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    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Finalists announced for Premier’s Drama Award

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Wednesday, December 16, 2015

    Finalists announced for Premier’s Drama Award

    Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the first all-female finalists’ list for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2016-17.

    Queenslanders Kathryn Marquet and Suzie Miller and Victorian writer Michele Lee have been chosen as the finalists from a field of 51 entrants.

    The three are now in the running for the playwriting award which guarantees a professional production of the winning entry within two years. 

    “Congratulations to Kathryn, Suzie and Michele for their excellent work and for making the shortlist,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

    “Each should be proud of this achievement and their commitment to developing new works for Queensland theatre audiences." 

    Since its inception in 2002, Queensland Theatre Company has developed 24 plays as part of this award, employed more than 160 actors, writers and directors, and generated audiences of more than 26,000 for new and emerging Queensland work. 

    Daniel Evans was the most recent winner of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, with his modern Australian-suburbia-meets-Greek-tragedy Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.  

    “The play opened this year as part of Queensland Theatre Company’s Season 2016 to standing ovations and much acclaim,” Ms Palaszczuk said. 

    The Queensland Premier’s Drama Award covers a two-year cycle. 

    In the first year, three finalists are selected and their works undergo creative development with industry professionals prior to judging and the announcement of the winner. 

    The second year involves further development of the winning play followed by the professional world premiere production and the publication of the script. 

    Kathryn Marquet, Suzie Miller and Michele Lee will develop their works throughout the coming year with Queensland Theatre Company, until a winner is selected in July 2016.

    Queensland Theatre Company will then produce the world premiere of the winning work in the 2017 season, curated by new Artistic Director, Sam Strong. 

    “QTC is committed to being the national leader in the development of new work and the creation of pathways for artists and the QDPA is central to this ambition,” Mr Strong said.

    “I was privileged to engage with all the long-listed writers and I’m looking forward to working with the finalists to develop great new Australian stories that we will premiere in Brisbane before taking them to world.” 

    The Queensland Premier’s Drama Award is an initiative of the Queensland Government, delivered in partnership with Queensland Theatre Company.


    The 2016-17 finalists:

    Kathryn Marquet: In 2014, Kathryn’s debut play, Pale Blue Dot, was produced by La Boite, published by Playlab Press and nominated for five Matilda Awards, including Best New Australian Work. As an actor, she has worked extensively for La Boite, Queensland Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare and many independent companies and, in 2016, will complete her Masters of Philosophy (Playwriting) at UQ. 

    Her entry, This Furious Sea, is a black comedy based in Southwest Tasmania, where a Bulgarian drug cartel with curious links to Canberra plans to destroy the old-growth forest.


    Michele Lee: Michele’s current projects include an Arts House digital theatre commission, The Naked Self (co-created with Tanya Dickson); a commission for a new play Going down (Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne via the Malcolm Robertson Prize); and a commission for a short plays project, Power plays, with Sydney Theatre Company. Michele is the 2016 WrICE Early Career Fellow and resident at the Playwrights Centre, Minneapolis in 2016. 

    Her entry RICE is the story of two women – the right-hand woman to the CEO of Australian rice company which is poised to seal a contract for rice distribution to the Indian government; and the company’s cleaner.


    Suzie Miller: A multi-award winning playwright, Suzie has had over 30 productions of her works on stages around the world. She has won, or been shortlisted for, numerous awards including the National Kit Denton Fellowship for writing with courage; Australian Writers Guild Awards; State Premier’s Awards, Irish Times award, and the New York Fringe Festival ‘Overall Excellence Award for Outstanding Playwriting’.

    Her entry I Looked Up And There You Were is the story of an unexpected passion that drags two people through something they don't fully understand. The works looks at the vulnerability of lives and how autonomy and responsibility are always in a state of flux for women.



    2014-15 Daniel Evans for Oedipus Doesn't Live Here Anymore 

    2012-13 Maxine Mellor for Trollop

    2010-11 Marcel Dorney for Fractions

    2008-09 Richard Jordan for 25 Down

    2006-07 David Brown for The Estimator

    2004-05 Adam Grossetti for Mano Nera

    2002-03 Sven Swenson for Road to the She-Devil's Salon

    Media contact: 0428 098 437