The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award
The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award is the most prestigious award for Indigenous playwrights in Australia. The $25,000 award includes a $15,000 commission for a new play and a cash prize of $10,000. Applications are open nationally to writers of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. They are assessed by a panel including both Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists.
Now in its sixth year The Balnaves Award has become one of the most prestigious playwriting awards in Australia, be it for Indigenous or non-Indigenous Australians. The calibre of entries and winners has consistently proven the depth of talent in the Indigenous theatre industry.
In the past five years the award has recognised playwrights Katie Beckett, Leah Purcell, Jada Alberts, Nakkiah Lui and Ursula Yovich, but also inspired many Indigenous artists to dream up new plays. The award is open to everyone from the most experienced playwrights, to people just starting out on their first plays and any writer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decent is encouraged to apply, regardless of whether or not they have written for theatre before.
Gamilaroi woman Megan Wilding was the winner of The Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award 2017 at an event at Belvoir St Theatre on Wednesday 31 May, during National Reconciliation Week. She won a commission to write a play about an Indigenous woman who takes violent revenge against a man who sexually assaulted her as a child.
Multi-talented Wilding is a graduate of the acclaimed acting program at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and will appear on stage at Belvoir in The Rover in July. She also coordinates Belvoir’s Writers Group for Women of Colour.
‘I entered The Balnaves Award because I had a story that I really wanted to write. The Award will give me the tools to fully invest in the process of writing. I’m so excited to jump all the way in with the support and guidance of Belvoir.
Since 2011 The Balnaves Foundation has supported the presentation of two Indigenous-led works per year as part of Belvoir’s annual season. To further their commitment to the telling of Indigenous stories through theatre, the Foundation has committed $25,000 per year to this annual award for an Indigenous playwright. The Balnaves Foundation is committed to working towards reconciliation and has supported numerous Indigenous arts projects including the creative development of I Am Eora and Black Diggers for Sydney Festival.
The NSW Philip Parsons
Fellowship for Emerging
Applications for the 2017 Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights will open in the second half of 2017.
The Philip Parsons Fellowship is given to an early career playwright with a strong and unique theatrical voice. The Fellowship is an integral part of Belvoir’s ongoing artistic development activities and commitment to new Australian work.
The Fellowship is presented, in partnership with Arts NSW, to an emerging playwright whose work demonstrates an original and compelling theatrical voice. The Fellowship money forms a $15,000 commissioning fee for the writer and $7,500 towards creative development, with a view to developing a new work with support from Belvoir’s artistic staff.
The Philip Parsons Fellowship attracts the highest calibre of young Australian playwrights. Many Fellowship recipients have developed commissions that have been highly acclaimed. Productions include Is This Thing On? by Zoë Coombs Marr, The Seed by Kate Mulvany and The Great Fire by Kit Brookman.
Applicants for the Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights must be in the first eight years of their professional practice and must reside in New South Wales. Writers may submit one play that is 45 minutes or longer that has been produced in a professional or co-operative company.
The Fellowship is given annually in conjunction with the Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture. The Fellowship and Lecture commemorate the life and work of Philip Parsons, AM. Dr Parsons was an influential teacher and mentor to many of Australia’s young theatre artists.
The Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights is supported by Arts NSW.
2016 – Holly Austin, Adriano Cappelletta and Jo Turner (writing team)
2015 – Nakkiah Lui and S.Shakthidharan
2014 – Julia-Rose Lewis
2013 – Ian Meadows
2012 – Kit Brookman
2011 – Zoe Coombs Marr
2010 – Matthew Whittet
2009 – Tahli Corin
2008 – Khoa Do
2007 – Tommy Murphy
2006 – Patrick Brammall and John Leary
2005 – Brendan Cowell
2004 – Kate Mulvany
2003 – Jonathan Gavin