The Silver Gull Play Award 2022 shortlist announced

New-Theatre-Silver-Gull-©-Michael-TonkinWith an extremely high standard of scripts submitted and a chance to share in a total prize pool of $7000 courtesy of sponsor The Buzz From Sydney, New Theatre has announced the four plays shortlisted for The Silver Gull Play Award 2022.

The judging panel read, assessed and discussed each submission multiple times. The identity of the writers was kept anonymous from the judges, so the shortlist truly reflects a determination made on merit, based solely on the quality of writing.

After a month of deliberation, a shortlist of four has been selected. The shortlisted plays have all responded with imagination, intelligence and insight to the brief for plays that speak to New Theatre’s ethos of Plays with a Purpose – engaging with contemporary society and the challenges that we face and demonstrating the strength and diversity of playwriting in this country.

The shortlist for The Silver Gull Play Award 2022 is:

Inside Out by Christopher Bryant
Fighting by Xavier Coy
God in Space by Jeanette Cronin
Miriam by James Elazzi

The judging panel for this year’s award is: Louise Fischer (Artistic Director, New Theatre), Helen Tonkin (Artistic Associate, New Theatre), Joy Minter (independent producer, and sponsor of the award), New Theatre’s Play Assessors panel (John Keightley, Annie Bilton, Sahn Millington, Michael Briggs, Patrick Howard, Doug Cairns, Susan Jordan), Victor Kalka (freelance director and designer), and Tiffany Wong (freelance actor, director, producer).

About the Writers:

Christopher Bryant
Christopher is a Griffin Award nominated playwright (Home Invasion, 2015), performer, and NIDA graduate (Master of Fine Arts (Writing for Performance), 2014). He has worked with a range of companies including fortyfivedownstairs, Malthouse Theatre, the State Library of Victoria, Wheeler Centre, ATYP, La Mama, and the Emerging Writer’s Festival. Recent work includes his “rich & textured” play The Other Place (Flora Georgiou) written during his SLV Creative Fellowship, which debuted at Theatre Works in 2019, and his “coup of pop culture [and] social satire” Home Invasion at Old 505 in 2018 (The Buzz from Sydney). He’s been mentored by Nicola Gunn and Amelia Roper, been developed through the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha (Disinhibition, 2018) and continued to tour his award-winning “daring experiment in audience unease”, Intoxication (Glam Adelaide). He’s also had plays published through Play Lab and Australian Plays. As an author he’s been published by Star Observer, Hello, Mr. Magazine, That Reminds Me, and Thought Catalog. He was a finalist for Scribe’s Nonfiction Prize, Frankie Magazine’s “Good Stuff” Awards, and was the Writer-in-Residence at the Boyd Community Hub (2019), developing a memoir, Accidents Happen. He has taught with tertiary institutions around the country and completed his Ph.D. (2020) at Monash University, under the supervision of Jane Montgomery Griffiths. Christopher’s play Disinhibition was shortlisted for The Silver Gull Play Award in 2018.

Xavier Coy
Xavier is a Sydney based writer and actor. Xavier wrote on season two of Channel 10’s acclaimed television series Five Bedrooms and has completed a development room for The Full Box’s adaptation of their documentary into a drama series Opal Cove. In 2017 Xavier was awarded the Terracini Estate Residency for writing. Xavier’s writing credits also include Not Even God Can Save Us (ACA), The World According To Jerry (KXT Storytellers Festival), Buried (The Old 505 Theatre), Are You Listening Now? (The Old 505 Theatre), Caught Out (Sydney Fringe Festival and Bondi Feast) which took out the NIDA Award for Best Writer & winner of Sydney Fringe Award at the 2018 Sydney Fringe Festival, Distorted (The Old 505 Theatre), Charles & Larry (Flightpath Theatre) and Agency’ (KXT Storytellers Festival). Recent and exciting news sees Caught Out being adapted into a musical format in collaboration with Squabbalogic Independent Musical Theatre Inc. which has been funded by Create NSW and a federal Rise Grant. Xavier has producing attachments for his feature films, the comedy, The Dream’ (Sugary Rum Productions) and a drama Changing Tides (Goose Bridle Productions).

Jeanette Cronin
Jeanette is an actor and writer. Her first play Tell Me Again, produced by Eye of the Storm, premiered at The Old 505 Theatre in 2014 and in 2019 received a workshop and rehearsed reading at the Arcola Theatre in London. In 2015 Jeanette co-devised with director, Peter Mountford, the one-woman show Queen Bette, about the life of screen legend Bette Davis, produced by G.Bod Theatre for Mardi Gras 2015 at The Old 505 Theatre, with return seasons in 2016 and 2019, The Hunter Valley Summer Theatre Festival, 2016 and Gasworks Arts Park for Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival, 2020. Jeanette’s second play I Hate You My Mother, produced by Real Harpy and Whitebox, premiered at The Old Fitz in 2017, and her third play I Love You Now premiered at The Eternity Playhouse for Darlinghurst Theatre Company, also in 2017. In 2020 two new plays were shortlisted for major awards. Rest, which deals with domestic violence in regional Australia was in the final ten nominees for the prestigious Alpine International Playwriting Award and Victim, which explores sexual harassment in the entertainment industry in the time #metoo and social media was shortlisted for The Silver Gull Play Award. Recent screenplays include Poo Boy, an episode of It’s Fine, I’m Fine, a funny-sad web-series about therapy which had its international premiere in competition at Cannes Short Series 2022 and its Australian premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival, also in 2022. In 2021, Shattered, the Australian component of the multi award-winning film, LockEdown Locked In, an international project reflecting the spike in domestic violence during the COVID 19 pandemic garnered Jeanette, along with her international colleagues, Best Original Screenplay at the Athens International Art Film Festival, 08, 2021. In 2020 Jeanette contributed Paradise is Silent, an iambic spoken word poem, to Come To Where I Am, Australia, produced by Critical Stages, Australia and Paines Plough, London. Jeanette has worked extensively as an actor in theatre, film and television and has participated in several Australian National Playwrights’ Conferences as well as numerous readings and development workshops for Playwriting Australia, Playworks, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre and Griffin and has contributed significantly as both actor and dramaturge to many Australian premiered works.

James Elazzi
James is a Sydney-based writer and director. His stage play Son of Byblos was shortlisted for the 2020 Silver Gull Play Award, and subsequently produced by (BNW/Belvoir 25A) in May 2022. Queen Fatima was shortlisted for the 2022 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premier’s Literary Award and produced by the National Theatre of Parramatta/2021 Sydney Festival with a sold-out season. Lady Tabouli was shortlisted for the 2021 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and was produced by National Theatre of Parramatta/2020 Sydney Festival. In 2019, Omar and Dawn was produced by King Cross Theatre 2019/Green Door/Apocalypse with a sold-out season. James was selected to be part of the 2019-2021 Sydney Theatre Company Emerging Writers’ Program. He was named one of AMP’s 2021 Tomorrow Maker’s in Excellence to Screen/Stage Writing and awarded a grant to write a new script which is Karim’s Cello, shortlisted for the Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award. In July 2022, James wrote, directed and produced his first short film, Yannis.

New Theatre will present rehearsed readings of excerpts of the four plays at the awards night on Monday 10 October, when the winner will be announced. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Silver Gull – artwork by © Michael Tonkin