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In Development

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PONY CLUB (Working Title)

Writer Grace Wilson

"Pony Club" is an overnight fan-fiction sensation - with over 90 thousand reads and 22 thousand favourites, the name is synonymous with success. Little does the public know that the author PonyLuvr459 is a group of five teenage writers and they plan to keep it this way. One doesn’t have time for stardom, two have overbearing parents, one owns a cattle farm and the other is scared to be seen writing, well, fanfiction. That is until one team member anonymously leaks the identities of the five writers to the world before their big finale chapter. Confused, conflicted, and thrust into a world of Harry Potter superfans, a Twitter coup and a Tom Felton cameo, the team must figure out who the mole is before the rest of PonyLuvr459 is leaked to the rest of the internet.

Dramaturgy by Emma Churchland.

PONY CLUB is commissioned through the Telescope New Writing Program.

Observatory Theatre receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund.

Grace Wilson is a 19-year-old playwright living in Meanjin, Queensland and has been involved in writing for stage for several years now. She has received awards for her works in this genre including the 2022 Queensland Theatre’s Young Playwrights’ Award, and was shortlisted for Sydney Theatre Company’s Patrick White Playwrights’ Award, the Griffin Award and the Queensland Premier's Drama Award. She has prose published with Regional Arts Australia, and has also been longlisted for two commissions: the ATYP Foundation Commission, and the Martin Lysicrates Prize. Over the past two years, she has completed playwriting training programs including JUTE WriteSparks, Queensland Theatre’s Young Writers’ Ensemble and ATYP Fresh Ink Mentoring. She is currently under commission with Queensland University of Technology.

Development History

October 2024: HUB Residency, Backbone Youth Arts

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Writer Samantha Hill

Sloane is disillusioned with mindless, low-skilled work, but knows it's her path for the next 30 years. Relationships and children are not going to happen, and it’s been so long since she had a real friend that she’s wondering if her life has any purpose at all. But then she hits on a solution. That special tarot card that has followed her around her whole life has been trying to tell her something: Sloane’s meant to kill her boss and save everyone. Obviously. The Blackbird Killing is a black comedy about people searching for community, and some kind of life and identity beyond work.


Dramaturgy by Emma Churchland.

THE BLACKBIRD KILLING is commissioned through the Telescope New Writing Program.


Observatory Theatre receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund.

Samantha Hill is a Brisbane-based writer, teacher, and actor. She predominantly works in theatre but was one of the 2022 winners of Queensland Writers' Centre's Scriptable competition for emerging screenwriters, with her TV series, ‘Miss Teen America & the Wooltown Roadkill.’ She has developed scripts with Playwriting Australia, Small & Loud, and ATYP. In 2016, she was commissioned to write ‘Binary Stars & Best Lives’ by Red Line Productions for the Old Fitz Theatre, and previously had ‘Dancing Dogs’ commissioned by St. Martin’s Youth Theatre, Melbourne. In 2017, Samantha was awarded the inaugural playwriting Hot Desk Fellowship through the Wheeler Centre (Vic). She has had two scripts published by Australian Plays Transform. In 2021, she won Best Actress at the British Web Awards for ‘Incoming: Words of War,’ and in 2016, she was nominated for the Best Emerging Talent Award at the Ozflix awards for her starring role in the feature film, ‘Trench.’

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FROM THE CINDERS (Working Title)

Composer/Lyricist Anina-Marie Van Wyk

A musical reimagining of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella, redefining the identities of its central characters. The idea of a “Cinderella story” is exposed as a tale that is reenacted repeatedly in our society, highlighting the patriarchal ideas it teaches around love, self-image, happy marriages, and "happily ever after." The work weaves together an anthology of character studies, unraveling key moments in their lives, challenging ideas of beauty as ‘goodness’ and ugly as ‘evil’. What is ugly really? The musical peels back the guise of illusion and magic, exposing the complex, very real characters behind the stereotypes. Using Charles Perrault’s version of Cinderella as a backdrop to explore gender roles, diverse characters, queerness, feminism and otherness, From The Cinders is about finding the courage to expose one’s true authentic self in a world where we’re sold the magic of the illusion.

Dramaturgy by Lachlan Driscoll.


Observatory Theatre receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund.

Anina-Marie Van Wyk is a Brisbane-based writer and composer known for her indie-pop-infused musical theatre creations, intertwining feminist narratives with fantastical folklore and magical elements. In 2022, Anina-Marie’s original musical "Destiny Doomed" was produced by Observatory Theatre. She also served and Director and Musical Director for this production. Other credits include “Campfire Cabaret: The Legend of Deirdre” (Anywhere Festival 2021) and “Mettle, Moxie & Melody” (Anywhere Festival 2019) as Writer, Composer, Director, and Producer for both. Anina-Marie has collaborated with various organisations, including Lynch & Paterson, Anywhere Festival, Underground Broadway, Queensland University of Technology, Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music, and Mackay Musical Comedy Players. Graduating from Queensland University of Technology's Bachelor of Fine Art (Drama) program in 2014, Anina-Marie's creative portfolio is marked by a dedication to storytelling and musical expression, blending her unique indie-pop songwriting with compelling feminist narratives.

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