Playwright Suzie Miller has won this year’s Griffin Award for her play On the Face of It. Griffin Theatre’s $10,000 national prize recognises an outstanding play or performance text that demonstrates an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice, with previous winners including Lachlan Philpott, Debra Oswald and Mary Rachel Brown. Last year’s Award went to David Finnigan for his timely political satire Kill Climate Deniers. In Miller’s one-woman show On the Face of It, a highflying criminal lawyer experiences a crisis of faith when her personal life collides with the criminal justice system.
Suzie Miller. Photo: supplied
“It’s such a joy just to be nominated, especially with the plays I was nominated alongside,” said Miller in her acceptance speech. “I’d been nominated once before but to win is astonishing, and it shows that the whole journey is worth it. The thing for playwrights in this country is really just keeping at it. To all the other playwrights and playwrights to-be out there like I once was: if you’re passionate about it, keep doing it.”
The other shortlisted plays in this year’s Award were Laura by Jane Bodie, Minneapolis by Will O’Mahony, Burung Kakak Tua by Vernon Sik Chuan Pua, and The Tragicall Hiftorie of Woollarawarre Bennelong, Native Ambassador of Nova Hollandia by Kirk Dodd.
A multi-award winning playwright, Miller has had over 40 works produced in theatres and festivals around the world, including Australia, the UK, Ireland, Canada, London and New York. She wrote the libretto for Opera Queensland’s Snow White, and has written film scripts and television screenplays. The 2018 Creative Fellow at University of Queensland, Miller’s The Mathematics of Longing opens this month at La Boite, while her Griffin Independent show Sunset Strip is soon to begin its national tour.