Kendall Feaver has been named the recipient of the 2018 Philip Parsons Fellowship for Emerging Playwrights. Presented by Belvoir St Theatre and Create NSW, the Fellowship is awarded each year to an early career playwright with “an original and compelling theatrical voice.” The winner receives a $15,300 commission for the creation of a new play, with Belvoir to provide dramaturgical assistance and the opportunity for a workshop with actors. Previous recipients include established playwrights like Kate Mulvany, Tommy Murphy and Nakkiah Lui.

Kendall Feaver. Photo supplied

“Kendall is an exciting new voice making waves around the world,” the Fellowship’s official panel of judges said. “The judges were impressed by the strength and energy of her ideas, and the vibrancy of her theatrical voice. We’re thrilled to be working with her at Belvoir.”

“I am so thrilled to receive this fellowship and honoured to join a mighty list of past recipients that I have long respected and admired,” said Feaver. “Playwriting is often a difficult and lonely pursuit, and I am grateful to Belvoir and Create NSW, not just for the time and resources needed to complete a new work, but also for the chance to do so from the inside of a theatre building. I can’t wait to create a new play for the Belvoir stage.”

Feaver has had a very promising start to her career, receiving a Judges Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting in recognition of her debut work The Almighty Sometimes. The Bruntwood is Britain’s biggest national competition for playwriting. The Almighty Sometimes received its world premiere at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre in February, with The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner describing it as “a funny, heartbreaking, acutely alive play boasting vividly drawn characters.” It was then put on by Sydney’s Griffin Theatre Company in July to similar critical acclaim, with Limelight‘s Editor Jo Litson writing in The Daily Telegraph that “it’s a knotty, gritty play that takes an unflinching look at mental illness and medication among young people.” Feaver’s work has since won Best New Play at this year’s UK Theatre Awards, as well as earning her a nomination for Best Writer in the UK’s The Stage Debut Awards.

Feaver has been previously shortlisted for both the Griffin Award and the Max Afford Playwright’s Award, and received a Highly Commended in this year’s State Library of NSW’s Mona Brand Emerging Writer Award. She is currently developing a musical at the National Theatre in London and has been commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club in New York.

This year’s applicants were required to submit a full-length play that has received a public production or showing, or a professional reading in the last 24 months. Established in 1996, the Fellowship commemorates the life and work of Philip Parsons, a significant teacher and mentor to a number of Australia’s emerging artists.