Anchuli Felicia King has been announced as the recipient of Sydney Theatre Company’s prestigious Patrick White Playwrights Fellowship. Awarded in recognition of an established playwright’s body of work and achievements, the Fellowship includes a commission from STC, a $25,000 cash prize and a year-long residency at the company.

“In this time of uncertainty, it is so important to look to the future of our art form and support the next generation of theatre makers,” said STC Artistic Director Kip Williams. “In this spirit I’m thrilled to announce that Anchuli Felicia King has been named our Patrick White Fellow. Felicia is one the most exciting young playwrights in the world right now and we are delighted she will be joining the STC artistic cohort.”

King’s plays include Golden Shield, Slaughterhouse, and the acclaimed White Pearl, which played as part of STC’s 2019 season and was described by Limelight as “fresh, fearless and very funny”. In addition to STC, her plays have been produced by London’s Royal Court Theatre, Washington’s Studio Theatre, the American Shakespeare Center, Melbourne Theatre Company, National Theatre of Parramatta, and Belvoir Theatre.

Anchuli Felicia King. Photo supplied

“Particularly in this time of immense tumult and uncertainty in our industry, this fellowship is all the more precious to me and is a real creative lifeline,” said King. “I am so immensely grateful to STC, to Patrick White, to the extraordinary cohort of artists I get to join who have occupied this fellowship before me, particularly Nakkiah Lui who is a huge inspiration to me (this year’s outgoing fellow).”

Formerly based in New York, King continues to work internationally and is currently based between London, New York, and her hometown Melbourne. As well as being a playwright, King is a multidisciplinary artist who has worked with a variety of companies and institutions including Punchdrunk, PlayCo, 3LD Arts & Technology Center, Roundabout Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, 59E59, Ars Nova, the Obie Awards, The Builders Association, Ensemble Studio Theater, NYTW, American Shakespeare Company and Red Bull Theater. She is a member of Ensemble Studio Theater’s Youngblood Group and Roundabout Theater’s Space Jam Program.

With the program now in its eighth year, previous STC Patrick White Fellows include Nakkiah Lui, Sue Smith, Andrew Bovell, Tommy Murphy, Kate Mulvany, Angela Betzien, Hilary Bell, Patricia Cornelius and Raimondo Cortese.

Keziah Warner. Photo supplied

Keziah Warner was also named the winner of the Patrick White Playwrights Award for her play LuNa, which explores genetic engineering, memory and sisterhood. She receives a cash prize of $7,500. Warner is an alumna of Melbourne Theatre Company’s Women in Theatre Program, Malthouse Theatre’s Besen Family Artist’s Program, Red Stitch’s INK Program, Playwriting Australia’s Post-Production Program and Soho Theatre’s Writer’s Lab, UK. She has been long-listed for Soho Theatre’s Young Writer’s Award and previously short-listed for the Patrick White Playwrights Award. Recent productions of her plays include Control (Red Stitch, 2019), Help Yourself (MTC’s Cybec Electric, 2019) and Her Father’s Daughter (Hotel Now, 2018).

Also announced today by STC is a new artistic partnership with NIDA, the STC and NIDA Pathways Commission Program. A co-commissioning program, it will provide a pathway for writing alumni to have their work developed and considered for performance by STC. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to work with STC Literary Manager Polly Rowe and Artistic Director Kip Williams, as well as NIDA’S Head of Writing Dr Stephen Sewell. Submissions are now open.