Katherine Thomson is a dramatist who has also worked as a television scriptwriter. She began her career as an actor with the Australian Theatre for Young People in 1969, and was a founding member of Theatre South in Woolongong. Her other theatrical associations have included Sidetrack Theatre, and being engaged as Writer-in-Residence for the Sydney Theatre Company during the 1995 Hong Kong Fringe. Thomson also held the same position with the Yaddo Writers' Colony in the USA.
Thomson's first play, A Change in the Weather, was presented at the 1982 Women and Arts Festival. Later she was commissioned to write Tonight We Anchor in Twofold Bay, which premiered in Eden, New South Wales, played at the STC's Wharf Studio, and toured the South Coast. She wrote A Sporting Chance, then co-wrote Darlinghurst Nights, which opened the STC's 1988 season and was broadcast on ABC Radio National. Later plays have included: Diving for Pearls, Barmaids, Fragments of Hong Kong, Navigating, This Hospital is My Country and Mavis Goes to Timor. In 2001, as part of their Borderline project, Griffin Theatre Company commissioned Thomson to write Kayak. Wonderlands was subsequently written for the Hot House and Griffin Theatres, and Harbour opened the new STC theatre in 2004.
Among Thomson's television screenplay credits are episodes for Wildside (q.v.), All Saints (q.v.) Snowy, Fallen Angels, BlackJack, Cradle and All , Halifax fp, G.P., McLeod's Daughters, Grass Roots and the mini-series Answered By Fire, which she co-wrote.
Katherine Thomson's many industry awards include: the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Diving for Pearls; AWGIE (Australian Writers' Guild) Awards for Barmaids, Mavis Goes to Timor and the 'Shaking Hands With Time' episode of G.P.; the 2003 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights' Award for Wonderlands; the 2005 NSW Premier's Literary Award for Harbour; and The Australian National Playwrights Centre Award 2005. Katherine Thomson was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards, Scripts Award in 2009 for 'Origins', episode one of the documentary Darwin's Brave New World (2009) based onDarwin's Armada (2009) by Iain McCalman (q.v.)
'Women He's Undressed is a cinema length documentary that explores the life of Australia's most prolific costume designer. Until now Orry-Kelly has been unacknowledged in his country of birth and pretty well forgotten in the adopted country of his greatest success. During the boom years of Hollywood he was the costume designer on an astonishing 282 motion pictures. He designed for the stars like Marilyn Munroe, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Rosalind Russell, Errol Flynn and many more of the immortals. His films included Some Like It Hot, Casablanca, An American in Paris and Now, Voyager. Orry-Kelly (Jack to his friends) won three Academy Awards and was nominated for a fourth. Orry-Kelly was Head of Warner Brothers Costume Department during the richest period of American film, the establishment of the dream factory and its effect on mass culture. He was outrageous, witty, outspoken, a drinker and uncompromising but he survived partially protected by his friendship with Jack and Ann ... Written by Damien Parer' (Publication summary)
'A sweeping saga of empires rising and falling as the world’s richest woman, Gina Rinehart, fights to maintain and expand the mining dynasty left to her by her father, whilst her children sue her for their share of the multi-billion dollar inheritance.' (Production summary)