Putting the Nation on Stage

50 Playwrights send postcards to Dear Australia

June 22, 2020

Between 2-5 July, 50 fearless and inspiring new short works from some of Australia’s best playwrights will be simultaneously livestreamed by more than 30 performing arts organisations from across Australia.

Dear Australia will be an extraordinary national moment led by Australian playwrights.

At a time when a pandemic has forced reflection and change, these playwrights have responded to questions that get to the heart of where our nation is and where it might go.

What is happening right now? What is being revealed about us? What are we not paying attention to? Where do we want to go next?

These stories are postcards addressed to Dear Australia.

Playwriting Australia (PWA), the national body for the development of Australian plays and playwrights, invited 25 theatre organisations from across Australia to each nominate two playwrights. PWA then commissioned these 50 playwrights to each write a short monologue, which were then filmed by 50 extraordinary actors, many in their own homes.

These moving and sometimes provocative stories will be grouped over three nights and live streamed by the partner theatres, along with major performing arts centres such as Arts Centre Melbourne, Sydney Opera House, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Canberra Theatre Centre and Darwin Entertainment Centre.

David Berthold, the interim Executive Chair of Playwriting Australia, said that this was a project that “not only elevates the voice of playwrights, but also demonstrates the huge diversity of voices this nation enjoys.”

Recent months have exposed and prised open many cracks in our society. These 50 micro works address major questions, allowing us to see into some of those cracks, but also inviting us to see light ahead. These stories are, in turn, confronting and comforting. Together, they are a revelation and unique celebration of Australian voices.”

Participating playwrights include Richard Frankland, Nakkiah Lui, Anchuli Felicia King, Suzie Miller and Jada Alberts, along with actors such as Jack Thompson, Miranda Tapsell, Helen Thomson, Danielle Cormack, Peter Carroll and Tasma Walton.

A Dear Australia panel discussion will be broadcast from the Joan Sutherland Theatre by the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 4 July at 7pm as part of its Digital Season.

The scripts of the Dear Australia monologues will published by Australian Plays and will be available Monday 6 July on their website.

These snapshots will be a unique account of these times and a striking moment of national celebration and reflection.    

Dear Australia livestreams over three nights (Thursday 2 July, Friday 3 July and Sunday 5 July) on multiple Facebook pages and on Playwriting Australia’s YouTube channel).     

Thurs 2 July and Fri 3 July       7pm (NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas, ACT)

6.30pm (SA, NT)

5pm (WA)

Sun 5 July                                 5pm (NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas, ACT)

4.30pm (SA, NT)

3pm (WA)

Dear Australia

A project of Playwriting Australia

The playwright-performer line-up:

  • Nakkiah Lui with Miranda Tapsell
  • Elena Carapetis with Elena Carapetis
  • Ellen van Neerven with Elaine Crombie
  • Sam Nerida with Helen Thomson
  • Claire Christian with Megan Wilding
  • Morgan Rose with Emily Goddard
  • Dan Giovannoni with James Majoos
  • Bumpy Favell with Jessica Window
  • Diane Stubbings with Jennifer Hagan
  • Mark Rogers with Steve Rodgers
  • Emele Ugavule with Anthony Taufa
  • Ross Mueller with Marco Chiappi
  • Eric Gardiner with Kevin Hofbauer
  • Finegan Kruckemeyer with Glenn Hazeldine
  • Anchuli Felicia King with Catherine Văn-Davies
  • Bjorn Stewart with Bjorn Stewart
  • Mary Anne Butler with Roxanne McDonald
  • Glenn Shea with Kelton Pell
  • Jada Alberts with Tasma Walton
  • Stephen Carleton with Belinda Giblin
  • Chris Beckey with Mémé Thorne
  • Aanisa Vylet with Alaa Sukkarieh
  • Merlynn Tong with Fiona Choi
  • Brendan Hogan with Connor David Skillicorn
  • Tasnim Hossain with Arka Das
  • Catherine McKinnon with Jane Phegan
  • James Taylor with Kyle Morrison
  • Kathryn Marquet with John Batchelor
  • James Elazzi with Sam Khatib
  • Kathryn Ash with James Frencheville
  • Rachael Chisholm with Shaka Cook
  • Julianne O’Brien with Greg Stone
  • Peter Cook with Stephen Phillips
  • Susan Rogers with Peter Carroll
  • H Lawrence Sumner with Shakira Clanton
  • Donna Abela with Helana Sawires
  • Barbara Hostalek with Rayma Morrison
  • Gretel Vella with Harriet Gordon Anderson
  • Liv Satchell with Belinda McClory
  • Lucy Combe with Kate O’Reilly
  • Janis Balodis with Jacek Koman
  • Suzie Miller with Emma Jackson
  • Kylie Coolwell with Angeline Penrith
  • Nathan Maynard with Richard Green
  • Matt Hawkins with Pontsho Nthupi
  • Willoh S Weiland with Kris McQuade (Puppet by Noah Casey)
  • Tariro Mavondo with Carly Sheppard
  • Kamarra Bell-Wykes with Danielle Cormack
  • Future D Fidel with Pacharo Mzembe
  • Richard Frankland with Jack Thompson

With the participation of Australian Theatre for Young People, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, Blue Cow Theatre, Brink Productions, Brown’s Mart, Griffin Theatre Company, HotHouse Theatre, Ilbijerri Theatre Company, Jute Theatre Company, La Boite Theatre Company, La Mama, Merrigong Theatre Company, Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Moogahlin Performing Arts, NORPA, PlayLab, Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta, South Australian Playwrights Theatre, The Street Theatre, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Theatre Works, Windmill Theatre Company, and Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company.