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Queensland Premier’s Drama Award

Celebrating more than 20 years of new Australian playwriting

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Queensland Premier's Drama Award 2025 Entries are now closed.

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.

2025 Award Judges

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    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.

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    Lee Lewis

    2025 Award Judge

    Queensland Theatre: Tiny Beautiful Things, Family Values, First Casualty, Bernhardt/Hamlet, Return to the Dirt, Prima Facie, Our Town, Mouthpiece, Rice. Other Credits: Griffin Theatre Company: Prima Facie, Family Values, First Love is the Revolution, Is There Something Wrong With That Lady?, The Almighty Sometimes, Kill Climate Deniers, Eight Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography, The Homosexuals or ‘Faggots’, Rice, Masquerade, Gloria, The Bleeding Tree, Emerald City, A Rabbit for Kim Jong-il, The Serpent’s Table, Replay, Silent Disco, Smurf In Wanderland, The Bull, The Moon and the Coronet of Stars, The Call, A Hoax, The Nightwatchman, The Literati, The Misanthrope (with Bell Shakespeare); Sydney Theatre Company: Mary Stuart, Honour, Love-Lies-Bleeding, ZEBRA!; Melbourne Theatre Company: Gloria, Hayfever, Rupert; Belvoir: That Face, This Heaven, Half and Half, A Number, 7 Blowjobs, Ladybird; Bell Shakespeare: The School for Wives, Twelfth Night; Australian Theatre for Young People: Battlegrounds, Citizenship; Darwin Festival: Highway of Lost Hearts; WAAPA: As You Like It; NIDA: After Dinner, Big Love, The Winter’s Tale; The Hayes Theatre Company: Darlinghurst Nights. Positions: Artistic Director, Queensland Theatre; Artistic Director and CEO, Griffin Theatre Company; Richard Wherrett Fellow, Sydney Theatre Company. Awards: Helpmann Awards — Best Play, Best Director The Bleeding Tree; Green Room Awards — Best Ensemble, Best Production, Best Director The Bleeding Tree.

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    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.

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    Ari Palani

    2025 Award Judge

    Ari Palani is a passionate director, producer, community engagement specialist and dramaturg. He has worked across many communities in Australia facilitating creative outcomes that advocate for youth voice, accessibility, and social cohesion. Ari is internationally focused on building cultural economies, humanitarian responses and increasing the discussion around displaced communities. He has worked extensively in South Korea and Malaysia developing innovative programs highlighting the interconnectedness of the Arts in contemporary STEAM education and translating these into hybrid models of cultural engagement in the vast Australian landscape. He is currently a Producer at Queensland Theatre, and has worked across programming, youth and education, and artist development at La Boite Theatre, Empire Theatres and the University of Southern Queensland. It is his desire to build the capacity of industries and promote the joy of collaborative practice.

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    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.

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

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