Page To Stage

Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta’s inaugural playwriting mentorship program, Page to Stage, took place in 2016-2017. Applications have closed for our 2021 program.

Our 2021 program is aimed at nurturing and developing committed writers who live and/or work in Western Sydney to embed their work into the Australian theatre culture. This high level training program provides a unique opportunity for writers to see their plays come to life over a twelve month period.

Ten playwrights will be selected to undertake an intensive playwriting course that includes mentorship and script development opportunities over a twelve month period with playwright Donna Abela.

The 2021 Page to Stage revamped course is more rigorous and expansive, and has a focus on writer development (developing and sustaining a practice), not just script writing and story development.

Writer development will include being a student of other people’s plays – a critical reader of plays. We have expanded the course to include tasks that foster play reading and play critique that specifically develops dramaturgical literacy – how did this writer make this play?

Our aim in the Page to Stage 2021 course is to foster an environment in which the participants can support each other to become agile and informed writers. A commitment equal to a university level creative writing course would be required.

Page to Stage 2021 tutor – Donna Abela

Donna Abela’s body of work includes plays which have won the Griffin Playwriting Prize and the AWGIE award for Stage (Jump for Jordan), AWGIE awards for radio (Spirit, Auroras Lament, Mrs Macquaries Cello), the Human Rights Award for Drama (Highest Mountain Fastest River), and been nominated for NSW Premiers Literary Awards and the AWGIE Award for Children’s Theatre (Tales From the Arabian Night). For Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image, she wrote two large scale adaptations: Monkey … Journey to the West (2014 Brisbane Festival, 2015 Melbourne Festival, 2015 Sydney Opera House program) and Tales from the Arabian Nights, a widely produced play on refugee themes which was published by Currency Press in 2019. Donna completed her doctorate at the University of Wollongong where she teaches in the creative writing program. She also teaches scriptwriting at Excelsia College, works extensively as a dramaturge, mentor and teaching artist, and is a proud founding member of PYT Fairfield and 7ON Playwrights.


Applications closed

All Page to Stage applicants will be invited to join a workshop

In this workshop, the emphasis is on thinking on your feet, keeping it loose and wild, and working collaboratively, to generate a first draft of a short play by the end of the day.

Date: Saturday 14 Nov 10.00am – 6.00pm

Program Dates

2020 dates

December briefing for successful participants – team welcome and meet and greet.
Thursday 10 Dec 6pm – 8pm via ZOOM

2021 dates (10.00am – 4.00pm)

Saturday 16 Jan
Saturday 20 Feb
Saturday 20 March
Saturday 17 April
Saturday 15 May
Saturday 19 June
Saturday 17 July
Saturday 21 August
Saturday 18 September
Saturday 16 October FINAL

There is an expectation you will attend all sessions.

Page to Stage Private facebook group

All participants must join a private Page to Stage facebook group to allow interaction between the tutor and participants.

How to apply

Applications have closed


The fee for the 2021 Page to Stage program is $500.

National Theatre of Parramatta supports equity and access for artists.  If the fee is a barrier to your participation we strongly encourage you to contact Leigh Russell for a confidential  discussion


Want to find out more:  .

Contact Leigh Russell

Previous Page to Stage participants included:
James Elazzi (Lady Tabouli), Nik Atkins (BOOM), Monikka Eliah (Garage Sale)