Best Australian Playwrights | Australian Writing for the Stage

Best Australian Playwrights

As always with creating a ‘best of’ list, it has been a difficult task to put together a list of best Australian Playwrights. However, here is what we’ve come up with. We considered many factors including: contribution to the Australian theatre, main-stage production, writing style, and of course the popularity of their plays. Australian plays are often gritty and intense, but tend to accurately capture Australian culture. If you are looking for a good place to start your exploration into Australian playwrights then you’ve come to the right place.

We have listed some of the best plays by each author below their names, so make sure you have read of some of these or go along to see Australian plays when they are on!

Our Top Picks

  • Andrew Bovell

    Speaking in Tongues, When the Rain Stops Falling

  • Joanna Murray-Smith

    Bombshells, Rockabye, Honour

  • Nick Enright

    Blackrock, Daylight Saving

  • Dorothy Hewett

    The Chapel Perilous, This Old Man Comes Rolling Home

  • Louis Nowra

    Cosi, Radiance, The Golden Age

  • Patricia Cornelius

    The Call, Love, Do Not Go Gentle 

  • Patrick White

    Ham Funeral, The Season at Sarsaparilla 

  • Michael Gow

    Away, Europe, The Kid

  • David Williamson

    The Club, Don’s Party, The Removalists

  • Peter Kenna

    A Hard God, The Slaughter Of St. Teresa’s Day

  • Leah Purcell

    The Drover’s Wife, Box the Pony

  • Nakkiah Lui

    Kill the Messenger, Blackie Blackie Brown

  • Jack Davis

    No Sugar, The Dreamers

  • Kate Mulvany

    The Seed, The Harp in the South

  • Declan Greene

    Moth, Pompeii, L.A. 

  • Hilary Bell

    Wolf Lullaby, Fortune

  • Ray Lawler

    Summer of the Seventeenth Doll

  • Wesley Enoch

    The 7 Stages of Grieving, Black Medea

  • Glace Chase

    Triple X

  • Stephen Sewell

    The Blind Giant is Dancing

  • Tommy Murphy

    Holding the Man, Strangers in Between, 

  • Angela Betzein

    The Hanging, Hoods 

  • Susan Miller

    Driving into Walls, Medea 

  • Kendall Feaver

    The Almighty Sometimes

  • Angus Cerini

    The Bleeding Tree, Wretch

Australian Plays Transform

If you’re interested to learn more about Australian playwrights, or if you’re looking for where you can find Australian plays to read, visit Australian Plays Transform. This is the new home of Australian Playwriting, and is the result of a consolidation of the two organisations Playwrighting Australia, and Australian Plays.

Australian Theatre for Young People

If you’re looking for fresh, emerging, and up and coming playwrights, Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) is where you want to go. Pound for pound, ATYP produces the most work of new Australian playwrights of any company in the country! This is the place to go for work by Australian writers, for young Australian audiences.

Griffin Theatre Company

If Australian writing is something you want to see more when you go to the theatre, then Griffin Theatre Company should definitely be on your radar. Griffin is Australia’s leading new writing theatre, dedicated to bringing the best Australian stories to the stage.

Griffin Theatre Company hosted this forum in 2012 to discuss Australian Playwrighting:

About the Author

StageMilk Team

is made up of professional actors, acting coaches and writers from around the world. This team includes Andrew, Alex, Emma, Jake, Jake, Indiana, Patrick and more. We all work together to contribute useful articles and resources for actors at all stages in their careers.

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