CANBERRA playwright Joanna Richards has been announced as the inaugural recipient of Canberra Youth Theatre’s Emerging Playwright Commission.
Theatre-goers familiar with Richards from her numerous appearances at The Q, The Street and with Lakespeare may be surprised to learn that she is now a playwright working on a script entitled, “You Can’t Tell Anyone”.
But in fact she has already created work for theatre, film, television, and digital works and was selected to participate in a number of initiatives including “Women in Film” and Television Australia’s “MentorHer” program, the Chips & Gravy Mentorship and The Street Theatre’s “Early Phase” program.
Richards was awarded the commission of $16,200 after being selected from more than 50 applications by two guest professional playwrights, CYT’s artistic director Luke Rogers and a panel of young artists.
The initiative offers a professional commission for an “emerging” Australian playwright to create a new full-length work that brings young voices and stories to the stage and Richards will also receive dramaturgical support and a creative development workshop of her play.
Rogers says the commission is aimed at nurturing a playwright’s professional growth “by investing in their artistic development at the early stages of their career, whilst contributing to the development of a rich canon of new Australian plays written especially for young people”.
It’s the latest in a series of self-funded by commissions by Youth Theatre, which in 2020 commissioned three new plays for young people, “How to Vote” by Julian Larnach, “Space Oddity” by Rebecca Duke, and “Rosieville” by Mary Rachel Brown.
“You Can’t Tell Anyone” is billed as a fast-paced dark comedy. Briefly, Gwen is throwing a party and everyone’s invited. There’s just one thing. The price of admission.
Richards is a PhD candidate conducting research on gender theory, political theory, and language philosophy.
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