All female showcase headlines National Play Festival

Playwright Angela Betzien has been selected to present her new play Mortido alongside leading female playwrights at the National Play Festival.
All female showcase headlines National Play Festival

​Image courtesy Playwriting Australia. 

Multi-award winning playwright Angela Betzien is among four playwrights selected in an-all female showcase of new works at Playwriting Australia’s (PWA) 2014 National Play Festival, with her new play Mortido.

‘It’s so important that we have diversity on our stages. That includes diversity of gender and cultural diversity as well. It’s a really exciting showcase of the work that women are doing across the country,’ said Betzien.

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In a co-commission with PWA and Belvoir, Betzien said the reading of her play Mortido – a work inspired by Sydney’s alleged insatiable appetite for cocaine - was an opportunity for theatre audiences to see work that has yet to be produced. ‘It’s a raw state but also a really exciting state,’ she said.

Drawing on a fusion of styles – from folk tales to Mexican myth - Betzien said that she was fortunate to receive an Australia Council grant that let her travel to Mexico during the research and development phase of the project. ‘I engaged with that world, which greatly informed the writing process of the play.’

Joining Betzien in this year’s all female focus is Kathryn Ash with Thieves, Moths by Michele Lee and Samson by Julia-Rose Lewis. ‘It’s a terrific representation of how things are shifting with female directors and writers,’ said Betzien.

‘You’ve got work by Julie-Rose ,who is an emerging playwright, who is a really interesting voice talking about the presence of young people in Australia,’ she said.

Betzien said that the mix of emerging and established playwrights headlining this year’s festival was further to PWA’s commitment to nurture writers at all stages of their careers. ‘That is really important, that their energy is not simply focused on established writers,’ said Betzien.

‘I remember attending a national play conference many years ago when I first started writing, and it was an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to engage with national theatre makers. You can’t underestimate that experience on benefiting the careers of future writers,’ she said.

Mortido by Angela Betzien will be presented as a live rehearsed reading on Thursday 12 June, at 8:30pm, and repeated on Saturday 14 June at 2pm.

The Playwriting Australia National Play Festival runs from 12 to 15 June in Sydney.

For full program information and tickets visit the Playwriting Australia website

Troy Nankervis

Monday 2 June, 2014

About the author

Troy Nankervis is an ArtsHub journalist from Melbourne. Follow him on twitter @troynankervis