Aspiring playwrights score scholarships to ATYP National Studio residency

Creative writing students Anna Moore and Trish Llorando will attend week-long workshop with top Australian writers

Aspiring playwrights score scholarships to ATYP National Studio residency

Since 2016 the University of Wollongong (UOW) has supported a place at the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) National Studio through the ATYP / UOW joint scholarship.

This year’s recipient, Trish Llorando, will be joined at the National Studio (to be held from Monday 11 to Saturday 16 July at Bundanon, NSW) by fellow UOW creative writing student Anna Moore, who has received a scholarship funded by the Crown Resorts and Packer Family Foundations.

Course leader Associate Professor Catherine McKinnon, from the School of the Arts, English and Media, said it was a boon for the University to have two students selected for scholarships to the National Studio program, which has led to job opportunities for previous attendees.

“This residency program is a remarkable opportunity for young writers. The mentoring and creative development opportunity is a chance for them to really hone their playwriting skills,” Associate Professor McKinnon said.

“It’s very prestigious to be selected. This workshop can be a launch pad to a career in all sorts of creative roles.”

ATYP has run the National Studio since 2010. Up to 20 emerging writers from across Australia are selected from a large field of applicants for a weeklong program of masterclasses, small group tutorials and one-on-one sessions with established playwrights in picturesque Bundanon.

Trish, who is studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Bachelor of Commerce double degree, and Anna, who is undertaking a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing), will head to the Shoalhaven next week to take part in a formative creative experience where they will write short pieces for the stage that have a chance at being published by Currency Press and performed at the Intersection Festival.

Trish’s application for the workshop included her script for a short play titled The Rothschild’s Slipper Orchid.

“It’s about a man’s orchid obsession that leads him to the edge of madness – he goes through a relationship breakdown and loses his mother and his orchid nursery. Ultimately, he comes to a more liberated way of looking at himself and life’s surprising but gratifying ways,” Trish said.

“This workshop will be a great way to explore one of the facets of creative writing.”

Anna’s application for the workshop included a very personal short play drawn from her family history.

“My great grandmother was living in Ukraine when the Nazi’s invaded in 1941. That trauma was later linked to her developing schizophrenia, which kept the memories of the war alive in her mind – for her the war never really ended. She could never escape the war,” Anna said.

“With Ukraine once again under attack, the play feels particularly resonant right now.”

Anna is hoping that the workshops will help her refine her creative ideas.

“I’m looking forward to working with professional playwrights to be able to see my ideas more concretely, and to get them up on stage.”

Through the workshop, students and young writers from around the country will create a new play that may be produced by ATYP at the Intersection festival in August at Pier 2/3, or by the UOW Theatre or may be published at a later stage.

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