Young Playwrights Program

with Mary Rachel Brown and Tommy Murphy

Canberra Youth Theatre’s Young Playwrights Program is a new initiative for 16-25 year-olds who are passionate about developing their skills in playwriting, working with two of Australia’s leading playwrights.

You will spend the first six sessions working with Mary Rachel Brown who will guide you through a series of discussions and practical exercises to create imaginative worlds, build narratives and develop characters in a supportive online environment

This will be followed by two masterclasses with Tommy Murphy who will build upon the discoveries you have made throughout the program, working with you to strengthen your writing and unlock new creative possibilities.

This new program offers young emerging playwrights an exciting opportunity to be part of a collaborative network, learn new skills, discover your creative voice, and create new work for performance.

Thanks to our friends at Australian Plays, each participant will also receive a 12 month subscription giving them access to over 2000 scripts online.

About Mary

Mary has an Associate Diploma in Performing Arts and is the recipient of the following National Playwriting Awards – 2016 Lysicrates Prize, The 2008 Rodney Seaborn Award, 2007 Max Affords Award, and The 2006 Griffin Award. Mary was a writer on Betty Blokk Buster Reimagined for the 2020 Sydney Festival. Her play, Last Letters, has been in repertory at the Australia War Memorial for the last ten years. Her most recent play Dead Cat Bounce opened Griffin Theatre Company’s 2019 season. Mary’s most notable work is The Dapto Chaser, which was commissioned and developed by Merrigong and reproduced by Apocalypse Theatre for Griffin Independent, Glen Street and Hothouse. The play was recently screened at Dendy Cinemas as part of Australian Theatre Live’s program. Other works for the stage include All My Sleep and Waking (Apocalypse Theatre), Permission to Spin (Apocalypse Theatre), Inside Out (Christine Dunstan Productions), and an adaptation of Die Fledermaus (Sydney Conservatorium of Music). Mary’s TV credits include sketch writing for The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting for ABC and several episodes of Home and Away for Channel 7.

About Tommy

Tommy Murphy is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Tommy is the recipient of the 2020 Australia Council Award for Theatre. He is noted for taking real life stories and weaving them into complex dramatic works for stage and screen. His most recent works for stage are Packer & Sons in 2019 and Mark Colvin’s Kidney in 2017, both for Belvoir. Holding the Man, Tommy’s 2006 stage adaptation of Timothy Conigrave’s memoirs, continues to be produced across the world with recent productions in Florence, Chicago, Nashville and London. His screenplay for Holding the Man, for which he was Associate Producer, won the Australian Writers’ Guild Award and the Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay. Netflix distributes the film globally. The stage play started at Griffin before transferring multiple times across Australia culminating in a West End production. It won multiple awards including the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the Australian Writers’ Guild Award and the Philip Parsons Award. Tommy was the youngest and only dual winner in consecutive years of the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, having won for Strangers in Between at Griffin in 2005. Strangers in Between was revived in Melbourne, Sydney and on London’s West End in 2018. Tommy’s adaptation of Lorca’s Blood Wedding formed part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. His play Gwen in Purgatory (Belvoir/La Boite) won the WA Premier’s Award and the Richard Burton Prize. His other plays include Troy’s House (Old Fitz/ATYP) and an adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Massacre at Paris (ATYP). He is a graduate of NIDA’s directing course, a former president of SUDS and a Patrick White Fellow at Sydney Theatre Company. Tommy is currently writing on a series for Stan having been on the writing teams for Foxtel’s Fighting Season (Goalpost Pictures) and Devil’s Playground (winner of the 2015 Logie for Most Outstanding Miniseries and AACTA Award for Best Miniseries). He is also under commission from the Sydney Theatre Company and Belvoir. In 2020 he will develop a new TV series for Foxtel and Fremantle Media. 

This workshop is part of Canberra Youth Theatre’s Emerging Artist Program, and proudly supported by the Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation and Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres.

ENROLEnrol online
WHOages 16-25
DATES/TIMES12 May – 14 July: 8 Sessions
Tuesday 12 May (4:30-6:00pm)
Tuesday 19 May (4:30-6:00pm)
Tuesday 26 May (4:30-6:00pm)
Tuesday 2 June (4:30-6:00pm)
(2 week break)
Tuesday 23 June (4:30-6:00pm)
Tuesday 30 June (4:30-6:00pm)
Tuesday 7 July (4:30-6:00pm)
Tuesday 14 July (4:30-6:00pm)
NOTESThis is an online program. You can review our Online Behaviour Agreement here.