workshops in Canberra with our Artistic Director and Resident Artists, and sees their script come to life in a staged reading of their work.
The commission will be granted through an open application process, assessed by a panel of young artists and industry professionals, and chosen by the Artistic Director.
The finalists will be invited to attend a special ceremony in Canberra in November where the winner will be announced, receiving a commissioning fee commensurate with the Australian Writers’ Guild theatre rates. In 2022, this is $16,500. Two finalists will receive $1,500 each to support their writing practice.
The successful writer will also have the opportunity to collaborate with other young artists across our Emerging Artists Program, and participate in activities and conversations that contribute to the artistic vision of Canberra Youth Theatre.
Applications are due Monday 11 September 2022 at 11:59pm
Writers must be:
- an Australian citizen or permanent resident aged over 16 and under 35 at the time of applying
- an emerging artist who is in the early stages of their career and has created a modest body of work in the independent sector, but not professionally produced by a major theatre company
We strongly encourage applications from:
- ACT and surrounding regions based artists
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse artists
- Artists who identify as LGBTQIA+
- Artists with disability
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR
- Works that are driven by and exclusively involve young characters.
- Works suitable to be performed by actors aged between 7 and 25 years (you do not need to write for the entire age range)
- Cast size should be a minimum of 8 characters, and be suited for an ensemble cast rather than being driven by one central character
- Plays that will be a minimum one hour long
- Bold ideas that are challenging, intelligent, theatrically adventurous, and give young performers sophisticated, exciting roles to perform and extend their skills
- Stories, ideas and characters that are relevant and authentic to the experiences and passions of young people
- A play that challenges audiences expectations about what theatre created by young people is capable of
WHAT TO SUBMIT
Applications must be submitted as a single PDF file, and include the following:
- Your full contact details (name, pronouns, email, phone number, address, date of birth)
- A synopsis for your proposed play (1 page max)
- Proposed cast size, age group and character breakdown (½ page max)
- A writer’s statement on the inspiration for the work, its urgency, and relevance for young people (½ page max)
- A statement on why this commission is important to you at this stage in your professional career development (½ page max)
- Examples of your existing written work (up to four pages, not material from your proposed play)
- We can only accept one application per person
We understand that developing a submission can be a daunting process, so we encourage you to get in touch, and we can help guide you through the process.
- Shortlisted applicants will be required to participate in a Zoom/in-person interview to provide us with more information about your proposal in order for us to make a final decision
- Successful applicants must be prepared to participate in at least one script development workshop involving young people from Canberra Youth Theatre
- The applicant must exclusively own and control all copyright and all other related rights to the submitted script
- Applicants must be able to deliver a workshop-ready draft by the end of June 2023, and a final performance draft by the end of July 2023
- Canberra Youth Theatre is unable to confirm whether the successful commission will be programmed as part of our annual production season, as this will be dependent on funding, resources and other artistic considerations
HOW TO APPLY
Please email your submission in one PDF document to firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications close Sunday 11 September at 11:59pm. Any submissions after this date may not be considered.
If you have any questions, phone 02 6248 5057.
About The Emerging Playwright Commission
The Emerging Playwright Commission offers a professional commission to an emerging Australian playwright to create a new full-length work that brings the voices and stories of youth to the stage.
The successful playwright:
- Receives ongoing dramaturgical support.
- Collaborates with an ensemble of young emerging artists.
- Participates in a series of creative development workshops.
- Sees their script come to life in a staged reading of their work.
The Emerging Playwright Commission places emerging playwrights at the centre of the creative process and is specially designed to springboard writers at a crucial point in their career.
Our Emerging Playwright Commission is generously supported by Holding Redlich
Connect with us via email or social to be the first to know when applications open.