Playwright and director Fleur Kilpatrick has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Helen Noonan Prize, a $5000 award for women in the performing arts who have made an outstanding contribution to female-driven storytelling. Kilpatrick also receives two weeks accommodation in Queenscliff to allow her to focus on current or future projects.
Presented by the AWE Alliance, an organisation devoted to the promotion of women in the Australian arts and entertainment industry, the Prize is given in honour of the late soprano Helen Noonan, celebrating both her creative output and championing of women artists. The award was given to Kilpatrick in recognition of her play Whale, which explores climate change and Australia’s responsibility to its Islander neighbours.
“This is a really special thing to be acknowledged for,” Kilpatrick told Limelight. “I spend a lot of time thinking about theatre as workplace and considering how I can make my plays a safe place to be in. I try to ensure that my collaborators and audience feel respected by my work. I take my responsibility as a writer of worlds and workplaces really seriously, so it means a lot to have this acknowledged.