The2023Lysicrates Event

The 2023 Lysicrates Prize was held on Saturday 29th April 2023.

The packed audience in the Verbruggen Hall at the Conservatorium of Music were welcomed by John Azarias, Co-Founder, Lysicrates Foundation; The Honourable Chris Minns MLA, Premier of New South Wales; and Constantine Costi, Artistic Director, Lysicrates Foundation.

Due to the inclement weather, the voting and announcement of the winner took place in the Conservatorium.

The Welcome to the Botanic Gardens was delivered by Denise Ora, Chief Executive, Botanic Gardens of Sydney and then the winner was announced by The Honourable Tony Burke, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Leader of the House.

Dr Patricia Azarias, Co-Founder, Lysicrates Foundation then gave the vote of thanks.

Many guests of honour attended.

The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT was represented by Senator Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Trade, Assistant Minister for Manufacturing; and Senator Tony Sheldon, Special Envoy for Disaster Recovery.

The NEW SOUTH WALES GOVERNMENT was represented by Penny Sharpe MLC, Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, Minister for Climate Change, Minister for Energy, Minister for the Environment; Minister for Heritage; John Graham MLC, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, Special Minister of State, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy, and Minister for Jobs and Tourism; Sophie Cotsis MLA, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Work Health and Safety; and Donna Davis MLA

The NEW SOUTH WALES OPPOSITION was represented by Mark Speakman MLA, Leader of the Opposition; Dominic Perrottet MLA; and Ben Franklin MLC.

OTHER DISTINGUISHED GUESTS were Greg Pearce, Walt Secord, Rob Stokes, Gabrielle Upton, and Trent Zimmerman.

Yannis Mallikourtis, Consul General of Greece also attended.

Congratulations to Suvi Derkenne, our winner. The two runners-up polled very well. Congratulations to all three finalists. Here are some further details about these talented playwrights.

Watch the highlights from the day below:





The 2023 Finalists



Playwright: Joanna Erskine

Joanna Erskine is an award-winning playwright, producer, teacher and arts education specialist. A graduate of the NIDA Playwright’s Studio, Joanna's plays have been staged at the Old Fitzroy Theatre, Griffin Theatre, KXT, ATYP, NIDA, Old 505 Theatre, Slide Bar, Bondi Pavilion, and in hundreds of schools around Australia.

Joanna is a two-time winner of the Silver Gull Play Award, and winner of the Sydney Theatre Company Young Playwrights Award. She is the founder and director of Storytellers Festival, a showcase and celebration of unproduced Australian writing, held annually at Kings Cross Theatre (KXT).

A former high school teacher, Joanna is also a highly experienced arts education specialist and is the Head of Education at Bell Shakespeare. She is passionate about writing for, and working with, young audiences and has written for Bell Shakespeare, Camp Quality and Poetry In Action. Her popular monologue BOOT is performed by HSC Drama students each year. It was originally produced by ATYP, published by Currency Press, and commissioned for film, screening at film festivals internationally.



Playwright: Jordan Shea

Jordan Shea is a Filipino-Australian writer and teacher.

A graduate of the VCA (Writing for Performance), his recent work includes: One Hour No Oil (KXT, co-written with Kenneth Moraleda), Ate Lovia (Old Fitz), Kasama Kita (Belvoir 25a) and The House at Boundary Road, Liverpool (co-writer, Old 505).

Previous residencies include: Old 505 Resident Playwright, Sydney Fringe Festival Playwright and was one of the winners of the Philip Parsons Fellowship in 2019. He has won a Varuna fellowship through Writing NSW, and was runner up in the Best New Play Award for the Australian Theatre Festival in NYC. Jordan is currently under commission with Performing Lines and Australian Plays Transform to create a new verbatim theatre work.

Jordan's work has been developed and workshopped in professional and independent spaces, namely: Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Australian Theatre for Young People and many more. He recently wrote Hit from above for a high school drama ensemble, and works regularly as a high school teacher, and as a teacher/facilitator for Belvoir and other communities and arts orgs. He has also worked as a notetaker for Fremantle Media, In-Between-Pictures and Northern Pictures. Later this year, he will travel to San Francisco to workshop new plays with Filipino American theatre companies.

Murder, Murder, Hair! A tragedy

Murder, Murder, Hair! A tragedy

Playwright: Suvi Derkenne

Suvi Hannah Derkenne is a Finnish-Australian writer and early career scholar, whose creative and critical work is deeply rooted in her experience growing up in remote parts of Australia. Her work has been published by Southerly Magazine, the Quarry Journal, and has also been recognised by the Academy Awards Nicholls Fellowship (2014 & 2016), the INSIGHT award (2015), the Marjorie Robertson award (2015) and the John Hinde Award (2017).

In 2018 Suvi obtained a Master’s degree in Fine Arts from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, with a focus on writing for radio and sound design. Currently, Suvi has just completed a PhD in Philosophy from Macquarie University in queer death studies and ecological necropolitics. ‘Murder, Murder, Hair! A Tragedy’ is Suvi’s first stage play, and her first comedy.

Writing on Yuin land on the south coast of New South Wales, Suvi has witnessed, in the last few years, her community burn, flood, mourn, and wait for political leadership that is promised but never delivered. The exhaustion is palpable. ‘Murder, Murder, Hair’ has been written as a sugary and theatrical distraction from the challenging realities of her community. She hopes ‘Murder, Murder, Hair!’, as a humorous but honest story with a whole lot of heart, finds professional production not just on the mainstage but in her hometown. As a regional writer, Suvi knows how important it is to have stories which represent the cultural currency of contemporary Australia and is incredibly grateful for the leadership of the Lysicrates Foundation in mentoring Australian playwrights and supporting the development of new works.