Playwrights David Burton, Jordan Shea and Steve Rodgers, have been selected as finalists for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2025, Australia’s most significant national playwriting prize. These three finalists were chosen out of more than 200 entries from some of Australia’s most outstanding writers.
David Burton’s The Good Dad shares the story of a young father suddenly left at home with his two young daughters, in a brutally honest portrayal of the grind of modern parenting. This play both entertains and horrifies in ways that all parents will recognise.
Jordan Shea’s Malacañang Made Us is a tender dramedy that follows two Filipino brothers separated in 1986 amid Ferdinand Marcos’ 21-year dictatorship and their reunion nearly 40 years later in Australia. It is an ambitious, eye-opening, and complex story.
Steve Rodgers’ The Future is History is a captivating story set over just one night, telling of a mother chasing a dream for her daughter and the lengths she will go to, to ensure she has a better life. This story speaks of the growing opportunity divide between the classes.
All three scripts will receive creative development in 2024, with the winning play to premiere in Queensland Theatre’s 2025 Season. The winning playwright will also receive ongoing mentorship from some of the state’s renowned theatre makers, $16,000 to develop their play and a substantial $30,000 cash prize from Griffith University, the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award sponsor.
With 215 submissions received, Premier Steven Miles commended playwrights David Burton, Jordan Shea and Steve Rodgers on their compelling stories.
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said powerful storytelling is at the heart of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award which supports the extraordinary work of playwrights from across Australia.
“Queensland Government support of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award (QPDA) enables writers to develop and share their stories, generating work for actors and artsworkers, and providing opportunities for Queensland audiences to experience vibrant new theatre work,” said Minister Enoch.
“Since 2002, the QPDA has created opportunities for more than 270 artists, writers and directors, who have shared their talents on the Queensland Theatre mainstage to audiences of more than 40,000.
“Congratulations to the three finalists for this year’s Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, I know audiences will treasure the rich and diverse stories you share,” said the Minister.
The anticipation for the upcoming winner follows enormous success from previous award recipients, including 2022-23 award winner Ryan Enniss and his play Drizzle Boy which premiered in Brisbane in March 2023 and was recently announced to be touring the state as part of Queensland Theatre’s 2024 Season.
Queensland Theatre Artistic Director, Lee Lewis is thrilled to embark on another journey of producing the extraordinary work of the next award winner. “We’ve had the honour of presenting the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award for over two decades now,” said Lewis.
In collaboration with the Queensland Government and the generous support of Griffith University, this unique award continues to bring new stories to Queensland audiences and introduces new voices to our great state. There is nothing like it in the rest of the country.”
“It’s always a privilege to read the early drafts of plays and watch them flourish into incredible stories. Thank you again to all the playwrights who submitted their plays. Every year I am blown away by the depth of the playwrighting talent in this country,” said Lewis.
Former winners of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award include: Ryan Enniss (Drizzle Boy), Steve Pirie (Return to the Dirt), David Megarrity (The Holidays), Michele Lee (Rice) and Daniel Evans (Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore).
For more information about the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, visit: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au for details.
Image: David Burton, Jordan Shea and Steve Rodgers – courtesy of Queensland Theatre