4 June 2017
Now in it’s 20th year, the prestigious Griffin Award recognises an outstanding play or performance text that displays an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice, with the winner receiving a $10,000 prize.
This year, 95 entries were received. The plays were read anonymously by a panel of artists charged with the unenviable task of whittling them down to a shortlist of just five. Each play was read at least twice, with any conflicting opinions resolved by a third reader. The shortlist is put before a judging panel of industry leaders who select the winner.
The winner of this year’s award will be announced at a special event at Griffin on Sunday 4 June. At this event an excerpt of each of the five shortlisted plays will be read, before the winner is announced. This year’s finalists are:
Kit Brookman for The Bees Are All Dead
Ang Collins for Blueberry Play
David Finnigan for Kill Climate Deniers
Emme Hoy for Extinction of the Learned Response
Brooke Robinson for Good Cook. Friendly. Clean.
The Griffin Award is generously supported by Copyright Agency Limited. We hope to see you at this special event to celebrate new Australian playwriting.
Kit’s plays include The Plant (Ensemble Theatre Company), A Rabbit for Kim Jong-il (Griffin), The Great Fire, Small and Tired (Belvoir), Night Maybe (Stuck Pigs Squealing Theatre), Nora (Belvoir, co-writer), and Heaven (La Mama Theatre). Kit won the 2013 Philip Parsons Fellowship. As a director his work includes Is This Thing On?, Small and Tired and Heaven.
Ang is a playwright at the humble beginnings of her career. She completed her Bachelor of Arts (Languages) at the University of Sydney in 2016, where she cut her dramatic teeth as part of the Sydney University Dramatic Society. She was a participant at Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Studio at Bundanon Trust in 2016 – her short piece Blueberry Girl Grows Up was subsequently featured in ATYP’s Intersection in February 2017 as a result of the Studio. She is currently studying a Master of Fine Arts (Writing for Performance) at NIDA.
David Finnigan is a writer, theatre-maker and pharmacy assistant from Canberra. He is a member of science-theatre ensemble Boho and an associate of Coney and the Sipat Lawin Ensemble. David is a Churchill Fellow and an Australia Council Early Career Fellow.
In 2011 Emme attended her first playwriting course at Griffin, under Hilary Bell. In the same year, her first play Once Bitten was performed at the Sydney Fringe Festival. Also in 2011, Emme received the All Rounders Award, was a recipient of the Australian Student Prize and was awarded third place in the History Extension Prize. Since then, she’s been shortlisted for the Monash University Short Story Prize, won the Questions Writing Prize and had work published in Kill Your Darlings Journal. In 2014 Emme won a place at ATYP’s National Studio and – whilst completing her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Creative Writing at UNSW – received the School of the Arts & Media Prize for Best Performance in Creative Writing. In 2015, Emme graduated with Distinction and on the Dean’s List and swore herself off further tertiary education forever. A few weeks later, she applied for a MFA in Writing for Performance at NIDA – where she wrote a play, television series and film. In 2017, her television series Nobody’s Perfect was longlisted for AWG’S Primetime TV competition. This year, Emme’s resident playwright at the Old 505 Theatre, co-Director of Pretty Nice Company, and in June her newest play Salem will be performed at the Playhouse Theatre. She’s currently working on a film and co-writing Pretty Nice Company’s upcoming play, No Love for Iguana, which is set to premiere at the Sydney Fringe Festival.
Brooke is based in London and Sydney. Recent works-in-progress have been shown at Theatre 503 in London and the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh. She was twice longlisted and once shortlisted for Old Vic 12 playwriting commission in London and in 2016 completed Stephen Jeffreys’ invitational Advances in Scriptwriting course at RADA, London. In Australia, Dangerous Lenses was produced at Theatre 505, Sydney and the Hub Station, Melbourne, and Animal/People was produced by Rock Surfers theatre company. Brooke is a former member of the Australian Theatre for Young People’s Writers ensemble.