In 2022, Currency Press initiated and presented the inaugural Australian Playwrights’ Festival and the overwhelmingly positive response to that Festival confirmed the need for a recurring event that focuses on, and celebrates, Australia’s playwrights and the place of playwriting in the arts ecology and the national conversation.
Currency Press is pleased to announce the 2023 Festival of Playwrights to be held from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 August 2023 at ARA Darling Quarter Theatre. This year’s theme, Safe Spaces, Risky Ideas goes to the heart of contemporary theatre practice.
What does it mean to take risk in theatre now? Are challenges to character and form enough, or do we need to re-examine the business practices so as not to alienate others, or indeed core audiences? How can we create spaces that are safe enough to discuss big ideas without the risk of being ‘cancelled’? Or … is cancelling some people the only way to really shake things up?
The Festival will bring together a diverse range of established and emerging writers from around Australia and include a mix of panels and one-on-one conversations.
The keynote address will be given by Andrea James, and panellists and speakers will include Donna Abela, Van Badham, Karla Conway, James Elazzi, Wesley Enoch, Declan Furber Gillick, Kate Gaul, Jane Harrison, Noëlle Janaczewska, Leland Kean, Lee Lewis, Chris Mead, Suzie Miller, Mahdi Mohammadi, Kenneth Moraleda, Margot Politis, Marion Potts, Jordan Shea, Emily Steel, Suzy Wrong and Tiffany Wong.
The Festival will focus on a wide range of risks that playwrights confront, both within their plays and in getting them to the stage: regional challenges; creating a voice for a community in difficult times; clashes within the creative team; the mishaps in live performance when things go wrong; and even how to navigate a career in this risky medium in an age when a media storm can shut down a show, or even a festival.
Playwriting is a vibrant branch of our literary community, but we rarely hear from the playwrights themselves and this Festival gives them the opportunity to share their work and experiences with each other and a general public audience.
The Currency Press Festival of Playwrights brings our playwrights out of their garrets and into the spotlight. It’s a rare opportunity to celebrate our playwrights from all over Australia and a wide variety of backgrounds, to share their myriad stories and ideas with a general public audience, and to hear what motivates and inspires them.
Currency Press Festival of Playwrights
ARA Darling Quarter Theatre – Terrace 3, 1-25 Harbour Street, Darling Harbour (Sydney)
Dates: Friday 25 – Sunday 27 August 2023
For more information and program, visit: www.currency.com.au for details.
Image: Currency Press Festival of Playwrights (supplied)