The 2022–23 Finalists
Ryan grew up in a rural town in the south of Tasmania, graduating with a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts from the University of Tasmania in 2018. He is set to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2021. He was the Artistic Director of the Fawkes Theatre Company for 2017, and his play, Watching won the Community Theatre Judges Award at the Tasmanian Theatre Awards in 2018. Diagnosed as autistic at the age of 19, Ryan has been on a journey of self-discovery ever since. In his spare time, he enjoys drinking far too much tea, listening to heavy metal music, and tending his garden.
His entry Drizzle Boy is about a young man just trying to make his way in a world filled with miscommunications, misnomers, and misunderstandings. It seems like everyone in his life and beyond has an opinion on how to cure him and make him like everyone else. But he's not. In his mind no one is really all that much like anyone else. And he's just trying to figure it all out, like everyone has to at some point. In this tongue-in-cheek coming of age story, he navigates the challenges of a world that wants to change him, a family that doesn't understand him, and the profound sense that he's somehow doing it all very wrong.
Phoebe is a Kuku Djungan, Muluridji, Wakaman, Tagalaka, Kunjen, Warrgamay and Yindinji woman from Far North Queensland, raised in Far North Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia. She has studied at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting). Since graduating from NIDA, she has performed in Saltbush (2017), Two Hearts (2018), Serpent’s Teeth (2018), Doing (2019) and Rainbow’s End (2019). She is a creative producer at Sweatshop Literacy Movement where she mentors Indigenous students from the Campbelltown region. Phoebe’s essays, poems and short stories have appeared in The Lifted Brow, SBS Life, Red Room Poetry and Sweatshop Women. Phoebe is playwright in the 2020-2021 Darlinghurst Theatre’s Next Line program and was selected to be a part of the 2020-2021 BlackWrights program. She is also an artist in Griffin Theatre’s 2021 Griffin Studio. Phoebe currently works at the NIDA teaching writing workshops.
Her entry Burning House deals with a young man returning home, a black family, a small town, a young woman looking for answers, a lovely father, a missing mother, murder, police brutality, stolen land, and a house on fire. Burning House exposes the darkness and unpredictability of human beings, giving the audience an intimate glimpse on the realities of small towns, the people, the eyes watching from afar and the secrets they hold that can explode and light an entire town on fire.
Anthony is a BAFTA and Australian Writers’ Guild award winning screenwriter. One of his first short films was selected for Official Competition at the Cannes Film Festival and one of his first TV gigs was writing webisodes for the ground-breaking US TV series LOST. Anthony won a BAFTA for his work on the BBC series Spooks and has been a script producer and script editor on numerous award-winning television shows including Safe Harbour, winner of the 2019 International Emmy for Best Mini-Series. He is the author of Beyond the Hero’s Journey, an innovative screenwriting guide released by New South Publishing. He has a Doctorate of Visual Arts, from Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, where he teaches regularly.
His entry The Norman Mailer Anecdote unfolds over one night, in one room, as a family wrestles with an accusation from the distant past. The tense drama explores the limits of memory and recollection. Are we really who we remember? How do we know?