Playwrights & Dramaturgs – Page to Stage 2024

 

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Meet our 2024 Playwrights and Dramaturgs

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SHARYN HENDERSON working with Brooke Fairley
HANNAH FLANNERY working with Cathy Hunt
LOUISE HOPEWELL    ‘Vagabond’      working with Enya Daly
LOUISE MENTOR   ‘The Protea Plantation’      working with Steven Boltz

 

 

S H A R Y N   H E N D E R S O N

A secondary school educator for the past 24 years, ‘Querencia Calling’ is Sharyn’s first attempt at a full-length play. Her introduction writing for theatre came through the 2023 Scratch Night writing program in her home town of Sale, Gippsland. Sharyn has written and performed both monologues and short plays in the Scratch Night “rehearsed reading” format and continues to work with a small local network of talented, passionate and supportive women writers, with a focus on creating new works that celebrate the importance of women as the keepers and sharers of stories.

 

SCRIPT    ‘Querencia Calling’

“Everyone carries an invisible backpack.  Filled with past experiences, emotions, dreams, pain, challenges and successes. Some days it feels too heavy to bear. On those days, who will you ask to help carry the load?” Inspired by this idea, Querencia Calling explores the role of friendship in shaping not only who we are, but who we want to be. Relationships inevitably change over time, and this play introduces us to 5 friends whose connection spans from their university days to their current “mid-life” and examines the bonds that can remain strong even after life and distance get in the way. It poses the question; how well do you really know those you are closest to? Do you know what they’re carrying in their backpack, and are you brave enough to tell them what is in yours? There is a little bit of all of us in each of these characters, the good, the bad, the mildly frustrating.  The audience is invited to reflect on their own relationships, and ask the question – what would you do for the people who feel like home?

B R O O K E    F A I R L E Y

Brooke is a practising dramaturg, playwright and theatre maker. After graduating with a Bachelor of Theatre, she worked professionally as an actor in stage and on screen and has participated in many festivals as an actor, writer, producer and script assessor. Brooke’s interests lie in new work and production dramaturgy. She will have her work produced at La Mama later this year while writing a play about the ethical boundaries surrounding AI and genetic coding and a duologue set in the Australian Gothic genre. Brooke has been a dramaturg for the Page to Stage program since 2021. She holds a Master of Theatre Dramaturgy from VCA and works as a teaching artist for NIDA Open, running classes on dramatic writing.

 

H A N N A H   F L A N N E R Y

Hannah Flannery is an actor, writer, and theatre maker, originally from Lennox Head in New South Wales. After graduating from QUT with a Bachelor of Fine Art in Drama, Hannah has trained and performed with the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, Backbone Youth Arts, Brisbane Arts Theatre, and Big Fork Theatre. As a writer they have contributed to Wallflower Theatre Company’s I Hate To Tell You This and Lunch Friend’s 34 Scenes About the Weather, participated in La Boite Theatre’s Assembly program, and have written creative nonfiction for Astray and Supanova Pop Culture.

 

SCRIPT    ‘Katabasis’

Katabasis is a reclamation of the story of Mary Shelley: peel back layers of folk legend, gossip, and forbidden romance, and you find a young woman struggling to find herself amongst the ruins of her life. It’s a ghost story, where Mary conjures up and confronts those who have wronged her, drags the rotten corpse of her legacy out of the earth and demands to be heard. I have been working on this piece for some time now, and it’s at the point where sitting alone at my computer won’t progress its development any further – it needs to be up on its feet, to come alive. This is the second draft of the play – the first being much different in structure and form, with three other actors present. This one is much closer to the soul of the thing, but I am seeking guidance and development through the Page to Stage program, to potentially strike a balance between the two structures. I am deeply passionate about this piece and hope to see it through to production.

C A T H Y   H U N T

Cathy Hunt is a director and dramaturg who trained at the VCA. Work includes: 7 Captiva RdLittle Brother, Big SisterPhantasmagoria, What Every Girl Should KnowLove/Chamberlain by Bridget Mackey and Her Father’s Daughter by Keziah Warner. Les Mamelles de Tiresias, an opera she directed, won a Green Room Award. Cathy was dramaturg on Keziah Warner’s LuNa, which won the Patrick White Playwright’s Award. A work co-created with Shannon Loughnane (I’m Going to Die in This Bracket) was nominated for Best TheatreMelbourne Fringe. Cathy created Ms Beige Brown Goes Beyond as alter ego Beige Brown for MICF. Upcoming work includes Recollection by Georgia Ketels at fortyfivedownstairs.

 

L O U I S E   H O P E W E L L

Louise Hopewell is a writer based in Naarm/Melbourne. Her short plays and monologues have been widely performed, including at Madwomen Monologues, Short+Sweet Dubai and Hollywood, as well as PlaySix. In 2023 she won a Diotima Prize for Philosophy, Drama and the Female Voice. Louise is thrilled to be selected for Page to Stage for a second time, having participated with her play Only Human in 2022. When not writing Louise can be found riding her bicycle or playing the ukulele.

 

SCRIPT    ‘Vagabond’

I wrote Vagabond because I have a strong personal commitment to shining a light on the achievements of forgotten women from Australia’s history. I stumbled across the work of investigative journalist Catherine Hay Thomson through an article in The Conversation. Writing at a time when female journalists were frowned on, Catherine went undercover to blow the whistle at some of Marvelous Melbourne’s most prominent institutions, including the Kew Lunatic Asylum. Rather than being a purely historical piece, I wanted the play to have current relevance which is why I chose to set it partly in the modern age. Almost every day there are media reports about the relentless trolling of female journalists and other high-profile women which made me reflect on how Catherine would be treated if she were to write today and ponder whether we really have progressed as a society, in terms of how women who go against norms and speak out are treated.

E N Y A   D A L Y

Enya Daly is a dramaturg, actor and teaching artist based in Naarm (Melbourne). She is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts (Master of Theatre- Dramaturgy), National Institute of Dramatic Art (BFA- Acting), and SHOWFIT (full-time musical theatre training program). Enya has worked with Theatre Works’ She Writes Collective, Melbourne Writers Theatre’s Page to Stage program and Antipodes Winter Lab to dramaturgically develop the works of emerging and established playwrights. She was also the new writing and production dramaturg on SLUTNIK™ by Flick (Melbourne Fringe & Theatre Works. Dir. Tansy Gorman) and dramaturgy intern on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Michael Cassel Group). Acting credits include Realish (Melbourne Theatre Company- Cybec Electric), Kirk’s Backyard (Malthouse Theatre- creative development), That Was Friday and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again (House of Sand. Dir. Charley Sanders), The Gruffalo’s Child and Spot- Live on Stage (CDP. Dir. Liesel Badorrek), and The Moors (Siren Theatre. Dir. Kate Gaul). Enya is Lecturer in Movement at JMC Academy and a NIDA Open teaching artist.

 

L O U I S E   M E N T O R

Louise Mentor (B. Arts) is a multi-faceted writer known for her gripping stories, with international screenwriting and script editing experience across film, TV, and the stage. Australian feature film credits include “Pimped” and “The Reef 2.” Stage credits include “The Beginning” with The Revolter Collective for the Old Fitz. Her work has been published in anthologies including “Haunted Rock” and is a published novelist under a pseudonym. An alumni of Varuna, she has also worked for the United Nations supporting Caribbean filmmakers during the pandemic.

 

SCRIPT    ‘The Protea Plantation’

The Protea Plantation explores the human connection with nature, how we attempt to dominate and control it. It’s also about psychological manipulation and misguided acts of passion.

S T E V E N   T.   B O L T Z

Steven T. Boltz is a writer, director, and creative writing instructor originally from the US. He writes for film, television, and theatre, and switches from one to the next with alarming frequency, often blurring the lines as he goes. He has been described – not inaccurately – as writing movies for the stage. His play “Orson Welles and The Mercury Theater on the Air in ‘The War of the Worlds’ by HG Wells,” co-written with Amy Hollow, was staged in 2018 for the 80th anniversary of Welles’ infamous radio broadcast. In 2022, “Lenore – A Tale of Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance,” inspired by the works of Edgar A. Poe and the films of Roger Corman, premiered in Melbourne. Recently, three of his one-acts – “Reflections Over Lunch at Alice’s Cafe,” “Leftovers,” and “Life of the Mind” – were published by Maverick Musicals and Plays. Steve and his wife, Lourdes Zamanillo, own and operate The Knack Theatre, a hub for artistic expression and community engagement established in 2021.

 

PAGE TO STAGE 2024 will be administered with a grant from the Rodney Seaborn Playwriting Support Fund.
We gratefully acknowledge the ongoing support of The Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation for this program.