Queensland Premier's Drama Award | Queensland Theatre

Finalists Announced for QPDA 2018-19.

We congratulate the three finalists of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2018-19.

This national development award assists writers and performance-makers to grow their first drafts, concept outlines, or creative development findings into a production-ready text.

The goals of the Award are:

  • To produce a platform for Australian theatre makers and playwrights to develop new works that reflect our contemporary culture, and expose audiences to this work.
  • To promote the creation of high quality, original, artistic work
  • To recognise and develop creative artists, their work and their standing within our society.
  • To enhance the employment of Queensland actors, creative teams and production artists

In 2018 the finalists begin a process of curated creative development on their projects, including dramaturgical support and collaboration with other theatre practitioners and creatives.

The public are invited to join us on June 30, 2018 to view the progress of these works at the Finalists’ Play Readings, where each play is presented to the QPDA judging panel.

Following this presentation, judges will select a single winner whose work will be refined throughout 2018-19 towards a fully staged professional production in Queensland Theatre’s 2019 Season.

Meet the Finalists:



is a theatre maker, performer and writer. Yen was a writer/performer in The Serpent’s Table (Sydney Festival/Griffin Theatre / Contemporary Asian Australian Performance). She wrote, co-created, and performed Matilda Award Commended Chinese Take Away for Stage X (QPAC / Gum Yi Productions) and toured its film adaptation (SBS commissioned) and performance excerpt to Asia, Europe, USA. Chinese Take Away is published in “Three Plays by Asian Australians” Playlab Press.

Her entry, Slow Boat is an epic tale of five men - indentured workers - winding their way from poverty and war in rural China, hard work on the tiny phosphate-­‐rich island of Nauru, terrifying times down underground mines in Central Australia, building boats for General McArthur’s Pacific Campaign in Bulimba, and ultimately to an unknown future. Told through physical theatre, song, dance, circus, improvised Cantonese Opera, music and martial arts, this story of resilience and mateship, demonstrates the power art has to help us all through tough times.  



is a writer, composer, musician and performer creating at the intersection of music, performance and projected image. Recipient of a Lord Mayor’s Performing Arts Fellowship in 1998, his performance inventions include Backseat Drivers, and Show (Queensland Theatre), Ukulele Mekulele (La Boite), The Empty City and Bear with Me for Metro Arts and Windmill. His works have played at the Sydney Opera House, around Australia and abroad.

His entry, The Holidays introduces us to Oliver Holiday and his Mum and Dad who are suddenly on their way to his Grandfather’s beachside cottage. However, as more clouds loom, it’s clear that the Holidays, instead of getting away from it all, have taken rather a lot with them. This visual theatre piece combines live performers, projection, participation and music to explore the impact of dementia, as experienced by one family, focussing on the connections between son, father and grandfather - told through the eyes of a young person.



is an actor, writer and theatre-maker based in Brisbane. Hannah was the Young Playwright-In-Residence at Playlab in 2017, mentored by Kathryn Marquet. She also wrote, directed and performed in her cabaret theatre piece, The Wives of Wolfgang (Wonderland Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse). Her performance experience includes roles in Harrow (ABC Studios), Julius Caesar (4MBS) and The Roasting (Short and Sweet Theatre Festival).

Her entry what the bird look like is set in a rural Australian town by a river, where Joan, a young twenty something, is visiting her Indigenous father, Mick, for the first time. Pale-skinned and raised by her non-Indigenous mother, Joan knows little of her Indigenous heritage. Mick, fighting his own demons, has developed an obsession with drinking tea since giving up alcohol. Joan finds refuge in Pattie, Mick’s high school sweetheart, who talks of birds…the wind… and the ‘Old People’ As a big storm brews, Joan becomes increasingly drawn to the river and begins to hear birds calling her name. what the bird look like is a story of self-discovery and belonging. It explores how a connection with your heritage can be so much more than skin deep.

Queensland Government


Michele Lee, Rice (winner)
Kathryn Marquet, Furious Creatures
Suzie Miller, I Looked Up and There You Were

Tim Benzie, The Overflow
Daniel Evans, Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (winner)
Megan Shorey, One in Seven (music-theatre)

Stephen Carleton, 
Bastard Territory
David Megarrity (for The Human Company), The Empty City
Maxine Mellor, Trollop (winner)

Rebecca Clarke, 
Philip Dean, Unreliable Bodies
Marcel Dorney, Fractions (winner) 

Richard Jordan, 25 Down (winner)
Katherine Lyall-Watson, Tinder
Sven Swenson, Dangerfield Park

David Brown,  The Estimator (winner)
Anthony Funnell,  The Tram
Michael Riordan,  String

Adam Grossetti, Mano Nera (winner) 
Stephen Carleton, Constance Drinkwater and the Last Days of Somerset
Philip Chappell, Welcome to Dreamland

Sven Swenson, Road to the She-Devil’s Salon (winner)
Kathryn Ash,  Flutter
Bruce Clark, The Kaufman Letter
Simon Ratcliffe, Conurb
Hugh Watson,  The Valley
Gayle Wilkinson,  Goat Head Burs