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.

2022 Sparks Participant

Alinta McGrady

A First Nations woman with her roots planted in Meanjiin, Alinta McGrady is a multi-disciplinary artist in music, dance and theatre. Performing at festivals and events such as Woodford folk festival, Yonder, Quandamooka Festival, Anywhere Theatre festival, Anti-social at the Zoo, Clancestry, Green Jam at QPAC, Meanjin Markets and more, she has also taken to the stage at Brisbane Powerhouse, QPAC, La Boite Theatre, The Judith Wright Centre and Queensland Theatre for various Creative developments and seasons of work. 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 works written by herself, Waveney Yasso and Sue Rider and was an Artist in residency in 2020 with Powerkids: Little Artists At Play at the Brisbane Powerhouse working alongside Imaginary Theatre. She has also worked with the likes of Xavier Rudd and Blue King Brown as a Backing Vocalist and has toured nationally and internationally with Xavier Rudd & the United Nations. Her highlight of 2021 has been working with Lisa Fa’alafi & Leah Shelton from Polytoxic on the Production Demolition which Premiered at 2021 Brisbane Festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Colin Smith

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

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

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

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

Tickets to Slow Boat by Anna Yen are now on sale! Join us at Brisbane Festival from 1 – 10 Sep at the Powerhouse Theatre, and witness the incredible stories of the boat walking brothers!