Excited to share something very special – while I love writing plays and the community of theatre folk I get to exist amongst, forever and always my great artistic love has been books. They are a quiet pleasure, they inspire wonder time and time again, they’ve filled every corner of every home, they are created by my greatest heroes, they whisper and shout and sing.

And in 2022, in the midst of a strange and fearful hibernation when sickness cast a pall over our household, I wrote one.

I sent three unsolicited chapters off to my favourite publisher, Text, and amazingly they picked them out of a pile and asked to see more. And amazingly again, they offered to publish. And amazingly a third time, they (ridiculously clever editor Jane, Fruzsi, Maddy, Jess, Ari, many others) gave patient guidance and wise notes and helped shape it into something ready for a reader – all sat within WH Chong’s beautiful cover.

‘The End and Everything Before It’ is the story of a coastal town as witnessed over two centuries, and the ebb and flow of those who come to inhabit it – brave fisherwomen who carry omens, chastened prisoners who forge small empires, orphans who look back, daughters who can see for miles. Of course the book is dedicated to Essie (who was the first to read it and whose feedback meant the world). And to Moe, who is a wonder.

It’s released July 2nd, so if you fancy preordering a copy, head to: https://www.textpublishing.com.au/…/the-end-and…

If in Adelaide on that date, come join for a very fun launch party. And if just sat quietly someplace, and find yourself opening up a copy, then I really hope you enjoy.

Like everyone in the arts, 2020 has seen many plans fall by the wayside, with lots of shows sadly cancelled but also lots of room provided for the writing of new ones.

Hibernation-resize3In one of the strangest coincidences, a play started last November about the entire world going to sleep for a year, ended up coinciding… with the entire world going to sleep for a year.

Very happy to share that Hibernation will enjoy its world premiere in the 2021 State Theatre of South Australia season, imagining a near-future where the planet is feeling the climactic strain and humanity realises a year without us is the only thing that will save us. “We have been making our beds – now we must lie in them”.

2021 also sees three other world premieres come to be, one for adults, one for teenagers, and one for children.

The World is Looking for You is a one-woman show brought to life, and inspired, by my great friend Sarah Brokensha and produced by The Misery Children, as supported by Country Arts SA, the Adelaide Festival Centre and Brink Productions.

Everything They Ever Said With Fingers Crossed Behind Their Backs begins its life in the wonderful DreamBig International Children’s Festival, commissioned by SayArts and performed by the excellent teenaged Kindred Ensemble.

And for children, The Great Ignored sees a noir detective story play out far across the seas in Milwaukee WI, as realised by my great friends and regular collaborators at First Stage.

81509213_2791100614273755_7686416804570202112_oAnd alongside these four most fledgling of plays, next year sees 25 other productions come to be in seven countries and five continents, travels that are lovely to imagine while our own lives are contained for the time being.

Alison Lester’s iconic and much loved Magic Beach will continue its travels far and wide around the country thanks to CDP Theatre Producers.

Compagnie de Facto’s Cheeseboy will tell its sad tale in French throughout France, Switzerland and Belgium. Mexico’s Teatro Luna de Papel will evoke the love between a grandmother and granddaughter in Forgetting to Remember.

And throughout the US and Australia, 14 impassioned, inventive school and university ensembles will bring various plays to life, young performers offering work to young audiences in the most exciting of handovers.


Finally, for those unable to make it out to the theatre but keen to read a play or five at home, the wonderful Currency Press have this year released an anthology called For We The Young, containing five of my plays for young audiences.

Such a lovely honour to have it sat upon a shelf, and to have the scripts accompanied by an intro from my friend Meg Upton and cover art from my friend Andy Ellis.

Thanks in advance to everyone who prepares to step back onto a stage, or in front of a camera so that stories may be told, and wishing you all happy holidays and a redemptive 2021 to come.


(By Corie Mattie, in Santa Monica CA)

Now that our family three is nicely settled into Adelaide living (an adolescent city returned to after fifteen years of island-dwelling), and boxes are unpacked and a garden is planted and Winter turns to Spring, words can be returned to and seasons can be set to sea.

The last months of 2019 are exciting ones, seeing plays play in Mexico, China, Vietnam, the US (az, ca, dc, hi, il, tx, wi), Germany, Ireland and closer to home in various parts of Australia.

In a lovely run of firsts, so happy to have Mexico City’s Teatro Luna de Papel present the world premiere of ‘Olvidando Recordar’ (Forgetting to Remember), and Milwaukee’s First Stage give ‘The Great Ignored’ its first reading. Across the Atlantic, Staatsteater Hannover presents the German premiere of ‘Die Out, Die Uns Vereint’ (the violent outburst that drew me to you), Knox College Theater presents the US premiere of the same work, Hanoi’s BIS brings The Boy at the Edge of Everything to Vietnamese audiences, and Cork’s Graffiti Theatre gives This Girl Laughs its Irish kickoff with a national tour.

The latter’s tale of triplet sisters then enjoys triplet lives, thanks to Staatsteater Oldenburg‘s German imagining, and Flintridge Sacred Heart‘s LA production. Also in the US, Where Words Once Were is brought to life by both Southwestern Oklahoma State University and Texas’ Ronald Thornton Middle School. And Suzette who Set to Sea sets sail on two statewide tours at once, in Arizona with regular collaborators Childsplay, and in NY state with Syracuse Stage.

At the wonderful Honolulu Theatre for Youth, we embark on our third shared adventure with a Hawaiian tour of Love (and this one i’m finally getting across to see!). And on the mainland, Imagination Stage‘s raucous ‘Escape from Peligro Island migrates from Maryland to DC with a season at The ARC – while across the border in Canada, Winston Churchill High School chooses to choose its own adventure in Alberta.

Back in Australia, really excited about a trio of college productions, with Melbourne Grammar’s Man Covets Bird at the Malthouse, Sacred Heart’s The Girl who was a Hundred Girls in Adelaide, and Dromana College’s The Snow. And with unflagging momentum, Hobart’s Terrapin Puppet Theatre gives You and Me and the Space Between yet another life with a Chinese national tour.

If in the vicinity of any seasons and keen for more information, wonderful and head across to the What’s On page. Happy Springtime to other southern hemisphere dwellers, and cosy Autumns to the northerners.

After a lovely summer break of Adelaide family visits and garden days, it’s nice to be sat back at the computer, diving into the writing of new words and watching of past plays as they live again.

Central to this is the myriad existences of This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, which in 2018 enjoys seven different productions in seven different US states – with three of these opening on the same February day! In New York, it enjoys a month-long Manhattan season at that illustrious stomping ground of Mamet, Macy and McDonagh, the renowned Atlantic Theatre (directed by Alison Beatty & Tom Costello). Meanwhile in Portland, Coho Theatre places great friend Tamara Carroll at the helm and at Alaska’s UAF it is realised a third time by Abigail van Patter.

To mark the occasion, I’ve bitten the bullet and traversed mediums, adapting it into prose form! Having been provided the most beautiful cover illustration by the ridiculously clever Andy Ellis (see below), this story of triplet sisters is now available as an ebook or print copy on Amazon. Click on the link (this one’s American but should lead to other regions) if you fancy a tangible tale sat upon your bookshelf.


book cover

Elsewhere, the Czech Republic’s National Theatre continues its run of At Sea, Staring Up in what looks to be a stunning production, with a black hole taking centre-stage. And in California, another adult work is well located, with Segerstrom Theatre’s The Car Plays seeing two audience members placed in the backseat while a mini-play plays out at the wheel.

In Milwaukee, the excellent First Stage (run by great mate Jeff Frank and co-produced by Chicago’s Filament Theatre) presents the world premiere of Antarctica WI, a play directed by Malkia Stampley-Johson, about youthful coming-of-age at a racially and socially charged moment in American history – today.

Back in New York, the renowned Lincoln Center for the Arts plays host to the Kennedy Center production of dystopian love story Where Words Once Were, while upstate ‘The Boy at the Edge of Everything’ tumbles through space once again, this time in the safe hands of Theatre of Youth. And amidst it all, eight other productions play out around the US – if keen to know of seasons, head to What’s On.

And if you should find yourself in a theatre or tempted to buy a copy of the book, I very much hope you enjoy. Happy new year!

2017 began with a humbling, never imagined excitement and has shown no sign of slowing since.

In the final days of last year, the wonderful Boomer Stacey (organiser of the International Performing Arts for Youth showcase, and all-round nice gent) contacted me with whispers of an award received and the invitation to come and collect it in Wisconsin mid-January. What followed was a mad rush of emailing and an avalanche of generosity from Boomer and the lovely folk at The Australia Council and DFAT (huge thanks to Marion, Kathryn, Lee and Michael) which culminated in 72 hours of international travel for 72 hours on snowy, Madison soil.

In front of a crowd of highly-respected peers and mentors, and introduced onstage by the loveliest speech from one of the loveliest humans I know, Mary Rose Lloyd, I received the 2017 Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award for services to theatre for young audiences. For those who wish to read the words delivered with a shaking voice that evening, here they are:

Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award Speech

Since then I’ve settled back on home soil and into the writing of words. Editor Nathalie Handal very nicely invited me to write a Tasmanian entry for her Words Without Borders series (below):

The City and the Writer: In Hobart

The English departments at Hobart College and The Friends School invited me in to lead playwrighting workshops with inspiring and erudite students.

And the writing of five new plays was sat down to, with a project currently being penned for every age of audience:
– An immersive adventure for Brisbane’s Imaginary Theatre will see head-phoned students flee their teachers, and navigate the labyrinthine beauty of Her Majesty’s Theatre in Ballarat.
– An adult work written for wonderful Hobartian actor Guy Hooper (in co-pro with Tas Performs and Blue Cow) chronicles one man through the speeches we might utter in a lifetime.
– A playfully philosophical tale for Perth’s Barking Gecko follows a girl who truly ‘makes a friend’ (and stars an actual robot, as invented by actual geniuses, actually): My Robot
– A complex, unapologetic work for Milwaukee’s First Stage and Chicago’s Filament Theatre explores what it is to be a teenager growing up in this volatile American moment: Antarctica WI
– And a library-centric tale for Leicester’s Spark Arts for Children is anything but quiet, created across a globe and set to tour far and wide in England: Sylvia South and the Word Catcher


The latter (with beautiful image by longtime friend and collaborator Andy Ellis) will see me board a plane next week for a UK development with director Adel Al-Salloum and her Spark Arts team.

And coinciding nicely with this adventure is the pleasure that is the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival, which will this year (alongside great offerings from around the world) host Terrapin Puppet Theatre’s You and Me and the Space Between. Exciting to sit in an audience of colleagues and friends and watch it play on Scottish shores – and also to hold my breath until this coming Monday when the NSW Premiers Literary Awards are announced, with this work for families shortlisted among great adult fare:

Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting shortlist

Meanwhile over the past five months, plays have been brought to life by 23 wonderful ensembles worldwide, ranging from The Czech National Theatre presenting At Sea, Staring Up in Prague, to Vermont’s Essex High School reaching the National Drama Finals with their production of The Boy at the Edge of Everything. I’m truly thankful to every company that chooses to produce a play, whether on an ornate national stage or in a spartan classroom. Thanks to the directors, producers and teachers for stories shared of the lives these characters have had far and wide.

Finally, perhaps the most satisfying experiences this year have been to sit in a theatre and watch Essie’s dance-theatre work The Love Project (born of myriad interviews and siphoned through the physicality of great performers) premiere in the Ten Days on the Island Festival. Or to sit at a dinner table and hear our son Moe wax lyrical with the grand rambling wisdom of a two-and-a-bit year old. Together we and our friends have harvested summer fruit trees, and said hello to five chickens and one cat (with a wide berth kept between).

And now we welcome winter and whatever it may bring.


With Tasmanian springtime arrived, I’ve jumped continents and write now from Washington DC, in readiness for day one of rehearsals at the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Where Words Once Were is a dystopian play for young audiences, developed in conversation with some great DC artists, as led by director Colin Hovde. Tomorrow we sit in a rehearsal room and watch it move from page to floor, as the creative ensemble brings it into tangible, three-dimensional being.

Also readying for the raising of October curtains are productions at Childsplay in Arizona, Chance Theatre in California, and Adelaide High School back across the seas. And since last posting, 25 seasons have come to be in four countries, including world premieres, an Australian national tour for Simon’s Final Sound, and a Griffin Independent life for Perth’s ‘Those Who Fall in Love… (the first WA show ever selected for the prestigious Sydney season).

Recently, thoughts have turned to the printed word, as amazing illustrator Andy Ellis (who created the artwork for this website) and I collaborate on the pairing of words and pictures. And brilliant photographer Andy Wilson and I do the same, with the release of his beautiful new book Coast Tasmania seeing it arrive on bookshelves at month’s end.

Meanwhile, book versions of existing plays are currently being imagined in wonderful chats with a great New York publisher. And in festivals and schools around the country, Terrapin Puppet Theatre’s new work You and Me and the Space Between is being brought to life by an orator and illustrator recruited in each city visited, the result being a picture book beautifully drawn before your eyes. It too may yet make a journey to book form.

Finally, I’m very honoured to have joined the board of The Story Island Project. Using creative storytelling to engage and connect, it draws on successful models (Dave Egger’s programmes in the US, the Sydney Story Factory etc), but in a manner best suited to Tasmanian young people and their communities. Two meetings in and I’m so inspired by the people at the table, the work done to date, and the vision for what lies ahead.

Wishing you well with your own reading, or writing, or performing, or viewing, and if you find yourself in one of the cities where a play is being presented, I hope you enjoy.

The first quarter of this year has seen US adventures undertaken and plays shared with audiences far and wide, in Australia, Germany, Italy and North America.

And so as to see new works come to be, I swapped hemispheres in March (as generously supported by Milwaukee’s First Stage, and New York’s Lincoln Center) and sat in an audience for the world premiere of First Stage’s The Snow, and New York premiere of Trusty Sidekick’s The Boy at the Edge of Everything (as presented by the largest cultural institution in the world, the Lincoln Center for the Arts).

While visiting Milwaukee, I spoke with Peggy Sue Dunigan from Broadway World: Broadway World interview

And was interviewed by Bonnie North on National Public Radio Milwaukee: NPR interview (feel free to have a listen)

I also spoke to university students at Juilliard in New York and at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Finally, I was honoured to have an essay, The Taboo of Sadness published by the renowned American Theatre Magazine in their special edition on Theatre for Young Audiences. Feel free to read it here.

Since then I’ve returned to Tasmania, just as autumn descends upon the island and with it, the leaves of our grapevine and gingko blanketing the earth beneath. Now that Moe is walking, he helps Es and I ready the veggie beds for our next season of planting and, when indoors, the heaters are lit and new words for the writing sat down to.

Commissions for Australian and international companies loom large on the horizon. Existing plays pack bags for seasons far and wide (see: Upcoming). And in May at DC’s John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, ‘The Boy at the Edge of Everything’ is launched as a selected work in its New Visions, New Voices: 25 years, 25 plays anthology.

Wishing you all a lovely autumn or, for those in the northern hemisphere, happy springtime respite from the winter now passed.

With this website now in existence (thanks to the amazing talents of illustrator Andy Ellis, designer Kelly Eijdenberg and builder Shaun Wilson), I’ve been admittedly lax with posting updates. So today I look both forward (to 2016 and a preemptive new year’s resolution of more rigour), and back – over all that’s come to be in the second half of 2015.

Since launching the site in May, 17 seasons have taken place throughout the US, Czech Republic and Australia. These included a three-month Los Angeles run of Man Covets Bird (thanks, 24th Street Theater), an Australian premiere for The Boy at the Edge of Everything (at the wonderful Melbourne Theatre Company), and a Prague Festival season of This Girl Laughs… (as brought to life by Just This Once).

I was absolutely gobsmacked to discover that my work had received four major industry awards in the last while:
– The 2015 David Williamson Prize for Australian Playwrighting, as generously gifted by its namesake (and Aussie theatre icon).
– The 2015 Future leader Award at the CHASS (Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) Australia Prizes.
– The 2015 Australian Writers Guild (AWGIE) Award for Best Children’s Play (for The Boy at the Edge of Everything).
– And the Best Moving Experience acknowledgement at the Diemen Awards for my first ever commercial (The Wanderer for East Coast Tourism. Here it is: The Wanderer advert

Other Activities:
In July, I was honoured to deliver a keynote at the renowned Lincoln Center for the Arts in New York, presenting a paper as part of their Summer Education Forum, before a Trusty Sidekick reading of The Boy at the Edge of Everything as a taster before the full production in March!

In September, I spoke at the senate hearing enquiry into the removal of $104M from our peer-assessed funding body The Australia Council, by our then Arts Minister Brandis. Statement to the Senate Enquiry

In October, I was very lucky to speak on a number of panels for the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival, as held in beautiful Bali. Essie and Moe joined me for the amazing adventure and it was a true pleasure to present alongside writers whose words I love (among them Michael Chabon, Chigozie Obioma, Okky Madasari).

In November, Essie, Moe and I returned home and breathed out after the months that had been (including three spent overseas in the US and Asia), weeding the garden and planting the tomatoes, in readiness for the summer months ahead.

Now 2016 looms and, with it, a great run of 20 new seasons in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy and the US. Feel free to check the listings for those in your part of the world, and to make contact if ever interested in something yet to be created.


It’s now only nine days until Essie, Moe and I board a plane for the US and spend two months visiting plays being workshopped, and friends being creative, in faraway cities.

First off, Seattle Children’s Theatre puts the third draft of a fast-paced and hard-boiled noir play for children through its paces, and I’m sure to get much dramaturgical nourishment from director Rita Giomi, AD Linda Hartzell, and the amazing ensemble of local actors.

Then a beautiful train-ride south to Portland, and three weeks spent talking about works in development with Oregon Children’s Theatre:
The first, co-produced with First Stage (Milwaukee) & Magik Theater (San Antonio) is ‘The Snow’, which follows a child-sized hero and giant-sized sidekick as they battle their way through the titular tundra.
And the second, a co-production between Kaiser Permanente’s in Portland and Denver, sets its sights on a fictional town that has lost its heart, and a small band of kids who climb mountains and descend canyons to reunite their community.

Finally, from West Coast to East, and five weeks in New York, spent helping children generate new stories with the good folk at Off The Page, and checking in on The Boy at the Edge of Everything, as the next stage of his performative life is reimagined in the rich minds of Trusty Sidekick Theatre Company.

Also in July, two conferences await, with a keynote to deliver at the Lincoln Center for the Arts (New York), and a panel to attend via skype for the 2015 Drama Australia Conference (Sydney).

And besides all this, a northern hemisphere summer to enjoy, and ever-new stories to imagine.