Darlinghurst Theatre Company Playwrights’ development program NEXT IN LINE to resume

Darlinghurst-Theatre-NEXT-IN-LINEDarlinghurst Theatre Company has announced that its Next In Line program will resume as planned, thanks to a City of Sydney Cultural Grant. Announced in September last year, the program is a strong manifestation of the company’s commitment to artists, showcasing upcoming, fresh and boundary-pushing playwrights.

Co-Artistic Directors, Amylia Harris and Glenn Terry have welcomed this new direction. “We are thrilled to have the City of Sydney’s support as we enter the new-writing arena,” said Harris. “Next In Line is an opportunity to evolve our artist-led mandate to establish a new arm of activity to include new in-house pathways for writers.”

Next In line was programmed through an open submission process, which called for works that provide a fresh take on the world and provoke wider and deeper thinking across the community. The submissions were assessed by a panel of respected and award-winning theatre makers and industry leaders, including Warwick Doddrell, Amy Sole, and Courtney Stewart.

Jordyn Fulcher’s work Cat Piss looks at the toxicity and validity of modern angry women as they fight against a society that has claimed ownership of their bodies.

Phoebe Grainer and Wendy Mocke’s Jelbu Meri explores the lived experiences of an Aboriginal woman and Papua New Guinean woman, growing up in Australia. It is a signal to cleanse; a call to love; and, for the black woman, it is a timely stand of resistance.

Kirsty Marillier’s The Zap, winner of the 2020 Max Afford Award, is a piece of intersectional feminist speculative fiction spanning the years from 2019 until 2022 and explores what happens when those in power deny the truth to the world.

Moreblessing Maturure’s No Pink Dicks is an incisive look at intercultural relationships from a black female perspective on how we reconcile or ignore the conflict that exists between our individual drives and political beliefs.

Saman Shad’s Nas’s Marriage Agency is a riotous family comedy that follow’s the eponymous hero on a mission to prove that Westerners will benefit from the tradition of arranged marriage.

The sixth work included in the program is Dylan Van Den Berg’s Way Back When, winner of the 2020 Griffin Award. The work appropriates western theatrical tradition and infuses it with unapologetic Indigenous content to emphasise the colonial stranglehold on culture, values and art

All developments will be writer-led, bringing together a stellar team of dramaturgs, directors and actors for a week to grow each play. The playwrights will work alongside the Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s newly named Producer and Head of New Writing, Leila Enright.

Next In Line is an acknowledgment that our writing community is a precious commodity, that playwrights have the power to shift, change and join us as people,” says Enright.

Next In Line is the next step on a path to recovery following the March shutdown, and a commitment to keeping the company active and adaptive. At the time of theatre closures, Amylia Harris announced that she wanted to analyse Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s role in the social and theatre ecology and how it could serve both, as society gradually returned to normal.

As soon as the Government’s restrictions were eased, Harris programmed the Red Carpet Cabaret in June, during which Darlinghurst Theatre Company was one of the first theatres to reopen its doors. The extraordinary response and interest from audiences led to the extension of the season, with additional performances added in July.

Further details about the works in development will be made available as the Next In Line program continues. For more information, visit: www.darlinghursttheatre.com for details.

Image: Next In Line participants – courtesy of Darlinghurst Theatre Company