Tom Ballard takes home the 2024 Queer Playwriting Award for The Queer Kingdom

QPAS Tom BallardGasworks Arts Park and Midsumma have announced Tom Ballard as the Winner of the 2024 Queer Playwriting Award for his play, The Queer Kingdom.

In its ninth year, the 2024 Queer Playwriting Award Showcase was presented at Gasworks Arts Park on Monday 22 January 2024 featuring the works of four Finalists: Tom Ballard (The Queer Kingdom, also known as A Comprehensive and Profoundly Queer Accounting of The Brief (Yet GLORIOUS) History of The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands – A Gay Fantasia On (Micro)National Themes), Rosemary Cann (Sexcapades), Adam Fawcett (Men on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) and Anna Lindstedt and Sally Davies (Day for It).

Gasworks congratulates the 2024 QPAS finalists on a night of entertaining, diverse and engaging readings. From application to Showcase, QPAS is an 8-month creative process. “All of the playwrights should be immensely proud of the culmination of their hard work, resourcefulness and creativity,” said Marisa Cesario, Programming Co-ordinator, Gasworks Arts Park.

“They assembled talented teams of actors and directors to create a very special night of theatre, one that is an annual highlight on Gasworks and Midsumma’s calendars. Audiences found the pieces moving, funny, thought-provoking and were left wanting more.”

“The audience are an integral part of the process, offering valuable feedback to the playwrights, which they will take on board as they continue developing their work,” said Cesario.

Gasworks is thrilled to congratulate Tom Ballard as the winner of their 2024 Queer Playwriting Award Showcase. Tom’s play, A Comprehensive and Profoundly Queer Accounting of The Brief (Yet GLORIOUS) History of The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands – A Gay Fantasia On (Micro)National Themes or simply, The Queer Kingdom is about the radical queer activists who laid claim to a tiny Coral Sea island for all queerkind.

“I’m fully stoked and filled with queer joy to be selected as the winner of this year’s QPAS. I can’t wait to bring the full story of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands to the Gasworks stage, so that future audiences may laugh and cry and revel in its full insanity,” said playwright, Tom Ballard.

“I’m very grateful to Midsumma and Gasworks for this opportunity, I’d like to say a huge thank you to my dramaturg Stephen Nicolazzo and our brilliant cast for all their hard work, and I want to congratulate my fellow QPAS finalists on their funny, moving and inspiring work. Hurrah for queer theatre,” said Ballard.

“Tom’s work really stood out to the audience and the panel for its originality, its humour, its coverage of queer issues, and the ambition to bring a so-crazy-it-must-be-true story to life,” said Marisa Cesario.

“Tom’s ability to weave in gut punches amid the absurd, and hard facts wrapped in humour at a fast pace is awe-inspiring. Gasworks is very excited to work with him and his team to bring the full iteration of this show to our stage for a Midsumma world premiere,” said Cesario.

“We are unbelievably proud of the diverse stories and quality work to emerge from this year’s Queer Playwriting Award, in collaboration with the wonderful people at Gasworks,” said Karen Bryant, Chief Executive, Midsumma Festival.

A big congratulations to Tom Ballard on his winning piece – we are overjoyed to hear that the script is continuing its development and we can’t wait to see it realised onstage soon,” said Bryant.

The Queer Playwriting Award Showcase aims to identify, support and develop new playwriting talent and get queer issues out there for mainstream audiences to consider and enjoy.

The LGBTQIA+ community is diverse, exciting and full of stories and ideas that deserve to be heard on the stages of performing arts venues throughout the country.

For more information about the Queer Playwriting Award Showcase, visit: for details.

Image: Tom Ballard (supplied)