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Discovering New Works Just Got Easier!

Playlab Indie, is a digital collection designed to bring together under one banner, new work that has debuted in the Australian independent theatre sector creating, over time, a go-to collection of quality, innovative work.

We believe that it is incredibly important to be constantly familiarising and engaging ourselves with the freshest works being produced. So, to make finding the perfect new play even easier we’ve done two things. Firstly we’ve dropped our prices, every Playlab Indie publication can now be downloaded for only $9.95. Secondly, we’ve updated our product pages to include: samples of the text, production images, and numerous reviews so that you can get an in depth picture of the core of the work.

We hope that you enjoy submerging yourself into Australia’s independent theatre sector.

Check it out

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To celebrate the addition to our catalogue of Premier Award Winning titles RICE by Michele Lee and OEDIPUS DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE by Dan Evans we're offering 50% OFF all previous QPDA winning plays in our collection.

That means these stellar texts are only $11.95!!!

Trollop by Maxine Mellor  (2012/13 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.41.46 pmClara is uncomfortably numb. Cocooned in her spartan home, she wallows in tracky-dacks and the misery of the recently jobless, feeding on apathy and the images of natural disaster piped into her living room by the pitiless glare of the TV.

Clara is haunted by what she could aspire to if she could break from her funk. Her relentlessly upbeat partner Erik has devised a plan for her to get back on her feet. Instead, she devises a series of increasingly gruesome ‘quests’ for him.

Then, one stormy night, a stranger calls – and the chinks in the pair’s relationship begin to widen. Uncomfortable truths are revealed and there are hints of horrors to come, as ancient myths are dragged, growling, into the modern day.

The winner of the 2012/2013 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, Trollop is a complex, uneasy and challenging work that both explores and exploits contemporary communication modes.

 



Fractions by Marcel Dorney  (2010/11 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.42.57 pmIn Fifth-Century Egypt, Alexandria – Alexander the Great’s namesake city – has ambitions to be the most powerful city in the world. And knowledge is power. The great Library of Alexandria houses the collected wisdom of the world – science, mathematics, astronomy, and literature. One of its greatest scholars and inventors is Hypatia – a woman ahead of her time in a man’s world. She’s revered for her devotion to the search for knowledge. But the power politicking of one man, Kyril, starts a holy war in the city, which threatens to destroy the great library. Hypatia must find a way to protect it – and prevent civilization from sliding into the Dark Ages.

This thrilling play is based on the real-life events of one of history’s most remarkable unsung heroines.

 

 

 




25 Down by Richard Jordan  (2008/09 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.44.41 pmIn a world that’s lost all meaning, 25-year-old art school dropout James is searching for answers. To uncover the truth about himself, James embarks on a mission to become everything he’s not. But when all-nighters at gay bars, drug use and sex fail to provide what is missing, will James accept that life is all downhill after 25? Winner of the 2008-2009 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, 25 Down is a fast-paced, funny and insightful play about the ‘children of ’ the children of the revolution.

 

 

 

 

 







 

The Estimator by David Brown  (2006/07 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.47.15 pmMartin is an estimator for a removal company, trained to help people with the nightmare that is moving house. But no amount of preparation could have prepared him for his latest job ...

Yonni and her granddaughter Sharday share a junk-filled home in the suburban outskirts. Their lives revolve around poetry, acting, singing and rhetorical questions. Knowing the life they live is far from healthy, Yonni’s daughter Karen calls in the help of an Estimator. But once they meet, their lives will be changed forever.

 

 










Mano Nera 
by Adam Grossetti
  
(2004/05 Winner)

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 1.50.17 pmIn the 1930s, letters of extortion were written to the migrant Italian community in North Queensland’s cane growing districts. Mano Nera – the ‘black hand’ – was the name of the group claiming responsibility for the letters. But was Mano Nera a slick criminal organisation, or simple-minded thugs?

Either way, Mano Nera instilled fear that divided the community. Australians argued for the deportation of the Italian migrants. While the Italian community, who had bravely fled political oppression and a fast deteriorating society to make North Queensland their home, faced a choice. Would they put up with their reputation being sullied by the actions of Mano Nera’s desperate men? Or would they flight for the privileges their adopted country could offer?

Mano Nera richly evokes the tense stand-off between the British authorities and a divided Italian community desperately trying to make the most of its hard-won freedom.

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 "But what about the children?"

Playlab New-writing theatre is proud to announce their publication of Gaybies by Dean Bryant, originally commissioned and produced by Midsumma Festival, premiering at Sumner Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company.



 

Hotly political and deeply personal, Gaybies shares the intimate real-life stories of children from same-sex parents, surrogate mums, donor dads, co parents and guardians. A funny and moving piece of real-life theatre Dean Bryant’s Gaybies tells the story of children who have grown up with gay parents. Drawn straight from interviews with children aged four to forty, these are authentic accounts of family life told with humour, honesty and wisdom.
 
 
"Gaybies came about because I wanted to explore one of the common reasons given for denying marriage equality: “What about the children?” I’d been to a 60th birthday party for a friend, which featured hilarious speeches from his daughters about growing up with a gay dad, and I smelled the potential for something that was about now without the earnestness that can drag political theatre down. I interviewed a ton of kids of all ages who’d grown up with a gay parent and shaped their words into this script. Midsumma produced the piece for their 25th anniversary, featuring a host of brilliant actors including icons Todd McKenney and Magda Szubanski, and it was a riot — funny, sad and brimming with love.  Gaybies works as a live experience when it is messy, real and raw. Gaybies is about the beauty of authenticity."  

- Dean Bryant


Reviews:
The kind of play that Australian playwrights and producers with a passion for social issues and politics should aspire to make, as well as the kind of play Australian audiences deserve to have the opportunity to see" Theatre People

“It is rare, almost unprecedented, to find homegrown political theatre with this degree of urgency and power on our main stages…It’s a strong text, effortlessly funny and wise, that speaks with many voices and one. Gaybies makes you realise how diverse the experiences of rainbow families are…terrifically funny and swift theatre” The Age (January 2013)

“The beauty of this work lies in its poignant simplicity, and the organic way all the interviewees have reached the same conclusion: don't use me to deny my parents their rights" Herald Sun (January 2013)

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Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 11.30.30 am David Stewart is a Brisbane based writer and performer. He is the writer and co-founder of enigmatic musical comedy trio The Architects of Sound. The band’s latest work The Architects of Sound: Arena Spectacular was commissioned by Brisbane Festival in 2016 and has since travelled to Fringe World, Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Melbourne Fringe Festival. His recent writing credits include Numb and Non-Vegan Hoagies and Other Signs of the Impending Apocalypse as part of ATYP Fresh Ink National Studio 2016, An Intimate Evening with the Architects of Sound (Wonderland, Melbourne Fringe Festival; 2015, Woodford Folk Festival 2014), Slug (Rock Surfers Theatre Company 2014) and The Art of Conversation (Short + Sweet BEST COMEDY winner 2013). David is also a recent graduate of the NIDA Writing for Performance Masters in 2015.





Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 11.59.00 amHeidi Harrison is an emerging writer and performance maker from Brisbane. Last year she graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Drama with a minor in Creative Writing. This year she is undertaking her Honours degree with a focus on the relationship between feminist theory and physical performance. She has a keen interest in contemporary, highly physical performance that experiments with form.

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 12.05.32 pmZachary Boulton is a graduate of both Griffith University and Southbank Institute of Technology, Zachary performed lead roles Sven Swenson's The Truth About kookaburra's (2012) Dangerfield Park (2014) Beautiful Souls (2015). Since graduating Zachary has also toured The Box and An Experiment With The Caucasian Chalk Circle through Artslink and Backbone (2013-17). In 2015 Zachary Performed a one man show called The Fever by Wallace Shawn at The Anywhere Theatre Festival and most recently he performed in Hanako by Belloo Creative (2016). Currently Zachary is teaching acting at QUT and Yeronga State High and acting in numerous short films and TVC's.








Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 12.06.04 pmEileen O’Hely is the award-winning author of the Penny the Pencil and Kitten Kaboodle books for primary school children and PEP Squad for older readers. Her debut book Penny the Pencil won the Children’s Books Ireland Bisto Honour Award 2005/2006, and both Kitten Kaboodle books were shortlisted for awards in 2015 and are on the Premier’s Reading Challenge in several Australian states. Her books have been translated into three languages, and she is published in five countries.
In addition to writing novels for primary-aged children, Eileen is expanding her practice to develop work for Young Adult readers and more interactive audiences, including locative fiction for Brisbane City Council’s Outdoor Reads and most recently writing for the stage.
Eileen’s path to becoming a writer and aspiring playwright is unconventional. With a double degree in Arts/Science (Hons) and a PhD in Astrophysics, she has worked as a university tutor, IT professional, English teacher and sports journalist.




Screen Shot 2017 05 25 at 12.06.33 pmOlivia Hall-Smith.  At the end of 2015 as part of Underground Production's Playground Festival, she produced and performed in a short musical she had written based on the television series The Bachelor, called Roses Are Red (And So Is Blood). She is always writing in her spare time, as well as continually editing, reading and collaborating on scripts either on her own or with other creatives, all in addition to constantly working and creating with The Miscreants.


 

 

 

 

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Merilee Ettia is a writer and performer of musical theatre and theatre practice. Her play Fallen Olympus was the highest selling show of MUSE Theatre Festival in 2015 and later won first runner up in QT’s Young Playwright’s Award. As an actor she has trained in realism, comedy, classical and contemporary theatre with QACI, QT’s Youth Ensemble and QUT Drama. Some of her notable roles include Coral in Away, Hamlet in Hubris and Alex in QT’s Landmine is Me. As a singer she has advanced vocal qualifications and has performed solos at QPAC and the Powerhouse. She has also sung in various musicals, playing the Genie in Aladdin, Gabriella Montez in High School Musical and originating the role of Melania in You’ve Been Trumped. Her other passions include marketing and arts management, as a three time La Boite Ambassador and a member of Vena Cava Productions.

 

 

 


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Meet Merlynn Banner

MerlynnInterview


Professionally, what’s your goal?
My goal is to work full-time as an actor/ playwright who gets to create works and characters that make my heart sing! 


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
It was a cheesy but really powerful one. I was 14-years-old and my mother has just been pronounced dead after suicide. I was at the hospital in a state of shock when an Acting teacher at the time, Faith, rang me. Her voice was a river of power and strength that I leant into—all consolations prior to that point seemed devoid of meaning, empathy and effect on me. Faith said to me in her husky voice, "This will make you stronger. I see you. You are strong. Whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger." I know it's a cliché saying now but at that time of my life, those words kept me breathing.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
After my previous one-woman-show, Ma Ma Ma Mad, which was about my mother's suicide and my attempt at it, I was approached by an audience member. My show was at Cybercity 2002: a Chinese restaurant, arcade and karaoke venue. We had a conversation amongst pool tables, fried rice and Canto-pop songs. Despite the chaos around us, we connected. Something incredible happened between us. By end of the conversation he held me, thanked me and told me that he was going to choose living. The implication of what he said hit me, hard. I went home and wept. If all the work for making that show was just for him, it would have been enough.  

What’s your favourite art work?
Too many to name. I yearn for works that make my world stop, demand I reconsider my preconceptions and move me so deeply I feel it in my bones. I lean a lot into visual art and music when I create.


What themes do you pursue?
I once heard that every work we create is us trying to tell the same story in a different way. That could well be true for me! I didn't quite choose these themes but my work seems to revolve around survival and thriving, awakening, sex, female power, Singapore as a country and concept, love and hope. 


How has your practice changed over time?
I'm really young in my practice. But I am definitely more focused now with a stronger belief that I can actually make shit happen. I am also diving deeper into the land of fiction, I'm falling in love with dialogues; my next play will be my first fictional multi-hander.

Why do you do what you do?
It's what my heart, body and soul demands. I just try to listen and follow their longings.
 
Bio:
Merlynn Tong is a Chinese Singaporean Actor and Playwright based in Brisbane, Australia. Some of her performances include Viral (2016, Shock Therapy Productions, Gold Coast Arts Centre), Straight White Men (2016, La Boite Theatre), Ma Ma Ma Mad (2015, Wonderland Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse), The Theory of Everything (2015, Brisbane Festival), The Wizards from Oz (2015, Taiwan, Taoyuan International Children’s Festival), Hot Brown Honey (2015, Judith Wright Centre), The C Word (2014, Dir: Todd MacDonald, Metro Arts), American Music Club (2014, Brisbane Festival), The Golden Show (2012, Japan, Dairakudakan Dance Group) and hosting Out of the Box Children’s Festival (2014, QPAC).
 
As a playwright, she has recently published two of her one-woman shows, Ma Ma Ma Mad (2015) and Blue Bones (2016). Ma Ma Ma Mad is based on the true story of her mother’s suicide and Blue Bones is a semi-auto biography of teenage romance as it blossoms in the bustling streets of Singapore and soon, combusts into a dynamo of domestic violence. Merlynn is currently working with Playlab and Playwriting Australia (Lotus Programme) to create her third play, Hot Wet Void, a sticky journey through the confessions of migrants living in humid Singapore.

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