Writing your city

Write about what you know, we're often told. So why do so few playwrights set their work in their home towns?

Photo: Marcel Dorney’s Prehistoric at Metro Arts. Image by Leesa Connelly. 

In their eagerness to tell universal stories, Australian playwrights sometimes fall into the trap of writing generic stories instead; plays written with an eye to a national or international market that could be set anywhere, and consequently have no sense of place to distinguish them.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Like this content?

Become a Member and unlock unlimited Access today

Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts