Playgroup formed early this year as a way to collectively examine the role of the playwright in contemporary Australia. This consists of discussions regarding our own writing, platforms, dramaturgy and leadership within the arts.
This forum discussion will examine the 'big think' questions we interrogate consistently as young writers. We believe in theatre as a vessel for the unspoken, a voice for the voiceless and a way to make the invisible visible. We value theatre as a political, emotional and physical experience and endeavor to generate rigorous thought around the obstacles facing theatre-makers today.
Created & Performed by Playgroup: Didem Caia, Christopher Bryant, Laura Lethlean, Hiroki Kobayashi
Christopher Bryant is a Griffin Award nominated playwright (Home Invasion, 2015), performer and NIDA graduate (Master of Fine Arts (Writing for Performance), 2014) who has worked with companies including Malthouse Theatre, MKA, ATYP, Apocalypse Theatre, La Mama, ACPA and Monash University. Recent work includes his “searing piece” 63 Days (Lisa Thatcher) in Apocalypse Theatre’s ASYLUM, his "spit-roasting, brain-splattering, offal-eating" Third Reich Mommie (AussieTheatre, 2014) which was also published by Playlab, and The Mutant Man, which was shortlisted for both Belvoir’s Philip Parsons Playwriting Fellowship in 2014 & the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation's Playwriting Competition in 2015. In early 2016 his “talented and thoughtful” play Intoxication played to sold-out audiences at the La Mama Courthouse in the Midsumma Festival. He is the current & inaugural recipient of the Russell Beedles Performing Arts Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria for his play The Other place.
Didem is a playwright, theatre-maker and speaker, who has had work produced through NIDA, The Griffin Theatre Company, Theatre 505, La mama theatre and 45 downstairs. Her plays have been developed in Melbourne and Sydney through Playwriting Australia, The RE Ross trust, and the Melbourne city council. In 2014/2015, she travelled to the UK and US to gain extensive knowledge about Dramaturgy and new writing development; specifically in Edinburgh, London, Chicago and New York. This journey culminated in the readings of three of her plays 'vile, in bloom and lovers and other strangers' through chicago dramatists and the New york playwrights workshop. This journey was proudly funded through the Australian Arts council, the copywright agency fund and the Ian Potter cultural trust. Didem has a Bachelor of Creative Writing from RMIT with first class honours, A Postgraduate diploma in playwriting from NIDA and a Masters in Dramaturgy from the VCA.
Hiroki Kobayashi is a writer with interests in theatre and community engaged arts practices. Most recently he was part of Footscray Community Arts Centre's Emerging Cultural Leaders program where he began developing intergenerational theatre project Generate. Previous to this, he was a participant in Playwriting Australia's Lotus Asian Australian Playwriting project and graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Arts from The University of Melbourne. In the past he has devised and performed in productions at Melbourne University and created performance installations for Inca Roads and Paradise Music Festival.
Laura’s first play, Plastic Pacific won the Newport Substation's Get It On grant at the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival. Her second play, The Space Between The Fuel And The Fire, has been programmed for NIDA's 2016 season and her third play, Where The Breath Is Kept was included as a part of Apocalypse Theatre Company’s 2015 Asylum series.
Laura has created work with students from the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts, interned on script developments with Play Writing Australia and was short listed for Play Writing Australia’s National Script Workshop twice (2014, 2016)
Laura has her MFA in Writing for Performance from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts and her BA in Media and Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. Laura currently works for Poppy Seed Theatre Festival.