Through the Playwrights-in-Residence program Playlab Theatre commissions playwrights to develop a work for production.
Lasting as long as a work needs, playwrights are provided with the guidance and resources necessary for a rigorous, inspired process of adventure and discovery, in pursuit of excellence.
As part of the residency, a playwright may take on a mentoring role with a young playwright (who will become a young playwright-in-residence), passing on insights and craft to another generation.
Horizon by Maxine Mellor
Cole and Sky, are a young couple hitting the highway. Heading out to the gaping open-cut mines of Cole’s late father, they’re filled with unbridled enthusiasm fo the journey ahead. The boundless plains stretch ahead inspiring conspiratorial romantic dreaming and poetic ruminations.
As they leave behind familiar territory, heatwaves warp the looming horizon and the air becomes sinister. A long-forgotten mix tape buried deep in the glovebox underscores the journey, but out of the static following the final song comes the recorded voice of a pubescent Cole – spitting fury and angst. Sky scratches deeper, searching for traces of anger and violence that might still linger, while Cole tallies roadkill and feels every bump in the bitumen. The horizon beckons, yet their chance of making it to their destination intact is reducing each dusty kilometre.
Horizon is a high-octane adrenaline rush of sweat, grit and dangerous ambition set in a classic car tearing its way from Queensland’s east coast to the guts of the country.
Maxine Mellor is an award-winning playwright of over twenty works. Awards include the Queensland Theatre’s Young Playwright’s Award (2001, 2002, 2003); the QTC George Landen Dann Award (2004); and a Matilda Award for best new independent work for Performance (2005) for Magda’s Fascination with Wax Cats. In 2012 she won Inscription’s Edward Albee New York City Residency Scholarship, and the 2012/2013 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award. Maxine won the Max Afford Playwriting Award for 2014 for The Silver Alps, and in 2017, and received the Lord Mayor’s Young & Emerging Artists Fellowship to undertake professional development through Singapore, Iceland and the UK.
Maxine’s work has been showcased at the National Play Festival twice and throughout the USA as part of Inscription’s Playwriting and Screenwriting tour (2014). Recent productions include La Boite’s national tour of Maxine’s stage adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, Trollop at Queensland Theatre, The Wizard of Oz (in collaboration with The Danger Ensemble, Brisbane Festival and La Boite), and Anna Robi & The House of Dogs (Brisbane Festival’s Under the Radar). Her plays have been produced throughout Australiia, and are published with Playlab and Australian Plays.
Maxine also regularly teaches and mentors emerging writers throughout schools and universities, including recently facilitating Playwriting Australia’s Lotus program for Asian Australian playwrights. She is a qualified drama and visual art teacher and often works with gifted and talented students delivering workshops in various creative fields.
For more information visit www.maxinemellor.com.
As it currently stands, Playlab can only only support one playwright a year through this program. It is our intention to expand this initiative to more playwrights per year, but in order to do this we need your support. If you are in a position to partner with us financially, please support us and donate here. Contribution of any amount can make a difference.
Rising – Emerging Female Playwrights commission
Rising is a Playlab Theatre commission providing a meaningful pathway for five emerging female playwrights to transition into professional practice, by developing and extending skills through the rigour of creating a work for the main stage. Led by award-winning playwright, Kathryn Marquet, Rising is a new Australian work generated from an eco-feminist premise and focusing on the gulf between socio-political rhetoric and deeper, active engagement with ecological crises, the systems that perpetuate this crises and the absence of the female voice from the process.