Through the Playwright-in-Residence program, Playlab Theatre commissions playwrights to develop a new work for production. The development process for each work lasts as long as is needed, with playwrights provided with rigorous dramaturgical support and the resources necessary for an inspired process of adventure and discovery in pursuit of excellence.


Never fear, the @BLKBUNKERBTCHES are here!

The zombie apocalypse has finally happened and TikTok is the sole form of communication. This is a world of zombie kill tally’s, educational doomsday TikTok’s, and out-of-bounds Bunnings. Sheree and Tash are bunking down in a bowling alley, when another survivor turns up, challenging their isolation. Maybe it’s time to explore who, and what else, is out there? With big decisions to make, and no working flamethrower to protect them, how do two blak women navigate a world that is actively trying to kill them?

Eat Slay Zombie is a horror/comedy about colonisation, friendship and state occupation – except it’s zombies.

A Githabul, Migunberri-Yugumbeh woman residing in Meanjin, Alinta McGrady is a seasoned multi-faceted artist and has performed at festivals and events such as Woodford folk festival, Yonder, Quandamooka Festival, Brisbane Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival and more. With a love of creating Music and Theatre for Children, she has toured regionally with productions Stradbroke Dreamtime with Queensland theatre, Have you Ever Heard a Wombat Sing a music theatre work written by herself, Waveney Yasso and Sue Rider and an Artist in Residency with Powerkids: Little Artists At Play at the Brisbane Powerhouse with Imaginary Theatre. She has worked with the likes of Xavier Rudd and Blue King Brown as a backing vocalist and toured nationally and internationally with Xavier Rudd & the United Nations, along with releasing music and performing as a solo artist weaving stories inspired by Regage, roots, funk and soul. 2021 and 2022 have been huge years for Alinta, performing with Polytoxic in Demolition for Brisbane Festival and Apocalystick for WOW, creating and recording children’s music with Waveney Yasso in Our backyard and becoming a member of the world renowned collective that is Hot Brown Honey touring nationally and internationally.

Kathryn Marquet

Evie, a geneticist, is on her way to Mars. Her husband, Aiden, a geologist, is also on the mission to establish a conservation sanctuary on the red planet in the face of environmental collapse on Earth.

Ark Mark II is carrying thousands of samples of plant and animal genetic material. Genesis, the private corporation funding the mission, has marketed this as God’s plan for a redo. Evie is their winning ticket: she’s developed a working artificial womb for mammals.

In one bizarre night on-board Ark Mark II, Evie wakes up sick and discovers that she is pregnant. She must decide what to do and quickly. As she attempts to contact family on Earth, she discovers the Ark Mark II is not just carrying animal and plant DNA. B is a tragicomedy of galactic proportions and a love song to planet Earth, which explores the rise of corporate power, and the need for a new ethics in a time of boundless capitalism. If we refuse to learn from our mistakes on Earth, are we destined to repeat them on Mars?

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.


Intimate, provocative, but permissive and safe, Paradigm weaves a compelling trilogy of relationships between characters who are at turning points in their lives; each seeking to find an authentic way to be themselves in a relationship. Each playwright writes for one narrative all occurring simultaneously in a hotel room, but in different realities. Each story will counterpoint and/or amplify the others to create a poetic tapestry. Paradigm will explore different expressions of intimacy through alternate relationship models (polygamy etc.) allowing any audience to connect with the universality of love.

Unconditional was both Seán Dowling’s professional writing and performing debut. Seán was one of Playlab Theatre’s 2020 Alpha Processing participants with her new work Quarehawk. She was also one of the 2019 La Boite Theatre Company 21 artists development, where she wrote and produced the short 21 Dates. Seán has a background in writing for screen, having received Screen Queensland grants to develop the short films Skip to the End and The Beer Line. Seán was one of the founding members, writers and performers of The Sexy Detective Show, a nationally touring sketch comedy troupe. Seán’s 2006 Short Film, Copy, swept both major awards for Best Film and Audience Choice in Brisbane International Film Festival Fast Film Competition, the Best Film in the Queensland Short Film Festival and Judge’s Choice in The Melbourne Comedy Film Festival..

Merlynn Tong is an Actor and Playwright. Playlab has published three of her works. These include her one-woman shows, Ma Ma Ma Mad, the true story of her mother’s suicide and Blue Bones, a semi-autobiography of teenage romance as it blossoms then warps in heat of bustling Singapore. In 2018, Merlynn wrote Good Grief, a play for Queensland Theatre’s The Scene Project. In 2019, she adapted Antigone for Queensland Theatre. Her solo work Blue Bones has won 6 Matilda Awards including the Lord Mayor Award for Best New Australian Work, Best Mainstage Production and Best Female Actor in a Leading Role. Some of her recent performances include White Pearl (Sydney Theatre Company & National Theatre of Parramatta), The Shot (Queensland Theatre, The Scene Project), Harrow 2 (ABC), Reef Break (ABC/M6), Top of the Lake: China Girl (BBC & Sundance Films, Jane Campion), What I’m Here For (Elbow Room & Flowstate), The Mathematics of Longing (La Boite Theatre), The Lost Lending Library (Punchdrunk & Imaginary Theatre), Hotelling (Bleached Arts), Bitch: Origin of the Female Species (Brisbane Festival), Blue Bones (Playlab & Brisbane Powerhouse), Viral (Shock Therapy Productions, Gold Coast Arts Centre), Straight White Men (La Boite Theatre), Ma Ma Ma Mad (Brisbane Powerhouse), The Theory of Everything (Brisbane Festival), The Wizards from Oz (Taiwan, Taoyuan International Children’s Festival) and Hot Brown Honey (Judith Wright Centre).

Ian Lawson is a multi award-winning Queensland based Director and Dramaturg with a focus on new work. He is the Artistic Director/CEO of Playlab Theatre, where he’s directed the critically acclaimed Blue Bones, The Dead Devils of Cockle Creek, Magpie, Horizon and Slow Boat. Ian was the Associate Director at La Boite (2002 – 2008), where he managed the Creative and Professional Development programs and directed numerous productions including My Love Had a Black Speed Stripe, Urban Dingoes, Crèche & Burn, Last Drinks, The Narcissist, The Danger Age and the return season of The Narcissist for the Sydney Theatre Company. Ian also directed the critically acclaimed gothic contemporary performance piece The Pineapple Queen. Ian directed sell out seasons of Bastard Territory for Brown’s Mart and JUTE, and as part of Queensland Theatre’s 2016 season, Hotel Beche de Mer for the Arts Centre Gold Coast and Hopelessly Devoted for Glen Street in Sydney. For the Queensland Music Festival Ian was the Associate Director and Designer on Bobcat Dancing and Bobcat Magic, and directed Radio Plays. Ian has also worked for many other organisations including: Brisbane Festival, UQ, Griffith University, Zen Zen Zo and Screen Queensland.