Image courtesy Playwriting Australia
Joanna Murray-Smith i(85 works by)
Born: Established: 1962 Mount Eliza, Mornington Peninsula (Port Phillip Bay), Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Joanna Murray-Smith, while predominantly a playwright, has also worked as screenwriter, novelist, librettist and newspaper columnist. Murray-Smith's plays have been well-received in Australia and overseas. Honour was first read at the New York Stage and Film Festival in 1995 by Meryl Streep, Sam Waterson and Kyra Sedgwick, and was also produced on Broadway and in San Francisco. Honour has been performed throughout Australia and New Zealand, in Korea, Portugal, Mexico, Turkey, Brazil and Malaysia. Nightfall also had an acclaimed production in 2001 at the New York Stage and Film Festival. Several of Murray-Smith's plays have been adapted for European radio.

Since the early 1960s, Murray-Smith's father and mother led expeditions of family and friends to a remote uninhabited island in Bass Strait, called Erith. Erith is one of three main islands in the Kent Group, half way between the mainland and Tasmania and only accessible by fishing boat. Across from Erith is Deal Island which was inhabited by two lighthouse families who endured the volatile weather of Bass Strait all year. From their island, the Murray-Smiths could look across Murray Pass, the dangerous stretch of water between them and Deal, towards human habitation. At night, the triple beam of the lighthouse was a comfort against the darkness and loneliness of the Strait. In her novel, Judgement Rock (2002), Murray-Smith expresses her gratitude to her parents, Nita and Stephen Murray-Smith (qq.v.), whom she describes as her 'lighthouses'.

Awards for Works

The Divorce 2015 series - publisher film/TV opera

'In this musical soap era, [sic] wealthy couple Iris (Marina Prior) and Jed (John O’May) are getting a "modern" divorce after a long and satisfying marriage, and are throwing an elaborate party at their elegant home to celebrate. But by the end of the evening, Iris and Jed’s divorce has triggered a renegotiation of all that had seemed certain, and the characters are each set on an unanticipated course.'

Source:

'Creating a Four-Part Divorce', The Screen Blog, 12 August 2015. (Sighted: 24/8/2015)

2016 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Western Australian Emerging Writers Award
Switzerland 2014 single work drama

'Following the success of 'Fury' in 2013, playwright Joanna Murray-Smith, director Andrew Upton and actor Sarah Peirse join forces again for a suspenseful new thriller; a fictional postulation of an episode in the life of Patricia Highsmith. The spiky novelist, best known for her creation of the very talented con artist Tom Ripley, receives an unexpected visitor at her home in Switzerland - a young man sent by her publisher with the purpose of extracting one last Ripley novel from her before she dies. Switzerland cunningly explores what happens when the spark of life that a writer puts into a character has the potential to set off a fire and destroy more than it creates.' (Source: http://www.theatrepeople.com.au/newsflash/andrew-upton-announces-sydney-theatre-company%E2%80%99s-2014-season )

2014 nominated Sydney Theatre Awards Best Mainstage Production
2014 winner Sydney Theatre Awards Best New Australian Work
The Gift 2011 single work drama

'Sadie and Ed meet Martin and Chloe at a holiday resort and instantly hit it off, despite coming from completely different worlds. When Martin saves Ed's life, everyone knows the debt can never be properly repaid. But Ed is rich and generous, and Martin and Chloe have a need so great it seems divine providence that the two couples should have found each other. So, given time to think, they return to make their wish - but surely it's a wish nobody could possibly grant?'

Source: Melbourne Theatre Company website, www.mtc.com.au (sighted: 29/09/2010)

2012 joint winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting Joint winner with Vanessa Bates's 'Porn.Cake'.
Last amended 8 Nov 2016 07:53:48
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