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Are you an emerging playwright with ambitious ideas for big, new stories? Are you looking for opportunities to write, explore and experiment?


Telescope is a new playwriting program that commissions new plays. Telescope offers unique opportunities for emerging playwrights with imaginative and inventive voices. The program offers a tailored approach to suit each writer and culminates in public readings of the play. This is dedicated, rigorous playwriting for those bold enough to take the leap.

Telescope exists to bolster "risky" new work that writers may not be supported to create anywhere else. Today, stories need to be looked at from multiple lenses and angles. We love big ideas that investigate the world in different ways. We think creativity and ingenuity are key foundations of theatre and drama. We think that to reach modern audiences who live through modern problems, we need new perspectives, propositions and reflections.

Playwrights will receive:

  • A guaranteed honorarium to write a brand new play from 2024 to 2025 (See below for more)

  • Staged readings of the play, led by a director and performed by actors

  • Percentage of the box office from the public readings

  • Frequent contact with a dramaturg and regular feedback sessions

  • Workshops with guest dramaturgs and associate artists

  • Fully produced and coordinated by Observatory Theatre

  • Tailored according to writer and project needs


How to Apply:


  1. Click the button above to download and read the Information Pack

  2. Send your Playwriting/Theatre CV to

  3. Include a brief introduction to yourself, including how your work and practise align with the program

  4. Include a PDF of previous writing that best represents your artistry. Please submit a complete work, NOT an extract

  5. Include the subject line "Telescope Application 2025"

Payment and Funding

Playwrights will receive a guaranteed honorarium (to be negotiated) and will be based on recommended industry rates and standards. Observatory Theatre is currently submitting applications for funding to further support writers and artists who will be involved in this program. If successful, we will re-negotiate the honorarium to offer additional remuneration.





Telescope 2023 Playwright (Disney Off Ice)

Oliver Gough is an emerging playwright and performance maker based in Brisbane/Meanjin, and an Mphil Candidate in Creative Writing at The University of Queensland. His 2020 Honours project and play X  built on an interest in interrogating climate-change ravaged futures, and using absurdism and ‘cli-fi’ to satirise top-down, celebrity focused responses to the threat. The one-act play received a staged reading in 2020, and was staged by Underground Productions in 2022. His 15-minute absurdist farce Disney Off Ice was also produced by UQ Drama students in 2019.


Oliver was recently a writer for La Boîte Theatre Company's 2023 Assembly Program. He was also a participant in Playlab Theatre's Incubator program in 2021. Oliver creates juicy comedic offers for actors, and also believes in the potential of theatre to generate ideas, debate and action.   

"Developing a new play through the Telescope Program has helped to open up a wealth of new perspectives and ideas about the work, and the craft of writing and making theatre in general. It’s been great to feel both supported and productively challenged by the company and generous associate artists across the whole process"

Read about Oliver's play Disney Off Ice by clicking here.

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