Continuation of unique award celebrating new Australian performance works

Entries are now open for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award (QPDA), the program that assists writers and performance makers develop their first drafts or pitch documents, into a world premiere professional production, with the winner programmed into Queensland Theatre’s 2021 Season.

Now in its 17th year, this prestigious national award continues a legacy of successful partnership between the Queensland Government and Queensland Theatre.

Artists across Australia are now being invited to submit their entries for the 2020-2021 cycle.

Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong said the award had brought an outstanding line-up of plays and playwrights onto the mainstage. “The QPDA sits at the centre of Queensland Theatre’s ambition to lead from Queensland in the nurturing of new stories and new talent,” he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award highlighted the Queensland Government’s commitment to supporting the arts industry.

“Queensland Theatre has done exceptional work since the award’s inception in 2001, nurturing and developing talented artists and providing them with a unique opportunity to showcase their winning work with a world premiere,” the Premier said.

The award covers a two-year cycle. In the first year, 2020, three finalists will have their works undergo creative development with industry professionals prior to judging and the announcement of the winner. The second year, 2021, involves further development of the winning play followed by the world premiere as part of Queensland Theatre’s 2021 Season.

The judges for this cycle include artists who specialise in the development of new work – Sam Strong (Queensland Theatre), Louise Gough (Belvoir), Jennifer Medway (Melbourne Theatre Company), Nadine McDonald-Dowd (Queensland Performing Arts Centre) and a representative from the Queensland Government.

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 15 September 2019, with finalists selected in October 2019. The winning entry will be announced in March 2020. Groups, as well as individual artists are encouraged to apply.

[This project is supported by the Queensland Government.]Previous winners include:
2018-19 David Megarrity for THE HOLIDAYS
2016-17 Michele Lee for RICE
2012-13 Maxine Mellor for TROLLOP
2010-11 Marcel Dorney for FRACTIONS
2008-09 Richard Jordan for 25 DOWN
2006-07 David Brown for THE ESTIMATOR
2004-05 Adam Grossetti for MANO NERA
2002-03 Sven Swenson for ROAD TO THE SHE-DEVIL’S SALON

HOW TO APPLY: The conditions of entry and more information can be obtained by visiting Queensland Theatre’s website at