Playtime Staged Readings

Playtime Staged Readings

Playtime Staged Readings is an initiative presented by Gasworks Arts Park in partnership with Midsumma Festival. This development program aims to identify, support and develop new playwriting talent and get queer issues out there for mainstream audiences to consider and enjoy. The LGBTQIA+ community is diverse, exciting and full of stories and ideas that deserve to be heard on the stages of performing arts venues throughout the country. The ultimate aim of Playtime is to tour the work nationally to expose it to a wide range of metropolitan, regional and rural audiences.

Three applicants from across Victoria were selected to participate in the Playtime Staged Readings, held during Midsumma Festival 2019. Cavemen by Angus Cameron was selected as the recipient of the Playtime award for new queer writing. Cavemen is a comedic work about the intersecting lives of four queer men. Over the course of a decade these individuals come to rely on, resent and reflect on their identities, what it means to be queer, from Melbourne, and to search for your family.

Of the experience of Playtime Angus reflects “…it was really great to be able to present a snapshot of what I’ve been working on, hear it out loud and talk it through in front of an audience. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s all happening and I’m very thankful the opportunity to do so in such an encouraging environment as Gasworks.”

Playtime provides a pivotal pathway to support the creation of new theatre. “There seems to me a limited number of pathways for emerging playwrights, particularly ones that can result in a production, so kudos to Playtime Readings (courtesy of Gasworks and the Midsumma Festival) for creating this opportunity. It’s so important for early career playwrights to be included at the centre of conversations about theatre, and there should be space for innumerable conversations at once. Given that, it’s essential that institutions find ways of nurturing new talent and new conversations; it’s hard to have to go it alone.” Angus Cameron

Watch this space for updates as Cavemen progresses.

“Midsumma is proud to support new artistic voices. Each of the works presented as part of Gasworks’ Playtime Staged Readings represents a fresh new playwright each with their own unique artistic vision and insights into contemporary queer life.” – Daniel Santangeli, Midsumma Program Manager

“Playtime is a fantastic initiative for the LGBTQIA+ community and cements Gasworks Arts Park’s commitment to support independent artists. There is a noticeable lack of new queer theatre works available in performing arts markets to be toured to venues in Victoria, and it is important to Gasworks Arts Park that we play a part in changing that.
It is no easy feat for artists to present a work in development to an audience, especially during its very early stages. It was especially gratifying to see how enthusiastic and generous the artists were in offering feedback and assistance to each other. I think that this is one of the most beneficial parts of Playtime – it offers the opportunity for independent artists to network with each other and potentially even find opportunities to collaborate.”

Marisa Cesario, Programming Coordinator, Gasworks Arts Park