It was such an inspiring day at the Playwriting Festival held at the NSW Writers' Centre yesterday. Lally Katz set the tone with her entertaining and motivational keynote address. I had difficulty choosing which sessions to go to, I really wanted to go to them all. Award-winning playwrights such as Hilary Bell, Suzie Miller, Stephen Sewell, Jane Harrison, Donna Abela, Nakkianh Lui, Caleb Lewis, Timothy Daly, Lachlan Philpott and Kit Brookman discussed their work in the context of starting out, collaboration, diversity, conflict, working locally / overseas etc. There was also a great session with a panel of artistic directors and literary managers that included Lee Lewis from Griffin, Anthea Williams from Belvoir, Polly Rowe from STC and Leland Kean from Rock Surfers who discussed their own company's selection criteria, preferred pitches and programming. I even had a 5-minute micro-session with Suzie Miller to briefly discuss the play I'm working on and how to go about finding a suitable dramaturg to provide further advice.
Many thanks to the Festival Director, Vanessa Bates, who did a fantastic job getting together such an inspiring group of playwrights and theatre makers to share their expertise.