Mary Rachel Brown has been awarded the second annual Lysicrates Prize for new Australian Playwriting, receiving a full $12,500 Griffin Theatre Company commission, as voted by the audience, at Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
The Lysicrates Prize for playwriting is produced by Griffin Theatre Company and the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney and supported by the Lysicrates Foundation created by John and Patricia Azarias, with two aims: to provide encouragement to Australia’s playwriting talent, and to help restore the beautiful Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in the Royal Botanical Garden, Sydney.
Mary Rachel Brown was amongst three finalists who were shortlisted to submit the first act of a new play. The two runners-up Campion Decent and Elise Hearst each received a $1,000 cash prize. This innovative new Australian playwriting competition was inspired by the imminent restoration of an historic monument in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden: The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.
The three shortlisted plays were:
Mary Rachel Brown’s Approximate Balance, about the Lightfoot family who struggle to cope with their son’s alcoholism. A young Filipino woman offers them a unique perspective on how to heal. Sometimes we find family where we least expect it.
Director: Mitchell Butel
Cast: Linda Cropper, John Gaden, Richard Sydenham, Lena Cruz
Campion Decent’s Saint Theo, when struck by lightning, stonemason and amateur thespian Theodore embarks on a Gilbert and Sullivan inspired philosophical quest with a mysterious young revenant and a woman in a pirate hat.
Director: Helen Dallimore
Cast: Simon Burke, Rowan Witt, Paula Arundell, Tamlyn Henderson
And Elise Hearst’s The Good Wolf, Naomi is a good Jewish girl trying not to be bad. The Good Wolf is her story about family, legacy, and finding love
Director: Ben Winspear
Cast: Michelle Lim, Deborah Kennedy, Natalie Gamsu, Hamish Michael