Meet our National Studio writers (Part 2)!

We are delighted to introduce the final 5 writers for this year’s Fresh Ink National Studio, who will be joining our seven Fresh Ink writers and tutors Ross Mueller, Peta Murray and Caleb Lewis in Riversdale, NSW for five days of all things literary.

Read about our other six writers, chosen from our nationwide call for emerging playwrights, here and join our Facebook page so you are the first to hear of the 2012 call. You can also find us on Twitter at FreshInkATYP or by following #NS11.

Sarah Gaul

When her parents took her to see The Sound of Music at age 9, Sarah’s life was never the same again. She threw herself in school and community theatre, later progressing to opera and operetta. After High School, Sarah joined Tantrum Theatre’s Emerging Writers Program, eventuating in the production of Sarah’s one-act play, Three Days. She was mentored through the process by Ross Mueller. In 2010, Sarah worked as an intern for Ross, as well as Debra Oswald, as part of Playwriting Australia’s National Playwriting Festival.

After failing to get into acting school for 2 years, Sarah commenced a Law degree at ANU, Canberra, in 2010. She wrote and performed in the Arts Revue, and had the lead in Kiss Me Kate, so it wasn’t all bad. She auditioned again for acting schools and much to her relief was accepted into VCA, studying Drama, in 2011. She has just completed her first year of full-time acting study in Melbourne.

Sarah enjoys eating food, running, singing, eating more food and dabbling on the piano. She loves living in Melbourne, and spending all her cash on strong coffee and theatre tickets.

“They live by words and words alone, they likes to pluck them from the air and roll them around in his hand and smear them on a page like chocolate.”

Alysha Herrmann

Alysha Herrmann is a proud parent and regional artist working across disciplines in the arts, community development and education to develop work which respects and enriches both the audience and her creative collaborators. Alysha is also currently completing a Teaching/Arts degree externally and is the 2011 South Australian Young Citizen of the Year and recipient of the 2011 Advantage SA Sony Centre Arts Award for the Riverland & Murraylands region.

Along the road Alysha has been a high school dropout, teenage mum, single parent, waitress, artist, student, sewing machinist, blogger, dishwasher, community facilitator, speaker and many other things in between. Alysha believes in the role of arts and cultural activities in building community morale and inspiration and is committed to social justice outcomes in everything she does as a parent, employee, volunteer and passionate community member.

As a theatre practitioner, Alysha is a writer, director, performer and facilitator and was an inaugural Australia Council JUMP Mentee in 2010. Alysha is currently developing PressureLands – an independent community arts performance project working with young people 14-26 exploring pressure and success (Writer/Director) and is the 2012 recipient of the Independent Arts Foundation Creative Writing Mentorship working with award winning playwright Caleb Lewis as her mentor in 2012. For information on past and current projects visit

“I am Pressure. I am every ripping, soaring deeply throated shame on you. Do more, be more, feel more, want more, change more, create more.” PressureLands (work in progress, 2010)

Eloise Maree

Performer, playwright and provocateur, Eloise Maree has been known to make some crazy things happen on Brisbane and Melbourne stages over the past few years. This has included writing and performing a script out of words found on toilet walls, painting herself orange in a shopfront while drinking out of giant buckets of vodka lime and soda and allowing small children to dress her in outfits from the 90’s. Her one woman show, Mad as Molly, has toured between Brisbane and Melbourne, as has her curated-conversational performance,Spark. Eloise is Artistic Director of Cradle Productions [sick theatre for sick people] and aims to create theatre in unconventional spaces – whether this be physically, ideologically or philosophically.

Eloise recently completed an internship with Playlab, where she was lucky enough to partake in a series of playwriting Masterclasses. Previous to this, her playwriting has seen her scripts shortlisted in festivals, sponsored for a playreading by Alliance Francaise de Melbourne and most frequently, writing in her courtyard at night. Eloise has designs to create theatre in a Brisbane alleyway in 2012 and will be using her improved skills as a playwright to make this happen.

The poor know how to pick themselves up, but they will beat you in a fall.

Laura Hopkinson

Laura Hopkinson is a Sydney based writer, performer, director, moss collector and aspiring puppeteer. She is most interested in making Site-specific and Installation performances where audiences smell things, eat things and get grubby. Her short works have been featured in short festivals at Griffin and MKA. Bumblebee, a play which she co-wrote and directed, was awarded best play at the 2009 Fast and Fresh Festival, bringing the play to Short and Sweet the following year. In 2010 she was selected for Sydney Theatre Company’s Young Playwrights’ Residency and was also awarded a mentorship at Playwrighting Australia as a co-winner of the Kicking Down The Door competition. She also finished her HSC. Laura has also been a Literary Intern at Griffin Theatre Company and a member of Youth panels at Sydney Theatre Company, ATYP and Griffin. This year she was lucky enough to train with the Neo-futurists and the SITI Company in between plundering the States the Europe and the India on her Gap year. Favourite food discovered: Profiterole Ice cream. She is now home and loving Sydney’s toothsome tap water.

So I have a freckle
I have one here and here
..and somewhere on my head. I can’t show it too you because I only found it four times and I cant remember where it is, also, even if I knew, there would be hair on it so you probably couldn’t – yeah – yeah you definitely couldn’t see it.

Jessie Tu

Jessie is a is newly graduated music teacher who hails from Sydney and enjoys writing for the stage and immerses herself in the city’s brilliant theatre scene. Since senior high, she has been a keen supporter of local independent theatre, and was involved in student productions both as a assistant producer and writer at university. Juggling a busy job as a music teacher, she now balances her load with writing and seeing as many plays she can on a weekend not devoted to marking scores and composing school reports. Jessie’s main interests lie in the creative capacities that arise between the spoken word on the page created by the playwright and the relationships that are constructed between the actors and audience memberd. Her favourite playwrights are Ibsen, Shaw… or…in fact: anyone from the 19th century.

Was it Shakespeare who came up with those seven stages in a man’s life?
Infant…lover…something like that?
Yeah, he was right.
We’ve got roles to play…
Where am I up to now? The lover? The solider? The sad old man slipping carelessly and consciously into oblivion…?


And we are also delighted to have along with us for the week Jennifer Medway, who will be blogging, taking pics and tweeting for us all week long from Riversdale!

You can follow Jenni through our Facebook page and on Twitter at FreshInkATYP or by following #NS11.

Says Jenni:

A programme that develops new young Australian voices in the theatre is so very exciting. To do this in beautiful country, to get to spend a week amidst great minds and to work on diverse projects all in the spirit of creating great writing is such a wonderful opportunity. I think that mentoring and development opportunities such as these are so rare and invaluable for the participants that I cannot wait to see the progress that takes place over the week. It’s also an amazing environment in which to strengthen a community of young and emerging artists and assist them at the starting point in their careers. Being such a unique opportunity for young writers and one that will hopefully be not only work but also a lot of fun, I’m very much looking forward to being a part of it!

Jennifer completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts in 2008 at the University of Wollonong. Since graduating, Jennifer has worked as a singer, performer/deviser, producer and dramaturg. In 2011, she devised and performed The All You Can Stand Buffet for the Underbelly Arts Festival on Cockatoo Island. She also performed another devised work Anyone Can Edit…Phaedra in the Under the Radar programme as part of Brisbane Festival and Crack Theatre Festival as part of This Is Not Art, Newcastle. As a dramaturg Jennifer has developed How It Is Or As You Like It as part of the Ashfield Council Artist in Residency Programme, The Bull for the Oxford Playhouse and the short work I Think the Interview Went Well, Mum for the New Theatre, all pieces written by Van Badham. She has also developed new work as part of the Merrigong Theatre Company Independent Artist’s Programme and the Shopfront Summer YAK Residency.

In 2008 Jennifer was the Industry Liason Coordinator for the Short and Sweet Festival and in 2010, produced and assistant directed two pieces for the Sydney Fringe Festival, one of which won ‘Best of the Fest’. In 2011 she worked as an associate producer for Arts Radar as well as an event coordinator at a function centre in Sydney. Jennifer also interned on the 2011 National Play Festival with Playwriting Australia. Jennifer has just finished as the Literary Assistant at Belvoir. She currently works as a script assessor for Playwriting Australia and is assisting in preparations for the 2012 National Play Festival.


So, all in all, it’s a great line-up. And Riversdale is beckoning!

We hope you can be part of it with us and, to get you in the mood, read about the experience of playwright Jessica Bellamy at last year’s National Studio.

Jessica is one of the resident playwrights at Griffin this year and has just had her play Sprout performed at the Old Fitzroy in Sydney.

Jessica is currently at work with filmmaker Damien Power on adapting her National Studio monologue, Little Love, into a screenplay as part of Fresh Ink’s new strand, The Voices Project. Join the Facebook page for updates and to find out how you can get involved.

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Categories: About Fresh Ink, Monologues, National Studio, New Writing, The One Sure Thing, The Voices Project, The Voices Project, Workshops, Young People


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