"My Diduma wanted me to be a CEO. First female Indian CEO in Australia."


Presented by Griffin Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre 

Michele Lee is an important emerging voice in contemporary Australian writing. Ambitious in form and idea, her observations on race, gender and power can be both sharp and tender. With Rice, Michele sets the personal politics of two women against the politics of global food production.

Nisha is a high-flying young executive at Australia’s largest producer of rice — precocious, headstrong and determined to become Australia’s first female Indian CEO. She’s presently closing in on a secret deal with the Indian government, which will place her company at the centre of India’s rice distribution. Working late every night, Nisha encounters Yvette, the ‘Chinese cleaner’ of her office building. As the nights wear on, she soon realises that Yvette has more to offer than merely clearing away her dishes. The two form a powerful, if unlikely, bond as they navigate the complexities of their lives.

Rice won Michele Lee the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award 2016-2017. Helpmann Award-winning director Lee Lewis directs this insightful new work.

“This may be her first mainstage play, but it marks the beginning of what I believe will be a robust conversation between Michele and Australian audiences.” – Lee Lewis

Winner Queensland Premier’s Drama Award, 2016
Winner Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Drama, 2018
Winner Best Original Stage Play, Australian Writer’s Guild Awards, 2018
Winner Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting, 2018

Download the program

Content Warning
This production contains adult themes, coarse language and the use of theatrical haze.

Cast & Creatives

Director Lee Lewis
Designer Renee Mulder
Lighting Designer Jason Glenwright
Composer & AV Designer Wil Hughes
Associate Sound Designer Tony Brumpton
With Kristy Best, Hsiao-Ling Tang

Performance Times

Preview 21 –25 July
Season 28 July – 26 August

Performance Times
Monday – Friday 7pm
Saturday 2pm & 7pm
Tuesday 22 August 2pm & 7pm

Live Captioning
The performance on Tuesday 22 August 7pm will be live captioned.

Run Time
Approximately 85 minutes, with no interval


Rice Trailer

Lee Lewis on Rice

Cast Q&A, Rice


“Superbly acted by Best and Tang with joy, relish and stage chemistry, the direction from Griffin’s Lee Lewis is pinpoint.” The Australian

“This powerful and tender interrogation of race, gender and the vastly different relationship that migrants of varying generations have with Australia.” Hush Hush Biz

“Director Lee Lewis brings great clarity to the play and an approach that puts these two characters’ emotional lives ahead of all the corporate speak…Kristy Best and Hsiao-Ling Tang drive the action of the play forth with extraordinary energy, slipping in and out of characters faultlessly while still tracing the arcs of Nisha and Yvette with great integrity.” Daily Review

“This production of Rice has so many grains of truth about the messiness of life and addresses them honestly, humanly and, often, hilariously.” Australian Stage Online

Blog Posts

In Conversation with Michele Lee


In the lead-up to the Sydney premiere of her award-winning play RICE, Michele Lee shares her thoughts on writing, identity, work and growing up in Canberra in the 90s. In June, in the balmy Brisbane winter, I watched the opening...

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Supported by

Rice was developed with the support of Playwriting Australia at the National Play Festival and National Script Workshop 2015

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