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Australian Theatre Festival NYC Announce 2022 New Play Award Finalists

The award is generously sponsored by Shane & Cathryn Brennan.

Australian Theatre Festival NYC Announce 2022 New Play Award Finalists

Co-Artistic Directors Mark Barford, Connor Delves and Jillian Geurts today announce six finalists for the Australian Theatre Festival NYC 2022 New Play Award.

The award is generously sponsored by Shane & Cathryn Brennan.

The 2022 New Play Award Finalists are (in alphabetical order):

'Blood in the Water' by Jorja Bentley,

'Paradise Lost' by Melissa-Kelly Franklin,

'No Pink Dicks' by Moreblessing Maturure,

'They're not listening' by Jordan Shea,

'Ways to Drown a Fish' by Stella Webster,

'Hush Hush' by Cassandra-Elli Yiannacou.

"We are excited to announce these six playwrights as finalists for the 2022 New Play Award. The third annual award saw an exciting number of new Australian plays submitted from all over the world. As a team we were blown away by the quality of work and applaud all the playwrights that shared their plays with us this year. Our six finalists represent a diverse range of new Australian writing that inspired us deeply and we are proud to acknowledge them in this way. The award exists to help fulfill our mission of celebrating and showcasing Australian plays and artists in New York City, and we are grateful to our award sponsors, Shane and Cathryn Brennan, for helping us to make this happen." expressed Barford, Delves and Geurts.

'Blood in the Water' by Jorja Bentley

When Ruth's son is accused of perpetrating a violent sexual assault, her world shatters. Blood in the Water explores the themes of nature vs nurture, the Australian judicial system, generational trauma, consent culture, and reverently so, the boundaries of a mother's unconditional love.

Jorja Bentley (she/her) is an actor, writer, producer, and community service worker, based in Naarm/ Melbourne, Australia. Having initially completed her Psychology Honours Degree, she then moved into the artistic space where she completed intensive acting training at the Howard Fine Acting Studio and her Master of Theatre (Writing) at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). Her pieces are social justice orientated and empathy-led, particularly within the feminism and queer space. @jorjabentley

'Paradise Lost' by Melissa-Kelly Franklin

A young Australian doctor begins her first rotation in an offshore detention centre on a remote Pacific island. Here she connects with an Iranian poet fleeing persecution, and finds her legal obligation to remain silent on the cruelty of the detention centre and her hippocratic oath increasingly in conflict.

Melissa-Kelly Franklin is an Australian writer and director of theatre and film, based in London and Sydney. Melissa-Kelly's plays have received international recognition, with Paradise Lost shortlisted for the Queensland Premier's Drama Award, 2022-23. Her climate justice play, We'll Dance on the Ash of the Apocalypse, toured international festivals, attracting nominations including Audience Choice, an OffFest Award for Best Theatre, and Finalist for Best Playwright at the Scenesaver Honour Awards. melissakellyfranklin.com

'No Pink Dicks' by Moreblessing Maturure

The stakes are high for those who dare love across racial lines - maybe for good reason. No Pink Dicks carries us anthologically across a series of interracial relationships between Black women and their white partners, playground memories and dating app message threads, weaving the increasingly complex web that is contemporary romance. This could have been a rom-com.

Moreblessing Maturure is a Zimbabwean/Australian interdisciplinary artist, TEDx Speaker and the Creative Director of FOLK Magazine. She writes and performs across mediums notably with PWA, STC and Screen Australia. She's currently developing a suite of live and screen projects including No Pink Dicks, Milk & Honey & Lemons and Afro Sistahs. Recently, she starred in the award-winning touring production of 'seven methods of killing Kylie Jenner'. She's an Actors Equity member and Co-Chair of MEAA's Equity Diversity Committee. @moreblessingma

'They're not listening' by Jordan Shea

Benji returns to teach at the school that made him after ten years of working in the poorest schools in the world. Confronted by an estranged education system, an intense deputy principal, and a rowdy English class, Benji tries to find his feet in a religious instituition as a queer man.

Jordan Shea is a Filipino-Australian writer and teacher. A graduate of the VCA, recent credits include Ate Lovia (Red Line/kwento), Kasama Kita (Belvoir 25A/aya), The House at Boundary Road, Liverpool (Old 505/bontom) and the upcoming One Hour No Oil (KXT/kwento). Jordan is one of the creative producers of kwento, producing new Asian-Australian work. He is currently under commission with Performing Lines and the Ascham School. @jordyshea www.jordanpshea.com

'Ways to Drown a Fish' by Stella Webster

On the banks of the Murray River, eleven-year-old Sofia finds a giant, talking Carp; her father digs a grave; her sister obsesses over boys; a haunting begins. Bordering between folk horror and family drama, Ways To Drown A Fish presents a family at odds with each other, their environment, and something beyond.

Stella Webster is a Naarm-based playwright and theatre maker, originally from rural North-East Victoria. She completed a Master of Theatre (Writing) at the Victorian College of the Arts amid Melbourne's 2020 lockdown. Formally embedded in her work are elements of magical realism and impossibility; exploring themes of grief, family trauma and gender politics. Stella last presented 'Pink Matter' for Melbourne Fringe 2019 (Dancehouse) and has had poetry published in Rabbit. @es.stellar

'Hush Hush' by Cassandra-Elli Yiannacou

It's Liza's father's funeral and her anniversary with her girlfriend Eliza, who's rich and thinks her full name is also Eliza. Liza's a bogan and named after Liza Minelli; that's not all she's hidden. Her mother arrives with a coffin and Liza's siblings; Celine and Sonny. There's a storm outside.

Cassandra-Elli Yiannacou is an award-winning Greek-Cypriot Australian writer, some of her staged works include: Like Breathing, Loose Teeth (shortlisted for Max Afford Award 2016, Published in 2021), The Last Journalist on Earth, The Marvellous Life of Carlo Gatti. She was a fiction winner of the Ultimo Prize and was published in the anthology, Everything, All At Once. She was commissioned by Paines Plough Theatre and Critical Stages AUS for Come To Where I Am: Australia. https://www.cassandra-elliyiannacou.com/

Now in its third year, the Australian Theatre Festival NYC 2022 New Play Award will award two new plays with distinct Australian voices.

The award offers a total cash prize of $7,500 USD for two unproduced, full-length plays written by Australian playwrights, over the age of 18.

This year we will award one winner with $5,000 USD and one runner-up with $2,500 USD. The winning play will be developed with ATF Co-Artistic Director Mark Barford and presented in New York City as part of The Australian Theatre Festival NYC.

Last year, our 2020 winning play 'The Tiniest Thing' by Richard Jordan, was produced as the centerpiece of our festival program. The 2021 winner was Lewis Treston for his play 'Hubris & Humiliation', with Yvette Walker named runner-up for 'Seven Deadly Gins'. Lewis' play will be presented this year as a part of our 2022 Festival.

The winner & runner-up will be announced Monday August 22nd, 2022 (NYC, EST).

For more information visit australiantheatrefestival.com/2022-new-play-award.

TodayTix


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