Ignite the Spark!

Extending the pathway established by Playlab Theatre & QPAC’s Sparks program, Ignition is the next step for First Nations playwrights to further advance their creative practice. Beginning Early September 2024, Ignition will support three emerging First Nations playwrights through a rigorous process of developing a completed draft towards rehearsal readiness. As part of the process, the program will conclude with a public reading in late November 2024 to showcase works to producers and a wider audience.

Participants will engage in a structured one-on-one dramaturgical process with program facilitator Kathryn Marquet, deconstructing and reconstructing a work, before entering a workshop with actors and a director for two weeks. In addition, participants will also receive a $2500 stipend to support their engagement in the program.

To be eligible to apply, applicants must submit a full-length (75+ minutes) completed draft. In-person attendance at the first day of the program and the workshop/reading phase is required.

Applications close August 22, 2024.

Ignition will move through three phases: Crafting, Workshop and Performance. 

Phase 1 – Crafting 

  • Assessment/Plan – Playwrights will meet one on one with a professional dramaturg to unpack their current draft and identify strategies for redrafting to strengthen and deepen the artistic work. 
  • Call & Response –Playwrights work to create a new draft of their script, activating feedback received during the intensive workshop and one on one sessions. Participants meet again with a professional dramaturg to check in on the process and unpack any developing issues.
  • Workshop Draft –By the end of the Crafting phase Playwrights will deliver a workshop draft.

Phase 2 – Workshop 

  • Floor work – Each playwright will get at least the equivalent of two non-sequential full days with a director and actors to explore and test their script. Making evolutionary changes where necessary.
  • Rehearsal Draft – By the end of the Workshop phase Playwrights will deliver a rehearsal draft.

Phase 3 – Performance 

  • Public Reading – Playwrights work will be rehearsed and performed by a group of professional actors under the guidance of a director. Key stakeholders will be invited to consider the works presented for further investment opportunities.

Q. Can I apply if I am not Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander? 

A. No. This program is specifically for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community members. 

Q. What if I haven’t been apart of Sparks? Can I still apply? 

A. Absolutely! As long as you submit with a completed draft, you are more than welcome to apply. 

Q. What if I don’t have a completed draft?

A. Applicants must apply with a completed draft of a full length (75+ minutes) work. However, if you are interested in participating in this program, and don’t quite have a complete draft, but have a work-in-progress, please reach out to us at info@playlabtheatre.com.au to discuss.

Q. Will there be cultural support in the program?

A. Yes! The ‘Ignition’ program is supported by QPAC First Nations Team, and Playlab Theatre’s Aunty-In-Residence: Aunty Roxanne McDonald. 

Q. What are the time commitments for the program?

A. Ignition largely comprises of one-on-one intensives and therefore has the capacity for flexible scheduling. However, to participate in the program you will need to have availability across September-November 2024.  

Q. Will I be remunerated for my time?

A. Yes! This development program is funded by Playlab Theatre and QPAC, and you will receive a $2500 stipend, divided across three payments to participate in the program. However, if you are unable to complete the program or cannot attend all of the program events, the payments may be reduced or cancelled.

Q. What if I have special circumstances or accessibility requirements?

A. Please reach out to us at info@playlabtheatre.com.au before applying if you would like to chat about the ways we can best support you in this program.

Q. Where is this program held?

A. This program will be held in Brisbane.

Q. Can I apply if I am not from Brisbane?

A. To be eligible participants must be able to attend the program in-person. However, if you are interested in participating in this program, and cannot attend in person or only partially in person, please reach out to us at info@playlabtheatre.com.au to discuss.

Aunty Roxanne McDonald is descended from the Mandandanjii, Wangan & Darambal tribes of Central Queensland. She has worked as an actor with leading Australian theatre companies for over 30 years in over 65 main-stage theatre productions. Her recent Stage, Film and TV Credits include: Hit Productions: The Sunshine Club currently touring the country. LaBoite Theatre: Away & Tiddas, Queensland Theatre Company: Our Town. Television: Queen of Oz Film: Australia Day. Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award – Actors Benevolent Fund (2022); Matilda Awards Special Commendation (2000). Roxanne has voice over, creative development & many arts related projects to her credit. She co-directed Face to Face for Playlab Theatre; Queensland Theatre’s Don’t Ask What The Bird Look Like & Belvoir St Theatre’s Tiddas (co-produced with LaBoite). Aunty Roxy was appointed Artistic Elder with Queensland Theatre in 2023.
Kathryn Marquet is an actor and a playwright. Her published/performed works include: The Secret Garden (QT Young Artist Ensemble/Dead Puppet Society); The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek (Playlab/La Boite); The Owl and the Pussycat (Little Match); Furious Creatures (QPDA Finalist/Playwriting Australia workshop participant); and Pale Blue Dot (La Boite). In 2017, Kathryn was Playwright In Residence at Playlab, and, in 2013, Kathryn held the position of Playwright in Residence at La Boite Theatre Company. Kathryn sat on the board of Associate Artists at Queensland Theatre from 2011 until 2013. Kathryn has recently completed her Masters of Philosophy in Playwriting from UQ.

Kathryn’s theatre performances include Magpie (Playlab),  A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Glass MenagerieAs You Like It, Ruben Guthrie and The White Earth (La Boite), Faustus (Bell Shakespeare/QT), The Crucible, Maxine Mellor’s Mystery Project, and 25 Down (Queensland Theatre), Bastard Territory (JUTE/Brown’s Mart), Prehistoric and After All This (Elbow Room), April’s Fool (Empire), Tender (…and Moor), Risk (Umber), Catholic School Girls (ThreeSisters/Mad Cat), Brontë (ThreeSisters), Cinderella, Jane Eyre, Little Women, Two Weeks with the Queen, Into the Woods, and The Taming of the Shrew (HRTC).

Her film and television credits include the feature film Don’t Tell (Tori Garrett), and series’ Secrets & Lies (Hoodlum/Network Ten), and Sisters of War (ABC). Kathryn was engaged in the Emerging Artist program for QT in 2009. She won the 2009 Matilda Award for Best Emerging Artist, was nominated for the 2010 Matilda for Best Supporting Actress and won Best Ensemble at the 2015 Melbourne Green Room Awards for Prehistoric. She is a graduate of the acting program at the University of Southern Queensland.