Under the guidance of experienced artists, emerging First Nations playwrights will be led through a range of activities and workshops designed to spark ideas, introduce elements of craft, and provide strategies for activating brand new script ideas. During the process First Nations industry practitioners will provide professional and artistic insights to help stimulate the conceptualising and development of a new work. Sparks will burn brightly to its conclusion with a public reading of an extract from each of the developing new works, featuring professional actors and directors.

Sparks is a Playlab Theatre and QPAC partnership program that supports First Nations writers taking their first steps into playwriting.

Sparks Alumni

Alinta McGrady

3 Teenagers and a Zombie apocalypse

In 3 Teenagers and a Zombie apocalypse, Sheree and Tash are best friends who have just graduated from high school when a zombie apocalypse breaks out, testing their doomsday prepper knowledge, and friendship. A coming-of-age story about three Blak, Queer teenagers, navigating the loss of a world they once had plans for, to now discovering who they are in a zombie state.

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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.

Colin Smith

Can I Call You Mum & Dad?

Can I Call You Mum & Dad? is an autobiographical one-person show that explores Colin’s upbringing, with a primary focus on how his biological parents were separated by racism, and how becoming an actor might have been a way to cope with that trauma.

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Colin Smith is an Australian First Nations performing artist of the Jagera people, and a two-decade-plus veteran of the Brisbane theatre scene. He was a Core Ensemble member with the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble between 2007 and 2019, performing with the company in over twenty productions including Much Ado About Nothing, Metamorphoses, As You Like It, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mary Stuart, The Tempest, Hamlet, and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. He was a Matilda Award winner in the Best Lead Male Actor category for his work in 2017’s An Octoroon, and a nominee in the Best Supporting Male Actor category for his work in 2015’s The Odd Couple, both produced by Queensland Theatre. His other theatre credits include: Queensland Theatre – Black Diggers, Twelfth Night, Nearer The Gods, and Our Town; La Boite Theatre Company – A Streetcar Named Desire and From Darkness. He is a member of the MEAA’s Equity Diversity Committee. In 2022 he will be touring the highly acclaimed 2020 Sydney Festival production Black Cockatoo, produced by Sydney’s Ensemble Theatre.

Website: colinwsmith.com.au

Fay Gee-hoy

Skin Deep – Bit of Black Blood

Has rugby star Jimmy Dean walked away from the biggest game of his life? Following a media storm kicked up by his selection in the Indigenous All Star’s team, Jimmy Dean runs from the spotlight and back home unsure if his career is over before it even began. But running from the present forces him to explore his past when his Nan and Pop show him that their family’s been fighting far too long to give up now.

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Fay Gee-Hoy is a Kulali, Gunggari, Jidabul and Barbarrum woman who was born in Cherbourg but grew up in different places. She now lives in Townsville and works with Relationships Australia as Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Engagement Practitioner In this role she supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients in numerous settings, such as at court, within the prison system, hospitals, Murri ministry, at Men’s or Women’s Groups, etc.. She has a passion for working with and for her people and anyone else who may be going through difficult times in their lives. Fay is the author of a children’s book called Over the Back Fence and is excited to see more stories from First Nations people onto theatre stages.

Shannon Jensen

Mud Face

Mud face focuses on the story of two sisters separated after the death of their mother and the reconnection that takes place twenty years later. The play centres around the central ideas of Aboriginal identity, family, loss, and how trauma manifests when not dealt with properly.

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Shannon Jensen is an actor and playwright from Townsville. She is descended from the Gunggandji people of Yarrabah. Her training includes a bachelor’s degree in Theatre from James Cook University (JCU). Shannon’s acting credits include Eva in Sunrise (JCU), Helen of Troy in Orestes (JCU) and Joan Beaufort in Blood of Kings (Theatreinq) and The White Rose and the Red (Theatreinq). Shannon is a current participant in the Write Sparks playwriting program at JUTE Theatre in Cairns.

Theresa Creed

We’re Still Here

We’re Still Here is a collage of scenes from different time periods – before colonisation, first contact, the wars, the mission and reserve system, stolen generations, the land rights movement, today and into the future. Some scenes consist of poetry and dance. Some scenes consist of dramatic monologue/dialogue. One scene is comedy. Each scene, and the themes that run between them, presents Theresa’s own family’s stories in the context of the wider story of Aboriginal survival.

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Theresa Creed is a Kalkadoon and Pitta Pitta woman, her grandparents and parents were moved from their homelands to Palm Island. As a child she lived on Woorabinda mission under the Aboriginal protection Act and later moved to Townsville. In the 1980s she studied dance at NAISDA in Sydney, performed locally and was in the first contemporary Aboriginal dance troupe to tour internationally. In 2000 Theresa produced a music Album of her own songs Unfinished Business and performed in Brisbane and Sydney with the Bart Willloghby band.  In 2005, Theresa studied visual art and has been painting since. In recent years Theresa has been performing as a performance poet including at three Queensland Poetry festivals and has produced a CD of her poetry Aboriginal Woman.

Today Theresa is not so easily able to perform because of illness and disability so she has turned her creative energy to writing a play combining poetry, dance, music, painting and drama.

A Playwright Development Program

By Playlab Theatre In Partnership With