About

Playwrights: access and opportunities

Playwrights Grant Sparks Carroll

Unsolicited Scripts

For playwrights without representation and a body of work behind them, sometimes getting someone to even read your script can be a challenge. Like most theatre companies in Australia, Sydney Theatre Company has limited resources which prevent us from being able to read every script submitted directly to us. However, there are pathways via which unrepresented playwrights can have their script read by STC.

The Patrick White Playwrights' Award

Once a year, STC invites playwrights to submit their unproduced plays to the Patrick White Playwrights' Award. Although we make no commitment to produce the winning play, the award is prestigious and is an opportunity for unknown playwrights with outstanding scripts to gain recognition. Find out more

Advice to Unproduced Playwrights

While STC predominantly produces work by playwrights who are advanced in their careers, we are constantly scouring the independent sector for exciting new writers. If you are an unproduced playwright and are convinced that your script is ready to be staged, you may wish to consider producing your play independently. This is an effective way of developing your craft, demonstrating your potential and enabling you to make the transition from unproduced to emerging playwright. If you do get one of your plays produced, don't forget to invite us along to see it.

Established Playwrights

If you are an established playwright you will have had a number of Main Stage productions in Australia. If we are not already in contact with you we would love to hear from you and begin a conversation with you about your work. Tell your agent what to do!

Emerging Writers' Group

The Emerging Writers’ Group is a new initiative aimed specifically at emerging playwrights, with the objective of supporting professional development and expanding the participants’ skill sets, artistic vision and networks. Find out more

The Patrick White Playwrights' Fellowship  

The Patrick White Playwrights Fellowship is a position for an established Australian playwright whose work has been produced professionally in Australia within the last four years. The winning playwright receives $25,000 for a year long Fellowship in recognition of their contribution to the theatre and their art form. The Fellowship is judged by a panel of peers and an STC representative. More info.

The current Patrick White Playwrights' Fellow is Sue Smith.

International playwrights

If you are a playwright who has had your work produced by a major international theatre company and would like to bring a particular play to our attention, please make contact with us via your agent.

Commissions

On average we commission six plays a year including original works and new adaptations of classic plays. These commissions are made to writers who have proven their ability to draft and redraft a script, have had their plays professionally produced and have a concept or idea that is consistent with the Artistic Directors' programming vision.

Commissions are usually the product of an ongoing discussion between our artistic team and a particular writer. They are developed with the support of the company over an extended period of time that could be anything between six months and three years.

STC writers under commission

Andrew Bovell, Melissa Bubnic, Kylie Coolwell and Tommy Murphy (co-commission), Brendan Cowell, Tom Holloway, Kate Mulvany, Hannie Rayson, H Lawrence Sumner, Tom Wright.

Patrick White Playwrights’ Fellow: Sue Smith

Script Submission Guidelines for Playwrights and Agents

In line with STC's Greening Policy, we are striving to run a paperless Literary Department. We read scripts on Kindles to save paper and trees so whether you are an agent or a playwright, please note that we are no longer able to accept ANY hard copy scripts sent by post.