Gasworks Arts Park has announced the recipient of the very first Playtime program, presented in partnership with Midsumma Festival. Playtime is a professional development program for playwrights whose work deals with queer themes, and aims to identify, support and develop creative talent and get queer issues out there for mainstream audiences to enjoy.
More than 20 applications were received from across Australia, and four were selected to participate in The Playtime Staged Readings, which were held during this year’s Midsumma Festival. From these four works, one has been selected by an industry panel and audience feedback to go on to receive support and development to become a full scale work and be presented at Midsumma 2016.
The ultimate aim of Playtime is to tour the work nationally to expose it to a wide range of metropolitan, regional and rural audiences. We are delighted to announce that the selected work is Gone by Dion Teasdale.
Winner Dion Teasdale says, “I’m thrilled, delighted and over-the-moon. Playtime is such a great initiative and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to develop and present new work in partnership with Gasworks and Midsumma.”
Gone is a hilarious black comedy about Alex Riley, a single gay writer who wakes up on his 40th birthday to find his penis… gone. Where did it go? Is Alex hallucinating and losing his mind? Who can he trust with such baffling and humiliating news?
Entertaining, original and clever, Gone deals with desire, loss and letting go of the things that have… gone. The teams from Gasworks Arts Park and Midsumma will now work with Dion to continue to develop into a full-scale work, to be presented at the Midsumma Festival 2016.
Midsumma Festival Director Tennille Moisel says, “The Playtime initiative is an exciting demonstration of passion from one of Midsumma’s most committed partners. We are excited to work with Gasworks to develop new and innovative works that put LGBTI stories on the stage. The quality of the shortlisted entries this year was fantastic – we can’t wait to see Gone in Midsumma’s 2016 program and to see the next round of entries.”
Gasworks Arts Park Director Tamara Jungwirth says of the program, “Playtime is an ambitious project, because we are not only aiming to support the development of a brand new Australian play from script to stage, we are also aiming to develop a work that has the capacity to tour Australia, including regional centres. I am delighted to be working with Dion Teasdale, the writer of Gone, to achieve these aims.”
Image: courtesy of Gasworks Arts Park