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Awards & Commissions



This prestigious Award, established in memory of former Company Chair Jill Blewett, is granted biennially and includes a full commission for the award recipient, along with a week-long creative development on the script with State Theatre Company’s Artistic Director and wider artistic team. Creative developments are critical in the creation of any new play. They allow the playwright, directors and actors time to unpack the ideas within the text and to refine a play’s ‘mechanics’.

We, as much as the playwright, are heavily invested in the success of our Jill Blewett Playwrights Award-winning plays and view them as making up a core part of our programming in future years.

State Theatre Company’s charitable Foundation proudly administers the Jill Blewett Playwrights Award Endowment Fund. State Theatre Company is committed to growing the Jill Blewett Playwrights Award and their impact in the future. Your generous gift plays a critical role in fostering talented playwrights and writing powerful new stories for the stage.

We hope to build this endowment fund in order to continue offering the Jill Blewett Playwrights Award to foster talented playwrights as they write powerful new stories for the stage. You can support the Jill Blewett Playwrights Award by giving online or by contacting our Philanthropy Manager Cath Bauer at cbauer@statetheatrecompany.com.au


Government of South Australia through Arts South Australia
Jill Blewett Playwrights Award Endowment Fund donors:

Hon John Bannon AO
Hon Dr Neal Blewett AC
Simon Blewett
Colin Brewer
Rob Brookman AM & Verity Laughton
Prof John Chalmers AC
Creative Partnerships Australia
Alex Diamantis
Malcolm Gray & Laura Healy
Peter & Elizabeth Hambly
Lady Patricia Harewood
Hon Chris Hurford AO
Hon Anne Levy AO
Tony Llewellyn-Jones
Wilfred Prest
Guy Ross & Ellen Poyner
Diané Ranck
Leonie Scrivener
Silsbury Family
Pat & Hugh Stretton AC
Megan Stoyles
Thyne Reid Foundation
Kim Williams AM
Trevor & Jane Wilson

  • Emily Steel is the recipient of the 2018 Jill Blewett Playwrights Award for her play 19 Weeks.

    An unflinchingly honest work about her own experience with pregnancy and abortion, 19 Weeks has been performed as part of Adelaide and Perth Fringe Festivals.

    Emily is originally from Wales and has lived in Adelaide since 2010. Her work as a playwright includes: the award-winning 19 Weeks (Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature 2018; Melbourne Fringe Tour Ready Award, Adelaide Fringe 2018; Best Theatre Award, Adelaide Fringe 2017), Sepiafor RiAus (Tour Ready Award, Adelaide Fringe 2012), Rocket Town (inSpace Award, Adelaide Fringe 2011), Rabbits, and State Theatre Company’s 2017 State Umbrella production, Paris Nesbit.

    She has also written an adaptation of Ben Jonson’s Volpone for State Theatre Company, Impersonal Space with Company AT, Frozen Girl with Tutti’s Performing Arts Ensemble, three works for BBC radio 4 (Frank and the Bear, Bite, Boom Boom and a radio version of 19 Weeks), and Station and Six for Sherman Cymru Theatre in Wales.

    Photo by Sia Duff.

  • 1992: Jimmy Chi Bran Nue Dae 
    1994: Melissa Reeves Sweetown
    1996: Daniel Keene Because You Are Mine
    1998: Hillary Bell Wolf Lullaby
    2000: Andrew Bovell, Irine Vela, Christos Tsiolkas, Patricia Cornelius, Melissa Reeves Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?
    2002: Josh Tyler Small Faith
    2004: Sean Riley Beautiful Words
    2006: Finegan Kruckemeyer This Unchartered Hour
    2008: Duncan Graham Merger – art, life and the other thing
    2010: Nina Pearce This Place
    2012: Nicki Bloom A Cathedral 
    2014: Phillip Kavanagh Replay 
    2016: Fleur Kilpatrick Blessed and Duncan Graham Dreams in White 

    Since 2014, winners of the Jill Blewett Playwrights Award have been commissioned by State Theatre Company South Australia to write new plays for consideration for programming in future seasons. Commissions include:

    As One by Phillip Kavanagh
    Terrestrial by Fleur Kilpatrick (part of Season 2018)
    Creditors by Duncan Graham (part of Season 2018)

  • The Flinders University Young Playwrights Award supports rewards emerging writers from high school – age 25. Click here to learn more.


At State Theatre Company, our vision is that the Company will, alongside its work with reinvigorated classics and extant Australian repertoire, be a powerhouse for the development of outstanding new work. At the heart of that process is our commissioning program.

The 2018 Season featured several new commissions, including:

IN THE CLUB – Patricia Cornelius – 23 February – 18 March

TERRESTRIAL– Fleur Kilpatrick – 23 May – 2 June

CREDITORS – Duncan Graham – 20 July – 5 August

THE GODS OF STRANGERS – Elena Carapetis – 9 November – 2 December

Writers currently under commission include:

Samuel Adamson
Elena Carapetis
Emily Steel
Caleb Lewis


  • In The Club – Patricia Cornelius

    The Kreutzer Sonata – Sue Smith
    Hedda Gabler – Joanna Murray Smith
    Maggie Stone – Caleb Lewis
    The Seagull – Hilary Bell
    Jesikah – Phillip Kavanagh
    Little Bird – Nicki Bloom, with songs and music by Cameron Goodall and Quentin Grant
    GorgonElena Carapetis
    Things I Know To Be TrueAndrew Bovell
    TartuffePhillip Kavanagh


    Since 2013, we’ve shepherded a massive number of new works through our best practice development model achieving over an 85% ‘page to stage’ success rate.


  • We do not receive unsolicited submissions from unproduced writers.

    If you would like a written assessment of your work we refer you to the Australian Writers Guild.
    Information on their script assessment services can be found here.

    You can also seek further resources and assistance from Playwriting Australia or the SA Writers Centre.