Under the guidance of experienced artists, emerging First Nations playwrights will be lead 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 numerous 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.
This program is supported by QPAC.
2020-21 Sparks Participants
As 16-year-old Kira’s first birthday since the passing of her father draws near, divisions in the family begins to bubble to the surface. With Kira being the glue of the family, a quality inherited from her dad, she is charged with the enormous task to reconcile her Mum and Auntie Rennie’s relationship whilst navigating her own grief. The audience, Kira’s Nana and her cousin Benjahmin are the companions and confidants on this intergenerational exploration of grief and the mechanics of healing.
Aurora Liddle-Christie is a Jamaican and First Nations Australian multidisciplinary artist. In 2017 Aurora graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Drama from Queensland University of Technology. Her practice draws on the experience of People of Colour and Australia’s First Nations Peoples at the intersection of community, activism, spirituality and connections to country. Aurora explores this through the mediums of; spoken word, performance, playwriting, singing and songwriting.
All Stars is a comedy about a girls night out gone wrong. Romy is a playwright who meets Casey in a nightclub, who could change her life. She sends her latest script to her new friend and immediately regrets it. Romy drags her cousins Maggie and Alex around Brisbane to try and find Casey, but will they find her in time?
Che Skeen is a Wakka Wakka/Birra Gubbi woman born on Jagera, Meanjin. Che is an Indigenous creative with goals to be a state actor with a capable understanding and skill to direct and playwright. In 2019 Che was an actor in the Sparks program and this year joins as a writer. She is an announcer of Indigi-Briz, 4ZZZ and wants to see more first nations creatives in collaborations and running organisations.
BIG GIRL (working title)
BIG GIRL follows 18-year-old Dylan who, after many years, is called back to community after being told her Dad, Bryson, is ill. After barely being able to get into community due to rising floods, she is unable to go back after she learns the truth: her biological father, Russell, is on his deathbed and wanting to meet his only child for the first time.
Lyric Araluen is a Gureng Gureng, Binthi Warra and Miyally woman and was raised in Brisbane for most of her life before attending boarding school in Canberra during high school after being accepted for a Rosemary Bishop Indigenous Education Scholarship. She is currently studying a Cert IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention with TAFE QLD with aspirations to enrol in QUT’s Creative Writing as a potential student in 2021. Her main mediums of writing are novel writing, poetry and screenplay so being accepted into Playlab’s Sparks Program is my first opportunity creating a piece for theatre.
BIRMBA (working title)
This interactive, super fun yet sensitive play is centred around three Birmba (Cockatoos) aka larrikins. Birmba explores the lives of Jawun (friends), Kukubaka, Jankaji and Junkurrji who share their personal journeys through song, dance and yarns, each trying to communicate to their fellow Rainforest Jawun along the way. Will they find their voice to send the alarm for a once-in-a-century freak dust storm or will their voices fall on deaf ears.
Merindi’s artistic practice is grounded with a deep connection to her mother’s land, Kuku Yalanji (Mossman, NQ). Language, culture and history through song, Merindi’s Bama resonance and soulful, easy-listening mixes echo her passion to educate and empower through the creative song expression. Her involvement in various community initiatives and performances have included festivals, gatherings, events, corporate functions and school-based programs. From performer to producer, participant to listener, singer to weaver, writer to consultant, Merind’s experience in the arts sector is reflective of her Yalanji name Jankaji – Wealth of Knowledge. Bama = People of the Land
Charmaine leaves the big city for her Aunty Bec’s home in the mist-laden mountains to physically and emotionally recover from a car crash that killed her mother. When Charmaine meets her young neighbour, Bridget, she starts believing Aunty’s property is haunted by a malevolent ghost and her life begins spinning out of control.
Raelee Lancaster is an award-winning Brisbane-based writer, creative producer, and information services professional. Her writing crosses poetry, nonfiction, criticism, and playwriting. Her writing has featured in The Guardian, SBS Voices, The Saturday Paper, Overland, Meanjin, The Big Issue, Australian Poetry Journal, and more. Anthologies that feature her work include Fire Front: First Nations Poetry and Power Today (UQP, 2020) and The Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry (MUP, 2020). Raised on Awabakal land, Raelee is descended from the Wiradjuri and Biripi peoples.
A Playwright Development Program
By Playlab Theatre In Partnership With