2023 Participants


Fen Carter

Fen Carter started a BFA (Drama) at QUT in 2016 and, like any freshly-out-of-high-school lost soul craving expression and identity, found theatre to be the connective tissue between themselves and the world. Since then, they managed theatre festivals, joined production teams and acted on stage (most recently with Flaming Carnations at Brisbane Festival), but they found a real passion for writing in solo and devised processes. They have written poetry, prose, for theatre and film, and no matter how much they write, there is always so much more to write about.


Donita Cruz

Donita Cruz is a Filipino, queer emerging artist who has a keen interest in exploring the highs and lows of the diaspora experience through writing for theatre and film. Her affinity for writing began at 8 years old where she wrote short stories and loved world-building. Cruz is a recipient of the PICA Contemporary Performance Award 2022 for her debut play Imelda, performed at The Blue Room Theatre. The 20-minute work reflects on contemporary Filipino identity in relation to the country’s polarising political landscape. Imelda was reviewed as having “emotive and clever writing” by Stage Whispers and “strong potential to be further developed into a longer piece of theatre” from Magazine6000. Cruz aims for her ambitious and honest works to bring some form of comfort when interrogating the human condition.


Sarah Esser

Sarah Esser is a playwright, poet and self-proclaimed Twilight-apologist based in Meanjin. In 2020, she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drama) at the Queensland University of Technology. That year, they wrote and directed their first full-length play I Hate to Tell You This, which was performed at Backbone Youth Arts. In 2020, she was also fortunate to be a writer and collaborator for La Boite’s Assembly and The Backbone Youth Ensemble. As both a poet and playwright, she wants to write stories that people can wrap their mouths around and chew on.


Oliver Hetherington-Page

Oliver Hetherington-Page is an award-winning writer/director/actor and Disability arts advocated. He graduated from QUT with a BFA Drama (With Distinction) at the end of 2019. Since graduating, In 2021 Oliver debuted his cabaret The No Bang Theory at the Bille Brown Theatre as part of Undercover Artist Festival. The rave reviews allowed Oliver to take the Show to the Wynnum Fringe, the Adelaide Fringe, HOTA at the Gold Coast, the PiP Theatre and RPAC in Redlands. This culminated in Oliver receiving both the Access Arts Achievement Award and a Matilda award for Best Emerging Artist. Beyond the No Bang Theory Oliver worked with Queensland Theatre on Drizzle Boy as an Autism Advisor, is a member of Indelabilityarts ensemble and is currently in development for two shows a follow up cabaret Santa Claus is Autistic and a school touring show XOXO Gatsby both co-produced by Indelabilityarts.


Blake Hohenhaus

Blake Hohenhaus is a Meanjin-based playwright, producer and actor. As a playwright, he was a participant in the ATYP Fresh Ink National Mentorship program (2022), La Boite’s Assembly (2020) and was the winner of the Queensland Theatre Young Playwright’s Award (2017) (with Zoe Hulme-Peake). Over the last three years Blake has contributed to theatre in SEQ as a co-writer – on works that range from Australian Gothic to Immersive Sci-Fi – dramaturg, research assistant and playwriting workshop facilitator. Currently, Blake is one of the co-creatives behind Lunch Friend who are producing 34 Scenes About the Weather for Anywhere Festival in May 2023, for which Blake is the producer and dramaturg. As an actor, he was a Touring Member of shake & stir’s Primary School team (2021-2023). Blake holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Acting, Theatre) from USQ (2020) and is most fascinated by the way theatre brings people together to tell their stories.


Dirk Hoult

Dirk Hoult is a theatre director, an actor, and a performance coach – passionate about working with young and emerging artists and championing the creative development of original theatrical works: plays, musical theatre, and cabaret. Born in Melbourne (Naarm) and raised in Ipswich (Jagerra), Dirk began his actor training at the University of Southern Queensland. He spent a decade making theatre in Brisbane before moving to the UK. Inspired by London’s cabaret scene, Dirk returned to Melbourne to create his own; The Brass Bear Cabaret (Melbourne Cabaret Festival), The Butcher Shop Review (The Butterfly Club: extended residency), Doggo (Melbourne Comedy Festival), Share My Blankets (Melbourne Fringe, Melt Fest), and Oprahfication (Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, New York). He completed his MA in Theatre Directing at VCA (The University of Melbourne) and later directed Pops (Melbourne Fringe), The Blazing Son (La Mama), The Man Of Mode (Chapel Off Chapel) and also wrote and directed We Were There (Chapel Off Chapel) a verbatim play offering a female perspective of HIV & AIDS since its arrival in Australia. In addition, he has appeared in, directed, and assisted in several musicals, including One In Seven (La Mama), Company (Watch This Inc.), Butch Masters: Man Of Destiny (Midsumma), Fugitive Songs (Chapel Off Chapel), Godspell (BMT), The Witches Of Eastwick (BMT), Assassins (Warehaus Theatre), Parade (Warehaus Theatre), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Oscar), Behind The Cane (Queensland Music Festival), Downside Up (Judith Wright Centre), and The 5-Ways (Brisbane Festival). Dirk is a teaching artist with Queensland Theatre. He is currently directing a community production of The Wizard Of Oz (Lynch & Paterson), coming to the Twelfth Night Theatre this June.


Krishna Patel

Krishna is a Townsville-born writer and producer, whose practice traverses theatre, film, music and digital media. As the founder of Theatre of Diversion, Krishna’s debut web series Tides and short film Gothenburg were developed with support from Arts Queensland. Her subsequent musical theatre work sh!tshow, written in collaboration with Hidden Pillars, premiered in Townsville before a run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2022. Krishna has recently returned from London, where she worked as a Writer’s Room Assistant for Keshet UK. She now looks forward to writing stories that resonate with her home crowd, with capability of touring both in Australia and the UK.