Queensland Theatre | Queensland Premier’s Drama Award
Skip to main content

Queensland Premier’s Drama Award

Celebrating more than 20 years of new Australian playwriting

01 1224

About the Award

For over 20 years, Queensland Theatre in partnership with the Queensland Government has been giving playwrights from across the country the opportunity to share their work on stage through this unique competition culminating in a world premiere for the winning entry.

Every two years the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award discovers, develops and produces outstanding Australian plays. The award recognises excellence in playwriting and is open to writers across Australia, with stories that will connect with Queensland audiences today.

Thanks to sponsor Griffith University, the winner of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2025 will receive a $30,000 cash prize on top of a $16,000 commission fee to develop the script ready for production as part of an upcoming Season at Queensland Theatre.

The winner of the 2025 Award will receive:

  • $30,000 cash prize from Prize Sponsor Griffith University
  • $16,000 fee to develop their play throughout 2025
  • A world premiere production of their play as part of an upcoming Queensland Theatre Season.

Queensland Premier's Drama Award 2025 finalists

2025 Award Judges

  • Isaac Drandic WEB

    Isaac Drandic

    2025 Award Judge

    Isaac Drandic is a Noongar man from the southwest of Western Australia. He is an award-winning director, dramaturg, actor and playwright. As director/dramaturg, Isaac specialises in new First Nations work, guiding emerging playwrights to the main stages including Meyne Wyatt (City of Gold), Nathan Maynard (The Season, At What Cost) and Jacob Boehme (Blood on the Dance Floor). His work has been featured at Australia's leading theatre companies and major arts festivals, including Queensland Theatre, La Boite, JUTE, Belvoir, ILBIJERRI, Melbourne Theatre Company and Victorian Opera. His productions have toured nationally and internationally and received several awards. Isaac has won a Green Room Award for direction of a mainstage production for The Season, which also won best new Australian writing and best production. His highly acclaimed production City of Gold received two Sydney Theatre Awards, including a nomination for best new Australian work. As playwright, Isaac’s work has toured extensively throughout Far North Queensland including communities of Yarrabah, Kowanyama, Pormpuraaw, Innisfail, Cairns, Aurukun, Bamaga to name a few. His first play Back on Track won the Queensland Planning Institute Award in the Community Wellbeing & Diversity category followed by the National Planning Institute Award. Back on Track continues to play to communities across Queensland. Other work includes Get Your Geek On and I Gut This Feeling, produced by JUTE Theatre. Holding key roles at ILBIJERRI Theatre and Queensland Theatre, he is a member of Australian Plays Transform National Advisory Panel and is currently the Associate Artistic Director (First Nations) at Queensland Theatre.

  • Marceldorney

    Marcel Dorney

    2025 Award Judge

    An award winning playwright and director, Marcel Dorney is a founding member and co-AD of Melbourne based theatre company Elbow Room. His work has been commissioned, developed and produced by QT, Malthouse Theatre, Merrigong Theatre Company, Hothouse Theatre, La Boite, Griffin Theatre, Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Artslink, QMF and the Next Wave Festival, and published by Playlab Press. Marcel’s play Fractions (QTC/HotHouse) received the 2010-11 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, and he was part of QT's National Artistic Team initiative from 2016. He has also worked extensively as a dramaturg, script editor and assessor, and educator. His work includes We Get It (Elbow Room/MTC, 2015), Prehistoric (Elbow Room/Brisbane Festival 2014), and (with Dan Evans) The Tragedy of King Richard III (La Boite, 2016). His awards include: Best Director and Best Ensemble (Ind.), 2011 Green Room Awards (After All This); 2012 Gold Matilda Award (Fractions); Best Writing, 2014 Green Room Awards, (Prehistoric); and Best Ensemble (Ind.) 2021 Green Room Awards (Joe Paradise Lui's The Enlightenment of the Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and the Encounter with the Monkey King, Great Sage, Equal of Heaven). Both After All This (2011) and Prehistoric (2014) were awarded Best Performance by Melbourne Fringe Festival.

  • D Gheadshot BW

    Dan Giovannoni

    2025 Award Judge

    Dan’s plays for families, young people and adults have been produced across Australia in big and little theatres, school halls, circus tents, restaurants and even a barn outside of Hobart. He’s worked with companies including Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Barking Gecko, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Arena Theatre Co and Little Ones Theatre. His work has won three Green Room Association awards, a Helpmann award, an AWGIE and has been nominated for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Currently, under commission from MTC, Terrapin and Malthouse, Dan lives and works on the lands of the Wurundjeri people with his husband, daughter and two dogs.

  • Photo Lydia Miller Headshot Photo credit Stu Spence BW

    Lydia Miller

    2025 Award Judge

    A KukuYalanji and Waanyi woman from Far North Queensland, Ms Miller has a career spanning over 35 years in the arts and cultural sector as a performer, artistic director, producer, administrator, senior executive and advocate. Her professional performing arts career spans theatre, film, television and radio. She was executive director for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts at Australia Council for the Arts from 2005 to 2021. She also has public policy and administration experience in the health, community services and criminal justice sectors. She has held several Council, Board and Committee positions. Currently, she is a creative consultant with Marigold Enterprises.

  • Headshot Small BW

    Courtney Stewart

    2025 Award Judge

    Courtney Stewart is an acclaimed director, dramaturg, actor and teaching artist with a deep passion for intercultural works and multicultural dramaturgies. She is the current Artistic Director and CEO of La Boite Theatre. A proud Queenslander, Courtney started her professional career as an actor before honing her talents as an artistic leader, diversity specialist and change maker for some of the country’s most prolific companies and organisations including Sydney Theatre Company (as Directing Associate and Richard Wherrett Fellow), Belvoir and Contemporary Asian Australian Performance (as Artistic Associate). Courtney was previously Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee, a delegate to the National Performers Committee, and a former board member for Contemporary Asian Australian Performance. Courtney’s production of The Poison of Polygamy by Anchuli Felicia King premiered at La Boite in May this year and had a subsequent season at Sydney Theatre Company. Courtney’s production of Miss Peony opened at Belvoir in July and is currently touring nationally. Courtney was recently appointed to the Board for Creative Australia.

About the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award

Past rounds

Ryan Enniss, Drizzle Boy
Phoebe Grainer, Burning House
Anthony Mullins, The Norman Mailer Anecdote

Steve Pirie, Return to the Dirt
Anna Loren, Comfort
Maddie Nixon, Binnavale

David Megarrity, The Holidays (winner)
Hannah Belanszky, don’t ask what the bird look like
Anna Yen, Slow Boat

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

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

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

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

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

Proudly supported by

Prize Sponsor

Sign Up