Queer Playwriting Award

The Queer Playwriting Award (formerly Playtime) 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. This is the chance you have been waiting for to tell a bold, funny, new, important, or exciting story to Australian theatre audiences.

Creators of new or developing works of theatre are invited to submit their proposals for consideration by a panel of supportive industry professionals. If you have an idea for a show, a completed script, or anything in between, we want to hear from you. Up to 4 works will be selected by the industry panel, and invited to present a 15 minute staged reading at Gasworks Arts Park as part of Midsumma Festival. One work will be selected to receive ongoing support and development with a view to becoming a full-scale work to be presented in Midsumma Festival 2021 or beyond. The ultimate aim of the Queer Playwriting Award is to tour the work nationally to expose it to a wide range of metropolitan, regional and rural audiences.

If you have any queries, contact Gasworks Arts Park on 03 8606 4200 or email marisa@gasworks.org.au

For updates and more information, keep an eye on the Gasworks and Midsumma websites, and follow us on social media.

Information Pack



    Returning for its sixth year, the Queer Playwriting Award Showcase (QPAS) has once again delivered an entertaining evening featuring a variety of queer topics and focuses. Having originated in 2015 under the name Playtime, QPAS is an initiative presented by Gasworks Arts Park in collaboration with Midsumma Festival to feature queer plays and help foster the development of new works. Applicants from across Australia were encouraged to apply, with a selection narrowed down to four promising emerging playwrights.

    After careful consideration among the judges’ panel and analysing results from the audience survey, Gasworks Arts Park and Midsumma Festival are proud to announce the winner of QPAS 2020. The winning entry came from Maeve Marsden, who presented an excerpt of her new play Home Fires Burning.

    “I’m so thrilled to have my work in progress selected for the Queer Playwriting Award. It was an honour to present the reading with such brilliant actors, and to see, through performance, what did and didn’t work, what needs polishing, how the dialogue feels in a room full of people. I’ll be developing the play this year and am excited to see where the story takes me, and I thank Gasworks for this honour and for the support of new queer work.” – Maeve Marsden

    Maeve’s reading of Home Fires Burning was well received by the audience and performed by Queenie Van de Zandt, Ali McGregor, Brooke Rayner, and Wil King.

    “Gasworks Arts Park congratulates the team behind Home Fires Burning for the creation of a new Australian play concept which presents a family story with broad audience appeal complete with a bucket load of humour – we are really looking forward to working with Maeve Marsden and the team to bring this to audiences in the future.” – Tamara Jungwirth, Director and CEO of Gasworks Arts Park

    “Midsumma is so proud of all of the finalists who presented their works as part of the Queer Playwriting Award Showcase 2020. Each of the works presented represented a fresh new playwright each with their own unique artistic vision and insights into contemporary queer life. We would like to extend the congrats to Maeve Marsden and her team for Home Fires Burning and, together with Gasworks, we are excited to bring this new work to life.”

    Felicity McIntosh, Marketing and Communications Manager – Midsumma Festival

    Photograph: Suzanne Balding (The Book of Ducks by Glenn Saunders, Playtime 2019)

  • “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