Playwriting Australia (PWA) is passionately committed to seeing more stories by Asian-Australian writers on stage. The Lotus Project is a long-term program aimed at unearthing, nurturing and developing Asian-Australian playwrights and embedding them within the Australian theatre culture. Lotus is a four year, outcome-orientated project which will make a significant impact on playwriting in Australia. Each stage of Lotus has measurable objectives and the opportunity for these emerging voices to be heard.
Lotus Bud – Stage One (2014-15)
Over 70 artists, performers, writers and bloggers attended introductory workshops by PWA in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. 24 playwrights were chosen to participate in The Salon, PWA’s intermediate playwriting course, in each state. The Salons were facilitated by well-known, established playwrights: Maxine Mellor, Damien Millar, Angela Betzien and Lachlan Philpott. Twelve writers advanced to keyhole readings where their plays were rehearsed with professional actors and directors, and performed to a public audience.
Lotus Blue – Stage Two (2015-16)
Twelve writers across NSW, VIC and QLD, selected from Stage One as well as Asian-Australian writers who were perhaps too advanced for Lotus Bud (Stage One), have been invited by PWA to participate in an intensive 6-months program. This will include monthly one-on-one support with a playwright mentor, masterclasses with guest artists, and a weekend intensive combining all playwrights across the states. By the end of Stage Two the participants will be given a final, intensive session with their mentor to discuss their completed first draft.
Lotus Pink – Stage Three (2016-17)
This phase is completely driven by the playwright. Rather than a student/teacher relationship, the playwrights are now in a position to chart the direction of their play’s development. This is a significant shift in the process, and is aligned with PWA’s core philosophies of writer-lead process.
Lotus Bloom – Stage Four (2017-18)
Of the six writers who completed the Lotus Pink year, three will be selected to partake in a residency with a key theatre company in their capital city. The writers will be engaged from 6-12 months. For the first time in the history of Australian theatre, there will be three theatre companies with an Asian-Australian resident playwright, demonstrating a practical commitment from the industry to diversity and changing the theatre landscape.