The National Studio

connecting young writers with Australia’s leading playwrights

Since 2010 ATYP’s iconic National Studio has been dedicated exclusively to emerging playwrights and their practice. Each year, 20 emerging writers (aged 18-26) are selected from all over Australia to spend a week in rural NSW. 

During the residency, the writers are mentored and nurtured by three leading playwrights through masterclasses, small group tutorials and one-on-one sessions in a formative creative experience. 

Over the course of the week, writers create a short piece for the stage. From 2010 to 2015 participants created a seven-minute monologue for 17-year-old actors, titled The Voices Project. Since 2016, the writers have written scenes for one or more young actors under the title Intersection. These scripts, published by Currency Press, have been purchased and presented by schools around Australia. 

Now we introduce The Intersection Festival!

Schools and youth theatre companies around Australia curate their own season from the scripts created at The National Studio. Each participating group can present up to ten of the new works. Plays selected are published by Currency Press so they can go on to be performed around the country for years to come. 

Ten of the most interesting performances presented are invited to participate in The Intersection Festival at ATYP’s new home: Pier 2/3 on Sydney harbour. The event is a celebration of new Australian playwriting delivered in partnership with Australian high schools and youth theatre companies.

We couldn’t run National Studio without the support of the Graeme Wood Foundation, Copyright Agency, and the Crown Resorts Foundation and the Packer Family Foundation.

This year’s ATYP National Studio will be held from Monday 29 November – Saturday 4 December and has been transitioned to an online program due to the changing status of the COVID-19 situation.

Applications for the 2021 National Studio are now closed

the 2021 national studio

THE FINER DETAILS:

  • Writers must be aged 18-26 years old at 19 July 2021.
  • Writers can be based anywhere in Australia. Applications are encouraged from writers based outside NSW.
  • Writers can be of any experience level from beginner to professional.
  • We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, gender identities, and all levels of mobility to apply.

HOW TO APPLY:

  • Complete the online application form below.

COST:

Thanks to generous support from the Graeme Wood Foundation, the National Studio fee is subsidised and costs $450 for successful participants, regardless of where in Australia you live. ATYP offers scholarship places for those who could not attend otherwise. Please email [email protected] for a scholarship form.

Participation in the Studio includes:

  • Flights and transport to and from Bamarang
  • All meals and accommodation for the week during the stay at Bamarang
  • One week of mentorship, masterclasses and small-group tutorials with leading Australian playwrights.

THE DATES:

10 May – Applications due by 5pm
7 June – Applicants notified
19-24 July – National Studio 2021

For further information please contact us on 02 9270 2400 or [email protected].

APPLY:

1 Step 1
NATIONAL STUDIO 2021 APPLICATION

Please upload a PDF of your CV/resume.

Maximum 2 pages detailing writing experience, other experience in theatre, relevant employment history, and any study.

Please upload a PDF of your 3-page scriptwriting sample.

This can be from an existing work, and can be an excerpt or whole scene. If possible, your characters should be young people.

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Information on writers and mentors from past years

  • Adam Stepfner (NSW)

    Adam (He/Him) is an actor and theatremaker having performed in stage productions including, Nick Enright’s, A Property of the Clan, James Graham’s, Bassett, ATYP’s Intersection in 2017, Impending Everyone at Griffin Theatre Company, Cats Talk Back with New Theatre as well as The White Album at the Roslyn Packer Theatre and Originate for Q Theatre. Adam was on the creative team for Rosaline at KXT in 2019 and in 2020, he assistant directed Cusp for ATYP/Griffin and Talk About The Passion for Sydney Fringe. His screen credits include short films Book Store, Remember When, Bimbalo, Right Here and the web series Here We Go Again. He has done performance workshops with ATYP, NIDA, Q Theatre, Riverside Theatres in Parramatta, was an ambassador for Griffin Theatre Company in 2017 and is part of PYT’s 2021 Ensemble.
  • Alex Castello (ACT)

    Alex (He/Him) is a Canberra-born-and-raised emerging actor, writer and filmmaker who is passionate about bringing stories to life on stage and screen. He holds a Bachelor of Media Arts and Production from the University of Canberra. Alex hopes to further develop his writing and tell original stories that are dramatically intense, thought provoking and humorous. Previously, he has performed on stage with Canberra REP and Canberra Youth Theatre.
  • Amarachi Okorom (VIC)

    Amarachi Okorom (She/Her) is a Nigerian actor, spoken word artist and emerging writer. She grew up in New Zealand and moved to Melbourne in 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor of Technology (Computing Studies) at RMIT University. She was part of Lonely Company’s residency and is working with MTC as part of First Stage. She has performed her spoken word poems at various events around Melbourne including but not limited to Emerging Writers Festival’s Amazing Babes, Sista Zai’s African High Tea and as part of Darebin’s Let’s Take Over. She is currently working on a play which tackles cultural identity, love and loss.
  • Bokkie Robertson (NSW)

    Bokkie Robertson (She/Her) is a stage and screen storyteller living and working on Gadigal land. She has a BA Screen (Production) from AFTRS and a Certificate III in Live Productions, Theatre and Events. Her body of work includes Shakespeare-inspired webseries Call Me Katie and its sequel Nothing Like The Sun, Short+Sweet Gala Finalist Wish, apocalyptic one-act drama Headbanging to Beethoven, and young adult dramedy The Other End of the Afternoon, which is shortlisted for the 2021 Silver Gull Play Award. She recently started learning how to drive steam trains, and would really like you to ask her about it.
  • Dylan Ferenc Nyerges (QLD)

    Dylan Ferenc Nyerges (He/Him) is a writer and ADG Award-Nominated Film Director. Born and raised in Bangkok, Dylan moved to Australia in 2016 to attend film school. Beyond university, Dylan has expanded his Directing Practice to encompass both theatre and film, and aspires to further his written work. In doing so, Dylan hopes to bridge the gap between industries and create stories that reflect an increasingly globalised world – a blend of cultures and experiences.

    Inspired by the power of personal heritage, Dylan aspires to blend his cultural experiences and strengthen his unique voice through creative practice.

  • India Stuart (NSW)

    India (She/Her) is an actor, writer and comedian who happens to be a lawyer in her spare time (some may call it her “full time job”). She started making a scene as a child, where she found joy in honouring her family-bestowed nickname, Beelzebubby. Her love for performing started in dance, which eventually moved into acting and singing and anything else she could do to get on a stage and out of going to school.

    India is excited to develop her writing skills through the National Studio so she can finally start writing that TV series she’s always talking about.

  • Isidora (SA)

    Isidora (She/Her) is a Macedonian writer, director and actor. Currently based on the land of the Kaurna people. Isidora is passionate about creative writing and all things film and theatre. Isidora’s work focuses on the complexities of growing up, mental health, global issues as well as the funny and good things in life.
  • Izabella Louk (NSW)

    Izabella Louk (She/Her) is a Sydney-based playwright, actor, dancer, and occasional comedian. In 2020 Izabella graduated from Drew University (New Jersey, USA), where she studied Theatre Arts and Mandarin, and was a member of national theatre honours society Alpha Psi Omega. In 2017, her first play What Have We Got? was produced by Drew as a staged reading. In 2019, she worked with Tectonic Theatre Project in New York to devise and co-write Stillwater, an original play with music that premiered Off-Broadway. On return to Australia, Izabella co-founded Three Quarters Friday, a production company that provides opportunities and experience to emerging artists, and with them, co-wrote and produced the short film passer-by.
  • LJ Wilson (NSW)

    LJ Wilson (They/Them) is an actor, writer and musician from Queensland, currently residing in Eora, Sydney. LJ is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores both humour and horror. They are passionate about the creation and collaboration of LGBTQIA+ stories. LJ relishes the opportunity to tell stories through a variety of mediums, from devised theatre to film. They hope to continue to distinguish their voice as a writer, and bring further celebration, understanding and expression of what it means to be queer and human.
  • Lotte Beckett (VIC)

    Hello! My name is Lotte Beckett (She/Her) and I am an actor and writer working across screen and theatre, based in Naarm/Melbourne. I am intrigued by the contradictions of the Zoomer experience, and the effect of ever-changing internet codes on young people. My work centres on collective human vulnerabilities, where characters just as unsure about the world as I am walk the line between insincere and sincere connections. I bring humour to any work I do, and can often be found strutting the streets to 70s funk music or journalling furiously. Acting will always be my first love, but I have a soft spot for writing that speaks honestly about relationships, love and insecurity.
  • Madeleine Stedman (NSW)

    My name is Madeleine (She/Her) and I am a UOW Performance grad and founding member of Snatched theatre collective. Shopfront Theatre’s Artslab produced my first work, a true crime, dead blonde, deep dive, Shortcuts, in 2019. My semi-autobiographical comedy, April Marlowe’s Abortion, shone brightly for one brief rehearsal at Belvoir’s 25A before the COVID onslaught of 2020. My altered history Space Race play Mercury Poisoning (if you thought the future was female just wait til you find out about the past!) underwent early development between lockdowns. This year I have been fiddling with an adaptation of the 1924 film Aelita. I have also written two short works for young people, Sydney’s Symphony of Birds and No Props No Set Romeo & Juliet.
  • Maeve Hook (VIC)

    Maeve (She/Her) is an actor and emerging writer and director, based in Naarm/Melbourne. She began her career in circus and, when the desire for words became too strong, completed an apprenticeship with Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble, and a BFA in Acting at Queensland University of Technology. In her final year at QUT she received the Jennifer Blocksidge Memorial Award, allowing her to train with Shakespeare and Company in MA, USA, post graduation. As a writer she is inspired by the spaces between us, the power words can wield, and the innate humour of living and feeling as human beings.
  • Milena Barraclough Nesic (QLD)

    Milena (She/her) is an 18 year-old emerging actor and writer from Mianjin (Brisbane) who spends her much of her sporadic pay-checks on theatre tickets. Infatuated with the arts, in her mid-teens Milena co-developed shows for the Festival of Australian Student Theatre (2017) and Backbone Festival (2019). After winning Queensland Theatre’s Young Playwrights’ award and being accepted into their Youth Ensemble in her final year of high school (2020), Milena postponed half-hearted plans to study psychology and is now undertaking a Bachelor of Acting (QUT). Milena is passionate about theatre’s vital role in nurturing young people and aspires to leave even a slight mark in this industry.
  • Miranda Michalowski (NSW)

    Miranda Michalowski (She/Her) is a 20 year old Sydney-based writer and actor, currently in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre Studies and Writing) at the University of Notre Dame. She is also a member of the HubStudio’s 2021 Actor’s Ensemble and a reviewer for Theatre Travels. In her writing, she explores feminist issues and the experiences of young women today. Miranda is currently working on a play Young Bodies/Somebody’s, about shame, sisterhood and coming of age.
  • Olivia McLeod (VIC)

    Olivia (She/Her) is a 2017 graduate of Musical Theatre at NIDA, during which she appeared in Sydney Theatre Company’s Chimerica. Upon graduating, she performed in new theatre works The Bacchae, Chicks Dig It, and Sincerely, Us. She then produced and acted in Fran and Leni with her company Seemingly Wholesome Productions. Olivia was recently White Rabbit in Australian Shakespeare Company’s Alice in Wonderland, and the Viola understudy for Twelfth Night. Olivia has a Bachelor of Creative Writing from Melbourne University, and wrote for ATYP’s Roomworks last year. She is currently writing for the Breaths in Between development with Eleven O’Clock Theatre.
  • Ruby Liddelow (WA)

    Ruby (She/Her) is a lifelong theatre tragic. She currently works as an independent Director/Producer/Writer for three separate groups which are somehow all just her working under a different name- Riptide Youth Performance Company, Ruby Spinning Arts, and Chameleon Theatre Factory, all based in Mandurah/Binjareb Boodjar WA. Recent writing credits include Prince of Tyre: Bard in the Bush, and Eva DuBivoir and the Quest for the Bloody Truth, as well as numerous more collaborative pieces. She loves dogs, broccoli, brie, the colour red, a good cuppa tea with a cheeky gingernut, and connecting and empowering others through the arts.
  • Rupert Williamson (WA)

    Rupert Williamson (He/Him) is an emerging artist and co-founder of Runaway Balloon. He has written a few plays. In 2021, the anthology-dark-comedy Someone Stole Dee Perse’s Tree (and other short stories). In 2020, the deranged nursery rhyme Fun Times with Olive and No One Else!. In 2019, the efficiently titled Sad TV Man. He co-wrote the last two with Matt Nixon, who’s awesome. Rupert is currently working on a one-man poetry-comedy about his dog. It will never be made. Last year Rupert was part of the Fresh Ink National Mentoring Program under the guidance of Will O’Mahony.
  • Sevgi Murphy (NSW)

    Sevgi Murphy (She/Her) attained a Bachelor of Arts with distinction, majoring in English Literatures/French and minoring in Theatre/Creative Writing from the University of Wollongong, 2018. Sevgi has been involved in theatre as an actor, director, stage manager and playwright, however writing is her key focus. She has written a number of plays which have been staged across the Illawarra and Sydney regions. In 2018, her piece titled, The Quality of Life received 1st place in both the People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice category of week 4 at Short + Sweet, Sydney. Sevgi hopes to pursue a career writing for theatre and film.
  • Shahrin Shamim (NSW)

    Shahrin (She/Her) is a first-gen Bengali-Australian writer currently studying an Arts/Law degree, majoring in English. Her first experiences with storytelling were from the South Asian films and plays her parents used to watch and she’s been hooked ever since. Her cultural background is incredibly important to her and she tries to imbue all of her writing with the warmth and complexity that she associates with her heritage. She believes women of colour have really unique and layered perspectives to offer in art, and is really passionate about giving these stories and experiences a voice in her writing.
  • Wenona Moss (QLD)

    Wenona Moss (She/Her) is an award-winning Writer and Actor. Wenona began her acting degree at the University of Southern Queensland, and since then has continued to work on her craft through short courses with the Actor’s Studio, NIDA, and private coaching. Since then, Wenona has also written over 10 plays, being produced for seasons run by Underground Theatre Productions, and in festival circuits, including Short & Sweet Festival, Anywhere Theatre Festival and the Festival of Australian Student Theatre. Wenona is currently working as a freelancer, collaborating with director, Dylan Ferenc Nyerges, on monthly workshops with industry-level actors and the Australians in Film Untapped national initiative
  • :: MENTORS ::

  • Donna Abela

    Donna (She/Her) is an playwright, dramaturge, and educator. Her body of work includes plays which have won the Griffin Playwriting Prize and the AWGIE award for Stage (Jump for Jordan), AWGIE awards for radio (Spirit, Aurora’s Lament, Mrs Macquarie’s Cello), the Human Rights Award for Drama (Highest Mountain Fastest River), and been nominated for NSW Premiers Literary Awards (Tales From the Arabian Night, Jump For Jordan). For Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image, she wrote two large scale adaptations: Monkey … Journey to the West (2014 Brisbane Festival, 2015 Melbourne Festival, 2015 Sydney Opera House program) and Tales from the Arabian Nights, a widely produced play on refugee themes which was published by Currency Press in 2019.

    Donna studied at UTS, NIDA, UNSW, and at UoW where she completed a doctoral thesis entitled Dialogic Interplay: a Strategy for Representing Difference and Cultural Diversity on Stage. She teaches Scriptwriting to Bachelor of Dramatic Arts students at Excelsia College, the Page to Stage writing course at the National Theatre of Parramatta, and works with script development agencies, theatre companies and schools to provide mentorship, dramaturgy and workshops for emerging writers. She also works in script and story development, and is currently developing a cross-cultural musical with The Curlew Collective, and an interactive AI platform for storytelling and playwrights with the Q Theatre.

    Donna is a founding member and co-chair of the theatre company PYT | Fairfield, a founding member of the playwrights’ alliance 7-ON, and a member of Milk Crate Theatre’s Artistic Advisory Counsel. Among her works-in-progress are a number of plays informed by her experience working as narrative writer with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

  • Vanessa Bates

    Vanessa (She/Her) is an award-winning playwright (NSW Premiers Literary Award, 2019 AWGIE Award for Theatre for Young Audiences). Plays include A Ghost In My Suitcase (the play), Trailer, Light Begins To Fade, Every Second, The Magic Hour, PORN.CAKE, Checklist For An Armed Robber, Chipper and Darling Oscar. Currently under commission with Ensemble Theatre to write The One, Vanessa has also been produced at Malthouse, Barking Gecko, STC, Black Swan Theatre, Griffin, Deckchair, [email protected], ATYP, Tantrum and many others. She is also a playwriting teacher, running workshops for schools, theatre and writers’ festivals. She is an AWG Playwrights Committee member, a NIDA Playwrights Studio graduate and one seventh of playwrights’ company 7-ON. Several plays have been published by Currency including A Ghost In My Suitcase, Trailer and Checklist For An Armed Robber.
  • Jane FitzGerald

    Jane (She/Her) is Resident Dramaturg at ATYP. Recent productions for ATYP include Lights in the Park, CUSP, Bathory Begins, April Aardvark and Intersection 2018: Arrival. Other recent work includes Black Cockatoo (Sydney Festival/Ensemble), Lost Boys (Merrigong), The Big Dry (Ensemble/ATYP) and M.Rock (ATYP/STC). Previously Jane has been a Literary Manager at Ensemble Theatre (shared role). For STC she has been Literary Manager, Artistic Associate and administrator of the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award as well as a dramaturg on new writing and mainstage productions. She has worked as a script reader for the Royal Court London, PWA, ANPC and Playworks, and has worked extensively as a Mentor with Year 12 students on HSC creative writing projects.
  • Lewis Treston

    Lewis Treston (He/Him) is an award-winning playwright and researcher from Queensland. Plays include: An Ideal Husband (after Oscar Wilde), IRL, Hubris & Humiliation (Winner Australian Theatre Festival New Play Award), Meat Eaters, Hot Tub (Winner Patrick White Playwright’s Award), Follow Me Home, and Reagan Kelly (nominated for the Matilda Award for Lord Mayor’s Best New Australia Work). He is a graduate from QUT, NIDA and UQ and recently completed an MPhil thesis concerning camp humour in Australian theatre.

the voices project 2011-2016

Each year from 2011 – 2016 ten monologues were selected from the work created by the participants of the National Studio to go on to form The Voices Project production. It brought together the best new monologue writing from ATYP’s emerging playwright program, giving it a place on stage. Check out more in our Past Productions.

Some of the outstanding monologues from The Voices Project were adapted for film. Highlights below:

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