The $25,000 award gives the Fellow the opportunity to work at Belvoir in 2021 as a resident artist to create their work. In 2020, the Fellowship is open both to playwrights to write a new play, as well as directors or writer/directors that can lead the creation of an Indigenous-led new stage work, whether that be a new play, an adaptation or through a devised process. It also includes an invitation to have a voice in Belvoir’s artistic decision-making processes.
“The Balnaves Fellowship is a great way to make change, to give First Nations artists more autonomy, more artistic support, and more of a voice,” said Eamon Flack, Artistic Director at Belvoir. “It’s one small part of the big national job of truth-telling, and we see this Fellowship as a key to Belvoir’s role in that.”
The Fellowship model seeks to be deeply collaborative and to support the selected Fellow to create a work for the stage, engage the Fellow in the experience of being in a company structure, and offers the opportunity to support other Indigenous artists through Belvoir’s creative development and programming processes.
“We are proud to once again be supporting a platform for Indigenous artists to create contemporary Australian stories through the Balnaves Fellowship,” said Hamish Balnaves, Chief Executive Officer of The Balnaves Foundation.
The Balnaves Fellowship (previously the Balnaves Award) has long been recognised as one of the most prestigious playwriting awards in Australia, attracting entrants of the highest calibre. Previous recipients (including Leah Purcell, Nakkiah Lui, Ursula Yovich and Nathan Maynard) have submitted exceptional works that consistently affirm the depth of talent amongst our nation’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre-makers.
“Belvoir have a genuine love for their artists. And because of this, I’ve fallen for them. It’s a love story. A creative love story built on mutual respect and the shared dream of getting the best out of my play,” said 2019 Balnaves Fellow Nathan Maynard of his time with Belvoir.
Submissions are open now and close on Friday 28 August 2020 – 6.00pm. The 2020 Balnaves Foundation Fellow will be announced as part of Belvoir’s 2021 Season Launch. For more information, including entry guidelines, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details.
Image: Belvoir St Theatre – photo by Daniel Boud