Australian Theatre Festival – NYC, announce inaugural new play award winner

Artistic Directors Mark Barford, Connor Delves & Jillian Geurts announce Richard Jordan as the inaugural Australian Theatre Festival New Play Award Winner, for his play “​The Tiniest Thing​”.

The New Play Award is sponsored by Andrew J. Martin-Weber.

Richard Jordan​ is an award-winning playwright from Brisbane. His plays have garnered several awards and honours, including the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award (​25 Down,​ 2009), the Lord Mayor’s Award for Best New Australian Work (​Machina,​ 2015), three Matilda awards (2009; 2015), a writer’s residency at Marrickville Council, Sydney (2011), a Creative Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire (2013), and a public reading at the Royal Court Theatre, London (2008). In 2016 he established the “Incubator” Program in conjunction with Playlab in Brisbane, where he mentored 12 emerging playwrights. He holds a PhD in Creative Writing and Drama from the University of Queensland, and an Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting from the Australian Film Television and Radio School. He currently lectures in Theatre Studies at the University of New England (Australia).

WINNING PLAYWRIGHT TO RECEIVE:​ Return airfare and accommodation in New York, $2000 USD cash, development support & a public staged reading in the 2020 Season. Total prize is valued at over $5000 USD​.

New Play Award Runner-Up Jamie Hornsby for “Python

The goal of the New Play Award is to recognize a new play with a distinctly Australian voice that is big on ideas and bold in its ambition. The inaugural award received 99 submissions from Australian playwrights across the globe. ​The winning play was chosen after a rigorous blind judging process where the playwright’s names were removed before reading.

The New Play Award Winner was unanimously selected by a panel of industry experts, including Co-Artistic Directors Mark Barford, Connor Delves and Jillian Geurts.

Co-Artistic Director Mark Barford, who will direct the public staged reading of the award winning play, commented “​The response to our new play award has been mind-blowing and speaks to a need in our industry to support the development of new plays and playwrights. I am thrilled that we have unanimously chosen “​The Tiniest Thing”​ by Richard Jordan as the inaugural winner. It is a big, bold Australian play that is very relevant to today and asks questions about our relationships to our families and climate change. I look forward to working with Richard on developing the play further and presenting it for the first time in New York City this May​.”

The New Play Award is sponsored by Andrew J. Martin-Weber.

“The Tiniest Thing”​ by Richard Jordan is an eco-family drama about the politics of perception. It explores climate change denialism and generational inheritance within a fateful weekend for one Brisbane family. “​The Tiniest Thing”​ asks: Do we always choose what we want to believe?

The Australian Theatre Festival – NYC,​ ​is an annual celebration of Australian stories and artists in New York City. We aim to:​ ​create​ opportunities for an exchange of culture through the presentation of diverse theatrical content, ​cultivate​ the development of Australian artists and their work on a global stage, and ​connect ​Australians living in New York to foster a sense of community through a festival setting.

The program will run May 21-24, 2020, at ​St John’s in the Village​, and will feature Australian theatre, live music, visual art and an industry panel.

Mark Barford Born and raised in Mandurah, Australia, Mark is a director, playwright and teacher based in NYC. Upcoming, Off-Broadway: ​Starcrossed​ (Cherry Lane Theatre). Recently he co-wrote & directed the off-off Broadway production of Hadrian & Antinous (​ Lenfest Centre for the Arts, NY), the Croatian National Theatre production of ​antidote (​ CNT, Rijeka)​ a​nd worked with director Barrie Kosky on ​La Boheme​ ​at the Komische Oper in Berlin, and with Ivo van Hove on ​Network​ ​on Broadway. His multi award-winning, 5 star production of ​F*cking Men​ ​played at The Vaults London (11 week run), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Assembly Festival), International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, and The King’s Head Theatre London (multiple sold-out seasons). As resident director for ICW productions he directed: ​The Phantom of the Opera​, ​The Sound of Music,​ ​The Mikado​, ​CATS​, and ​Company​. Other directing highlights include: ​Breakfast,​ ​King Richard II​, ​The Cherry Orchard​, Freddie​, D​ark Meat​ , T​he Only Living Boys in South Jersey​, ​Hillary & Monica​, ​The Cat in the Box​,​ and ​Never Mind the Monsters​. He is a graduate of the Acting Shakespeare program at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London and holds a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma of Education from Murdoch University. He is a recent graduate of the MFA Theatre Directing program at Columbia University, NYC and is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC).

Connor Delves Born and raised in Perth, Australia, Connor is an actor, producer & director that has worked in Australia, the UK and the US. As a producer: ​Precious Little Talent​ (NY Premiere & NYIT Award Winning production) & ​Building Pain​ (1st Irish Theatre Festival Nominated Production). As an actor: Off Broadway: ​Daniel’s Husband​ (Westside Theatre) , ​Endangered! The Musical​ (Davenport Theatre). Other recent credits include; ​Starcrossed​ (pre Off-Broadway) where he was reviewed as “​this year’s discovery of blazing talent”​ , ​Holy Day​ (New Ohio Theatre), ​Shadowplay (Access Theatre); Jean-Michel in ​La Cage Aux Folles​ (Stage Door Theatre); ‘​Precious Little Talent​’ (NY Premiere & NYIT Award Winning production); ​Me and the Girls: A Noel Coward Musical​ (Understudy to Alan Cumming) written & dir. Douglas Carter Beane; ​Fairy Cakes​ (MTC Reading w/ Matthew Broderick & Brooks Ashmanskas). Connor also Associate Directed the Off-Broadway musical ​Goldstein ​(Off-Broadway Alliance Award Nominee – Best New Musical) as well as the NY Premiere reading of FLOOD.​ Other productions Connor has directed include ​FLIGHT​ and ​The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas​. He is a graduate of The NY Academy Company at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts & is a proud member of AEA.

Jillian Geurts Born and raised in Brisbane, Australia, Jillian is an actor and producer who began her professional career with acclaimed physical theatre company Zen Zen Zo. She is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts NY Company and is co-founder of The New Natives Theatre Company. Regional credits include Isabella in ​Measure for Measure,​ Juliet in ​Romeo and Juliet​, Lady Anne in Hood:The Musical (​ original cast, written & directed by Douglas Carter Beane) (all for Scranton Shakespeare Festival). NYC credits include Miranda in ​The Collector​ (59E59 – NYC Premiere), Louie in ​Camel,​ First Woman in ​The First Man​ (Under St Marks), Ophelia in ​Kill Hamlet ​(Signature Theatre), Nurse in ​Romeo and Juliet ​(Hypokrit Theatre), Simpson in ​Whipped ​(Theatre for the New City) and Elizabeth in ​Holy Day (New Ohio Theatre – American Premiere). In 2019, Jillian worked on Felicia Anchuli King’s play ​Golden Shield (​ EST and MTC Workshop Readings), and her producing credits include ​Camel​, ​The First Man​ (Under St Marks), ​Holy Day ​(New Ohio Theatre) and ​Tipping the Velvet ​(Theaterlab – Staged Reading featuring Kristolyn Lloyd & Nicole Ansari). Jillian has also worked extensively in film, and upcoming credits include Catching Up​ (dir. Bill Crossland), ​Rabbit Jaw​ (dir. David Williams) and​ Detroit: Evolution​ (dir. Michelle Iannantuono). She is a member of Actors Equity and a proud Queer.

Gabi Bergman

Gabi Bergman is a Melbourne-based performer and educator. She holds a Double Arts degree in Theatre Studies and Film/Screen Studies and a Master of Teaching (Secondary Education). Gabi has always been an avid lover of theatre, specifically musicals, and spends way too much money than she’d like to admit on tickets. Her most prized possession is her crate of theatre programs.

Gabi Bergman

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