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Griffin Award for New Australian Playwriting
Subcategory of Awards Australian Awards
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The Griffin Award is a national prize recognising an outstanding play that displays an authentic, inventive and contemporary Australian voice. Established by the Griffin Theatre Company in 1985, the award is supported by Copyright Agency Limited.

Shortlists for the following years are currently incomplete and in progress: 1998-2005 inclusive, 2009, 2010.


  • The Griffin Award is an annual prize offered for the most outstanding new work read by Griffin during the year.

Latest Winners / Recipients

Year: 2020

winner Way Back When Dylan Van Den Berg , 2019 single work drama

'way back when, set in a fictional post-colonial Tasmania, sees Ghost, a take-no-nonsense apparition, set the scene for the meeting of an unlikely trio of three women. To pass the time (and forget the cold), they re-imagine the colonisation of Tasmania as a Gothic revenge drama. There’s comedy, a play-within-a-play and, as their connection to each other strengthens, revelations of personal traumas which steadily undermine the fervour of their collective revisionism.'

Source: Griffin Theatre.

Year: 2019

winner y separately published work icon Superheroes Mark Rogers , 2020 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2020 17190046 2020 single work drama

'In Thirroul, Emily sits on the beach with her sort-of-ex-sort-of-not boyfriend, trying to figure out how to deal with her unwanted pregnancy.

'In Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jana goes out to get groceries and slams into the day-to-day reality of the European refugee crisis.

'Superheroes is a play about two women on opposite sides of the world living small lives in a time of big politics. It’s a play that parallels two very different lives to ask questions about what it means to take responsibility for your actions, and what it means to change your mind.'

Source: Griffin Theatre Company.

Year: 2018

winner y separately published work icon Prima Facie Suzie Miller , 2019 Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2019 14531585 2019 single work drama

'To win, you just need to believe in the rules. And Tessa loves to win, even when defending clients accused of sexual assault. Her court-ordained duty trumps her feminism. But when she finds herself on the other side of the bar, Tessa is forced into the shadows of doubt she’s so ruthlessly cast over other women.

'Winner of the 2018 Griffin Award, Prima Facie is an indictment of the Australian legal system’s failure to provide reliable pathways to justice for women in rape, sexual assault or harassment cases. It’s a work of fiction, but one that could have been ripped from the headlines of any paper, any day of the week, so common you could cry.

'Turning Sydney’s courts of law into a different kind of stage, Suzie Miller’s (Sunset Strip, Caress/Ache) taut, rapid-fire and gripping one-woman show exposes the shortcomings of a patriarchal justice system where it’s her word against his.

'Maybe we need a new system.'

Source: Griffin Theatre Company.

(as 'On the Face of It').

Year: 2017

winner y separately published work icon Kill Climate Deniers David Finnigan , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2018 13952182 2018 single work drama

'“Because revolution is better at night.”

'What would it actually take to stop climate change dead in its tracks? Guns? Revolution? A pumping soundtrack?

'Kill Climate Deniers centres on a militant cell of eco-activists that takes the audience hostage during a concert at Parliament House. Led by charismatic spokeswoman Catch, they demand Australia immediately cease all carbon emissions and coal exports—or they’ll start executing their 1,700 hostages.

'But they’re not the only ones to take the title literally. Between scenes of bloody action and banging ’90s tunes, writer David Finnigan discusses the outrage the play’s title provoked from Andrew Bolt and his cabal of conservative bloggers. The original production was shut down in the ensuing shitstorm, leading Finnigan to eventually fold the scandal into the play.'

Source: Theatre's blurb.

Year: 2016

winner The Zen of Table Tennis Melissa Reeves , 2016 single work drama

'‘’I killed them, that’s the game. You kill anybody that might kill you.”

'Arki loves playing war games online. He’s also just beat up his English teacher. A psychologist diagnoses something very serious. Soon Arki’s hanging out with Aaron, a disturbed returned soldier, and both start hanging out with Sayf, who runs the best Afghan restaurant in Dandenong. All have been immersed in war. Everyone around them is desperate to cure their terrible affliction.

'But is there a cure for war?' (Production summary)

Works About this Award

Taking Time to Make it Good Bridget Cormack , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 13 June 2012; (p. 16)
Win Brings New Dawn after Night-Time Epiphany Adam Fulton , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 13 June 2012; (p. 13)
Playwriting Award 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 30 May 2012; (p. 10)
Brutopia Wins Griffin Award Bridget Cormack , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 18 August 2010; (p. 14)
Surreal Dutch Scene Inspired Griffin Award Winner Adam Fulton , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 16 September 2009; (p. 12)