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Announcing the winners of the 2018 Flinders University Young Playwrights Award

State Theatre Company South Australia are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2018 Flinders University Young Playwrights Award.

In a field of incredibly strong applicants, the two winners were notable for their strong understanding of stagecraft and the ways in which their work spoke to issues that are important to modern Australia, particularly young adults. The work, like all great new theatre, feels fresh, vital and completely unique in its point of view.

Senior Category: Ascend by Jamie Hornsby

While infiltrating a cult to get justice for her brother, a woman suddenly becomes embroiled within their belief system and begins to succumb to indoctrination.  Informed by extensive research, Ascend is a taught theatrical experience that is in equal parts a heart-stopping thriller and fascinating study of power and manipulation.

Jamie is a playwright and actor, recently graduated from the Acting course at Adelaide College of the Arts. His play, because there was fire was commissioned by Jopuka Productions and recently won Best New Work at the Newcastle Fringe Awards. It will tour nationally in 2018 and 2019. Three of Jamie’s short plays have also appeared in Jopuka’s Whatever Theatre Festival. He has written for Season 2 of New Wave, an audio-theatre podcast, and his work has been featured in Tantrum Youth Art’s Hissyfest for three consecutive years.  He will soon tour South Australia in Romeo and Juliet with Waxing Lyrical Productions and he recently served as the Assistant Director for Adelaide College of the Arts’ production of Julius Caesar. He is currently completing his Honours at the University of South Australia, specialising in playwriting.

Junior Category: Rattling the Keys by Zoe Muller

The judges noted that Zoe’s passion for the craft of writing and theatre-making shone through her work. A solid debut play that crackles with snappy dialogue and a strong and cohesive point of view, Rattling the Keys is an exploration of the complex and often confusing feelings of growing up and being pushed to your limits.

Zoe first began acting at the age of nine, and has been hooked ever since! At age 15, Zoe wrote a stage adaptation of Puberty Blues based on the iconic novel by Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey. With the authors’ permission, she brought the play to life in 2017, marking her directing debut. Zoe co-created Deadset Theatre Company, with the aim to produce shows for young adults. In early October, Zoe began writing Rattling the Keys, and submitted the play for the Flinders University Young Playwright’s Award. She is extremely thankful for the opportunity to develop her script with mentorship provided by State Theatre Company and Flinders University, and cannot wait to eventually bring her work to the stage!

Jamie and Zoe join an impressive list of previous winners including Fleur Kilpatrick and Sophia Simmons, who have gone onto to forge a strong relationship with State Theatre Company South Australia, as well as a variety of professional and independent theatre groups and companies from around the country. Both winners will receive a cash prize, a subscription to our 2019 season and professional script development from some of our industry leading artists.

If you would like to support these two fabulous writers and be one of the first in the world to experience their work, join us on Monday 30 July for a free reading at the Space Theatre.

RSVP here.