This July, 50 new short works by Australia’s leading playwrights will be simultaneously livestreamed by over 30 performing arts organisations across the country. Titled Dear Australia, the exciting project spearheaded by Playwriting Australia sees 50 playwrights commissioned to create, for specific performers, original monologues that reflect on the state and future of the nation during this uncertain moment brought about by COVID-19 and recent political turmoil.

Anchuli Felicia King. Photo supplied

David Berthold, interim Executive Chair of Playwriting Australia, said that this was a project that “not only elevates the voice of playwrights, but also demonstrates the huge diversity of voices this nation enjoys”.

“Recent months have exposed and prised open many cracks in our society. These 50 micro works address major questions, allowing us to see into some of those cracks, but also inviting us to see light ahead. These stories are, in turn, confronting and comforting. Together, they are a revelation and unique celebration of Australian voices.”

Miranda Tapsell

PWA invited 25 theatre companies from across Australia to nominate two playwrights each. PWA then commissioned these 50 playwrights to write a short monologue, which were then filmed by 50 actors, many in their own homes. Participating playwrights include Richard Frankland, Nakkiah Lui, Anchuli Felicia King, Suzie Miller and Jada Alberts, along with actors such as Jack Thompson, Miranda Tapsell, Helen Thomson, Danielle Cormack, Peter Carroll and Tasma Walton.

These monologues will be grouped and presented over three nights, between July 2-5, and live streamed by partner theatres along with major performing arts centres such as Arts Centre Melbourne, Sydney Opera House, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Canberra Theatre Centre and Darwin Entertainment Centre. A Dear Australia panel discussion will be broadcast from the Joan Sutherland Theatre by the Sydney Opera House on Saturday 4 July at 7pm as part of its Digital Season.

Scripts of the monologues will be published by Australian Plays and available from July 6 on its website.

Dear Australia live streams will take place July 2, 3, and 5 on multiple Facebook pages and on Playwriting Australia’s YouTube channel