27 February, 2020
The Australian Writers’ Guild welcomes the release of A Consolidated Vision for Plays and Playwriting in Australia. Following a protracted period of upheaval and uncertainty for the industry, this is the final report from the third-party review into the future of Playwriting Australia. AWG acknowledges PWA’s need for full-sector support in order to secure funds for playwright and play development.
On behalf of all Australian playwrights, not just AWG members, the Guild has facilitated public and online forums since the announcement of the REĂ review, to harness opinions in the theatre community. Most playwrights encouraged the continuance of a national body for playwright and play development, celebrated the digital offering of Australian Plays but expressed a lack of confidence in the outgoing PWA Board.
The REĂ Report (of which 52% of written submissions were provided by AWG respondents) considers PWA’s service and function and makes recommendations which we welcome further detail about. While the proposed introduction of a National Advisory Panel gives playwrights a stronger footing with the direction of the new entity, we urge the transitional Board to consider and mitigate operational and reputational risks so that the merged organisation delivers on its purpose.
In the spirit of collaboration that is essential now more than ever in the theatre sector, AWG invites ongoing discussions with the transitional PWA Board and the Australian Plays Board. Before lending support to the proposed new entity and its structure, playwrights need to understand the finer details of the merger, the anticipated framework and the new Board’s approach to culture and governance.
Our goal is a common one, shared by all in the theatre sector. AWG will fight for a viable, ethical, transparent national body for playwright and play development that fosters talent and provides the scaffolding for exceptional playwriting.