Griffin Studio is our esteemed mentorship program—a creative lab for early career playwrights. Each year our Studio artists develop one or more projects with support from Griffin’s Artistic team, while undertaking workshops on aspects of playwriting and theatremaking. Griffin Studio provides artists with the time and resources to create work that can shape the nation.
In the program’s thirteen-year-long history, Griffin Studio has engaged 41 artists and has led to 19 professional productions including City of Gold, Orange Thrower and Whitefella Yella Tree, with alumni including Kate Mulvany, Sheridan Harbridge and Tessa Leong.
Applications for Griffin Studio 2024 are now closed!
Griffin Studio provides a space for emerging writers from across Sydney to establish a cohort of artistic peers and to have regular access to the Literary and Programming staff at Griffin Theatre Company.
We strongly encourage applications from First Nations writers, writers from non-Anglo cultural and linguistic backgrounds, writers of all abilities, and writers from LGBTQIA+ communities.
Griffin’s Studio artists for 2023 are:
Emma Maye Gibson
Emma Maye Gibson (AKA Betty Grumble) is a Warrane/Sydney-based performance artist. Largely through the avatar/war mask/love letter/critter of Betty Grumble, she engages her body as a medicinal site of performative catharsis, often in a genre smash of ritual physical theatre, cabaret, performance art and multimedia. She has her Masters in Fine Arts/Arse and has presented work at Darwin Festival, Brisbane Festival, Vivid Festival, Festival of Dangerous Ideas, The Sydney Opera House, Glastonbury, Edinburgh Fringe, Griffin Theatre, The Bearded Tit, MCA, AGNSW and festivals around the world. She is currently touring her offering Enemies of Grooviness Eat Shit and working with the mantra Thank You Body towards rite of passage and purification performance offering, 24hr Grumble Boogie for WorldPride 2023. Her mentors include Annie Sprinkle, Vic Spence and the late great Candy Royalle & Elizabeth Burton.
Michelle Lim Davidson
Michelle graduated from the WAAPA in 2010 and has since worked extensively as an actor in theatre, TV and film. Michelle’s theatre credits include Torch the Place, An Ideal Husband (Melbourne Theatre Company), Banging Denmark, How to Rule the World, Top Girls and Power Plays (Sydney Theatre Company), The Feather in the Web and The Lysicrates Prize (Griffin Theatre Company), Play School Live (ABC), The Laramie Project (STC Education), The Plant and Seminar (Ensemble Theatre), Far Away (Black Swan Theatre Co) and as the guest star alongside John Cleese in the Just for Laughs Comedy Festival. Michelle was most recently seen on Nine Network’s drama series After the Verdict and ABC’s The Newsreader, for which she received an AACTA nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Drama. Michelle’s other television credits include The Secret She Keeps, Harrow, Black Comedy, Nursery Rhyme News Time, Get Krack!n, Top of the Lake: China Girl, Utopia, Doctor Doctor, Live from Planet Earth and Big Ted’s Big Adventure. Michelle is also a regular presenter on Play School and is featured on ABC KIDS Listen’s Story Salad. Michelle’s film credits include Ivan Sen’s Goldstone and the short film Beyond the Bubble, selected for the Sydney Film Festival 2017. For her performance in The Feather in the Web, Michelle was nominated for Best Female Actress in a Mainstage Production at the Sydney Theatre Awards and was the recipient of the 2013 Mike Walsh Fellowship. In 2016 Michelle received the Equity Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series for Utopia and in 2022 received the Equity Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series for The Newsreader. Michelle is an emerging writer for television and stage. She has written for the recently released series Born to Spy for ABC ME and The Wonder Gang for ABC Kids. Michelle’s play Where We Love is Home was selected for Sydney Theatre Company’s Rough Draft program in 2022.
Randa Sayed (aka Aanisa Vylet) creates characters and stories that are entertaining vehicles for social and cultural change. She is a Create NSW Fellow and a two-time Ian Potter Foundation Cultural Trust grant recipient.
Her first play The Girl was shortlisted for the Phillip Parsons Playwriting Award and the West Australian Arts Editor Award, as well as receiving five-star ratings at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2016. In 2018, she performed this work in tandem with her second play, The Girl/The Woman (National Theatre of Parramatta). Her most recent writing credits include Sauvage (Batch Festival, Griffin Theatre Company), Abu Salim (Brand X Flying Nun Festival, Bondi Festival, Battersea Arts Centre Residency, La Mama Explorations Festival) and the web series Halal Gurls (ABC/Create NSW), which received several awards and ACTAA, AWGIE, NZ and Seoul Festival nominations. She is currently co-writing an episode of television for Bunya Productions/ABC. She has worked for companies such as Fremantle Australia, Bunya Productions, See Saw Films, Foxtel, Matchbox Pictures, Sydney Theatre Company, National Theatre of Parramatta, Erth Visual and Physical Inc and Monkey Baa Theatre Company. Her published works include Home Schooling (Dear Australia Project 2020—Playwriting Australia), Private Research (The Voices Project 2013—Currency Press) and On Western Sydney (Westside New Series 2013). Randa is very excited to be developing her fourth play (and character) Abu Salim as part of the Dyanmila Residency and Griffin Studio in 2023.
Since its inception in 2011, the Griffin Studio has seen 41 exceptional artists move through the program. Meet them all here.
If you’re interested in supporting a small annual cohort of directors, writers and dramaturgs over the course of their year-long residency and beyond while making a deeper connection with Griffin, we’d love for you to consider supporting Griffin Studio.
We’re very proud that our former Studio artists have worked at every major theatre in Australia, demonstrating the important contribution our Studio donors make to not only Griffin, but the wider arts community.
If you’re passionate about the process of creating new Australian work, consider supporting Griffin Studio Workshop. You can support a creative, a trio of creatives, or a whole team of creatives for a work’s weeklong creative development. Learn more and donate online