2010 been a huge year for Australian playwrights.

Has it only been a year since Caleb Lewis’ well publicized side-step of the 2009 Philip Parson’s Award? Was it only 6 months ago that playwrights were protesting the decision of the NSW Premier not to award a literary prize? 2010 was a great year to see the Australian playwriting community band together. Collectives that have popped up all over Australia have been very vocal, very active and extremely productive in 2010… 7-On Playwrights, The emerging Writers Studio, Write Club, pockets of playwrights who dine and drink together, those who keep in touch via facebook quips and cross promotion – It’s been a great year! It is no surprise that the 2010 Philip Parson’s Lecture should be given by the sage of Australian playwriting – John McCallum.

I’ll be there for sure. Who can resist the dulcet tones of John McCallum – the author of one of my bedside companion books “Belonging” – and also UNSW lecturer, reviewer for The Australian Newspaper and the champion of Australian theatre? I certainly can’t. I am also a sucker for a invigorating lecture – determined to be ever-curious about my field, our history; I find a well timed lecture, history lesson or panel discussion is often the tonic for stale perspective.

I can’t wait… perhaps I’ll see you there?

The Press Release:


The 2010 Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture (Sunday 28 November, 2pm, Belvoir St Upstairs Theatre), will look at the past, present and future of Australian theatre. It will be presented by lecturer, theatre critic and author John McCallum.

Australian theatre now has all the tools in place to move on but it is stuck in the last century. Many of the old restrictions and divisions have been broken down, the talent and new techniques are in place, but it’s not on the road yet. John McCallum will ask, is part of the problem the audience? This lecture is intended to encourage discussion and debate – members of the public are welcome to attend.

John McCallum has been the Sydney theatre reviewer for The Australian for more than 20 years, and lectures in theatre at the University of NSW. His recent book, Belonging, is a critical history of Australian playwriting in the 20th Century.

The Memorial Lecture is delivered annually by a prominent arts professional, and provides a vital platform for senior arts personnel to speak candidly about the industry and raise debate amongst audiences and performing arts practitioners.

The recipient of the 2010 Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award will also be announced at this event. The prize is awarded annually to a playwright under 35 years of age, whose work demonstrates an original and compelling theatrical voice. The winner will receive a writer’s commission supported by Belvoir. The 2010 shortlisted writers are Candy Bowers, Jeffrey Jay Fowler, Claudia O’Doherty, post (Zoe Coombs Marr, Mish Grigor and Natalie Rose), Rick Viede and Matthew Whittet.

The winner of the 2009 Philip Parsons Young Playwrights Award, Tahli Corin has spent the last twelve months researching and developing her script Blush. She recently participated in a two week playwright’s workshop with Edward Albee on The Memory Muse and is currently working on a short commission for Sydney Theatre Company as well as a site specific work with sound designer Rosie Chase. She has also been shortlisted for the 2010 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award for The Memory Muse.

The Philip Parsons Young Playwright’s Award and Memorial Lecture is generously supported by Arts NSW.

For more MEDIA information, contact Meera Hindocha at Belvoir – 02 8396 6242 or meera@belvoir.com.au.

When: Sunday 28 November, 2pm (duration is 60 – 90 minutes)

Where: Belvoir St Upstairs Theatre, 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills 2010

Cost: $10 available from the Belvoir St Theatre Box Office (02 9699 3444). Tickets also available on the door.