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Malcolm Robertson Writers Program
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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'The Malcolm Robertson Foundation supports the development and presentation of original Australian works by way of a Writers Program. Since 2004, the program has commissioned two emerging artists per year to write a new Australian work for Malthouse Theatre.'


  • The Malcolm Robertson Prize was inaugurated in 2000 in recognition of Robertson's 'contribution, commitment and leadership in the development of new playwrights within Playbox and the broader Melbourne theatre industry.' The prize is awarded annually to a new and emerging playwright, resident in Victoria, who has never had work produced by Playbox Theatre.

    (Source: Playbox Theatre website,

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2022

recipient Alistair Baldwin for 'Telethon Kid'.
recipient Adrian Chiarella for 'As a Second Language'.

Year: 2021

recipient Keziah Warner
recipient Chase Chase , 2021 single work drama

'Hailing from the streets of Frankston, Chase is on a spiritual journey to reclaim her cultural heritage. Compelling, repelling, and funny, she sifts through the weeds of contemporary culture with a handy cam and her 33 YouTube subscribers for company.

'If only Chase understood half of what she helps others discover.

'Carly Sheppard has been developing and performing the character of Chase for nearly a decade. A macro metaphor of our colonial shame, Chase is equally offensive to theatergoers from every walk of life. But therein lies her power. Chase is a mirror back to Australia.

'Meet Chase. You just might see yourself.'

Source: HotHouse Theatre.

Year: 2020

recipient Claire G. Coleman for 'Black Betty at the End of the World'.
recipient Stay Woke Aran Thangaratnam , 2022 single work drama

'A play about two brothers, Niv and Sai, heading to the mountains to bury the hatchet on a lifelong rivalry.  

'Big brother Niv has gone vegan. He’s madly in love, he's starting his own business, and seems to have finally found himself after years as the black sheep of the family. In an attempt to reconcile their differences, Niv invites golden child Sai and his new girlfriend Kate on a ski trip where they can put the past aside for the sake of family.

'But when party banter turns political, Kate stumbles into a minefield, and finds herself the focal point of an all-out war.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

Year: 2018

Year: 2016

winner Contest Emilie Collyer , 2018 single work drama

'I don’t know when I first saw it / In a memory, a premonition, or a dream.

'It was a house and it was on fire / I was the house and I was on fire.

'A suburban netball team. A new player. Cass says she wants to fit in but if she won’t play by their rules why does she bother coming at all? She claims to see something they cannot, a warning of sorts. All the other women want to do is play. But this player will push each of them to a point of furious revelation. Nothing will be left on the court once these women are done with their reckoning.

'A sweaty play about the petty and the profound, the mundane and the mythic, Contest asks how we might be with each other if we don’t have to win.

'Contest is presented in association with New Working Group and Bureau of Works.' (Production summary)