Dear Australia, 50 playwrights send post cards to the nation, July 2 to 5

Left to right the actors: Top row: James Majoos, Pontsho Nthupi, Rayma Morrison, Peter Carroll. Middle Row: Marco Chiappi, Tasma Walton, Connor David Skillicorn, Meme Thorne 
Bottom Row: Shaka Cook, Helen Thomson, Fiona Choi, Arka Das. Image courtesy Playwriting Australia, Sydney

The Covid-19 pandemic has in a few short months marked its place as one of the most powerful events in world history, it will be remembered as a time of unprecedented upheaval, sickness, loss and fear of the unknown, and we are all part of it, but from this experience we have hope and an opportunity to reflect on the current state of the world and advocate for positive change, learn to accept and understand each other better and work towards a more civil, collaborative and just society.

In response to the extraordinary nature of these times, its impact on our future and as a way to address some of the big questions rising up in Australian communities during Covid-19, Playwriting Australia (PWA) invited 25 Australian theatre bodies to nominate two playwrights each to write short monologue works for the ‘Dear Australia’ project, which has culminated in a series of 50 short stories brought to life on screen by a cohort of Australian actors.

From July 2 to 5, ‘Dear Australia’ presents a filmic collage of moving and provocative interpretations of what is happening right now, what is being revealed about us, what we aren’t paying attention to, and where we want to go next, and will be livestreamed over three nights across multiple Facebook pages and on PWA’s YouTube channel and will roll out as follows;

Thursday 2 July: 7pm (NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas, ACT), 6.30pm (SA, NT) and 5pm (WA).

Friday 3 July:
7pm (NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas, ACT), 6.30pm (SA, NT) and 5pm (WA).

Sunday 5 July:
5pm (NSW, Vic, Qld, Tas, ACT), 4.30pm (SA, NT) and 3pm (WA)

Dear Australia Panel Discussion: broadcast from the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 4 July at 7pm (AEST) as part of the Digital Season.

Dear Australia Scripts: The monologue scripts will be published by Australian Plays on their website from Monday July 6.

David Berthold, the interim Executive Chair of Playwriting Australia says ‘Dear Australia’ “not only elevates the voice of playwrights, but also demonstrates the huge diversity of voices this nation enjoys.” Recent months have exposed and prised open many cracks in our society. These 50 micro works address major questions, allowing us to see into some of those cracks, but also inviting us to see light ahead. These stories are, in turn, confronting and comforting. Together, they are a revelation and unique celebration of Australian voices.”

Audiences will be delighted by the unique and inspiring works of playwright and performer couplings including Richard Frankland with Jack Thompson, Nakkiah Lui with Miranda Tapsell, Anchuli Felicia King with Catherine Văn-Davies, Suzie Miller with Emma Jackson, Jada Alberts with Tasma Walton, Sam Nerida with Helen Thomson, Kamarra Bell-Wykes with Danielle Cormack, and Susan Rogers with Peter Carroll, to name only a few. Visit Playwright Australia’s website here to explore the full list of participating artists.

Theatre groups include the Australian Theatre for Young People, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Contemporary Asian Australian Performance, Blue Cow Theatre, Brink Productions, Brown’s Mart, Griffin Theatre Company, HotHouse Theatre, Ilbijerri Theatre Company, Jute Theatre Company, La Boite Theatre Company, La Mama, Merrigong Theatre Company, Monkey Baa Theatre Company, Moogahlin Performing Arts, NORPA, PlayLab, Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta, South Australian Playwrights Theatre, The Street Theatre, Terrapin Puppet Theatre, Theatre Works, Windmill Theatre Company, and Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company. Presented in partnership with Adelaide Festival Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne, Canberra Theatre Centre, Darwin Entertainment Centre, QPAC, and Sydney Opera House.

Read more about Playwriting Australia and the not-for-profit organisation’s 2020 program here.