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Emerging Discoveries

Session 6 - Contemporary character driven plays from anywhere in the world

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 5

Play Exchange

Put forth as suggestions to read on the evening were:

Muff by Patricia Cornelius

Muff, MinusOneSister and SHIT: Three plays – Currency Press

Equus by Peter Shaffer

Equus by Peter Shaffer | 9780743287302 | Booktopia

Yerma by Simon Stone (based on story by Federico Garcia Lorca)

Yerma by Simon Stone | Goodreads


Script Discussion

Innocence by Dea Loher translated by David Tushingham

Dea Loher: Three Plays (Oberon Modern Playwrights) eBook : Loher, Dea, Tushingham, David: Books


Some things we found compelling:

Episodic nature of the stories and how they weave together

The poeticism of the language

Humor in the work/resonance to characters

Space to bring yourselves to the work

Some things we found as barriers to the work:

We found it difficult to read this work and stay with the text, although reading passages out loud was easier. Wondering how much of this barrier may have been about difficulty in translation...

The lack of narrative was a barrier for some participants

Believability of characters - we had quite a discussion around motivations of characters and whether we believed them or not; but perhaps this goes further to our point above – that there is space to bring your own interpretation to this work.

 Session 5 - Contemporary plays by UK Playwrights

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 6

Play Exchange

Put forth as suggestions to read on the evening were:

Dinner by Moira Buffini

Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Skin Hunger by Anna Reynolds


Script Discussion

Rules of Living by Sam Holcroft


Some things we found compelling:

Great framework of using character rules for the play (and letting the audience in on this)

Relatable situation – family event

Compelling relationships and characters


Some things we found as barriers to the work:

Whilst the rules created a great starting point for this work, we think they lose their power after a while.

No real subversion or surprise in the work led to it being predicable and not as engaging as it might have been, had the ideas been transformed.

Session 3 - Contemporary plays by US Playwrights

See also Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 5 | Session 6

Play Exchange

Put forth as suggestions to read on the evening were:

Through The Eye of The Needle by Jami Brandli

She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen

And playwrights: Lucas Hnath, Annie Baker and David Mamet


Script Discussion

The Cost of Living by Martyna Majok

Some things we found compelling:

The representation of complex and well-drawn characters with disabilities on stage

Jess’s desire for John

The relatable theme of loneliness and the desire for connection

How the play addresses privilege with nuance and complexity

The emotional journey – surprising choices within relationships


Some things we found as barriers to the work:

We weren’t convinced that Annie would ever be left alone in a bath, so this didn’t ring true at first. However, we then mused that perhaps this was a deliberate indictment of the health system in the US and highlighted the differences in education levels between characters.

The  writer’s intention is very clear with very specific stage directions, but we’re curious if this prohibits other interpretations of the work and artists/creatives bringing something new to the work.

Session 2 - Contemporary plays by Male UK playwrights

See also Session 1 | Session 3 | Session 5 | Session 6

Play Exchange

It was great to see what everyone has been reading and to swap plays. Discussed on the evening were the following:

Blackwatch by Gregory Burke

Educating Rita by Willy Russell

The Pillowman by Connor McPherson

Peter and Alice by John Logan

Constellations by Nick Payne

Lungs by Duncan McMillian


Attempts on Her Life by Martin Crimp

Pronoun by Evan Placey

Sex With A Stranger by Stefan Golaszewski

Passion Play by Peter Nichols


Script Discussion

Shoot/Get Treasure/ Repeat by Mark Ravenhill is a series of plays originally written to play across each morning of Edinburgh Fringe Festival as "Breakfast with Ravenhill". We discussed the use of language, form, currency, character and themes. We read out loud and focused on The Mother for this discussion. 


Some things we found compelling:

  • Extremely good example of conflicting objectives for the characters which propelled the work forward
  • There is no hesitancy in Ravenhill's treatment of this script. He pushes language and action to extremes – which we found as a very compelling example of how far you can go as a playwright. (For those writers of you needing permission to be hard on your characters this is a great scene to look at). 
  • Ravenhill's words in the introduction:

There is no definitive way of reading or producing these plays. Of course there never has been a definitive way of reading or producing any play. But sometimes in the past people have spoken as if there were. Hopefully this foolish idea is on its very last legs... Every play I write is normally a reaction against the last one I wrote. Probably to the audience and the reader they seem more like a continuum but to me it’s always an attempt to start again, to do something different... Plays only really exist when you as reader and theatre-maker ‘re-author’ them. These plays were once mine but now you need to make them your own.

Some things we found as barriers to the work:

  • This play felt slightly too long and like it could be edited to be tighter (perhaps being written to spec – 20 minutes for one morning at The Fringe speaks to why this is the case).
  • The language, action and mother character are very confronting, which was very close to being a barrier to the work; however, reading it out loud we realised these were all very intentional and actually served the story...
  • The use of repetition felt too contrived to us and pushed us away from the work (although we did concede this might just work in the playing).


Session 1 - Contemporary plays by female Australian playwrights

See also Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 5 | Session 6

Play Exchange

It was great to see what everyone has been reading and be given the opportunity to swap plays with others. Put forth and swapped on the evening were the following: 

Joanna Murray-Smith – Love Child Love Child – Currency Press - 1993

Linda Hassall – Post Office Rose POST OFFICE ROSE | Australian Plays Transform ( - 2003

Kate Mulvaney - The Seed The Seed – Currency Press - 2008

Dianne Stubbings – The Parricide Stray and The Parricide – Currency Press - 2014

Suzie Miller – Prima Facie Prima Facie – Currency Press - 2021

Andrea James & Catherine Ryan – Dogged Dogged – Currency Press - 2021

We had an illuminating discussion around the ways in which a playwright's work evolves when comparing earlier scripts to more recent plays and noted this as a useful exercise moving forward.

Script Discussion

CARESS/ACHE by Suzie Miller. We discussed use of language, form, currency, character and themes.

Some things we found compelling:

  • Structure of the work. Woven narratives a useful tool for engagement.
  • The motif of touch. We found this theme was very relevant in this time of COVID.
  • Gaps and silences and free flow structure of language allowed a lot of space in the text. There were scenes where the written action and silences progressed the story without any text or explanation.

Some things we found as barriers to the work:

  • Too much Cliché - threw us out of the story and made it hard to connect
  • We wondered if the play would be better served with fewer characters and narratives and more refining/strengthening of the remaining core.
  • The storyline of Arezu seems disconnected from the rest of the play and we weren't convinced the characters of Belinda and Cate provided the comic relief they perhaps were intended to have.

15 Childers St,

City West ACT 2601

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Monday - Friday

10am - 3pm


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1.5 hours prior

to performance.


02 6247 1223
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