BlackWrights is ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s writers’ and dramaturg development program aimed at bringing new First Nations work to the stages of Australia. 



Under the leadership of Creative Associate, Amy Sole, BlackWrights will hold four dramatic works through the development process from birth to first draft.

The four playwrights selected via submission will have access to a seed commission ($8,000 each) and one-on-one dramaturgy sessions. There will also be two story-circles: one online and one in-person in Melbourne (travel and accommodation provided for interstate participants).


The four successful applicants will take part in ten fortnightly Zoom sessions over six months between September 2022 and February 2022.

Each session will provide dramaturgical tools and theory, space to develop and continue First Nations storytelling practice, and practical opportunities to upskill in playwriting practice.

Story-circles empower writers to take ownership of the development of their story by sharing what it is they are creating with a circle of people in the spirit of respect, knowledge and insight. It is a reflective and reflexive process which intends to build a playwright’s deep dramaturgical understanding of their work in the company of peers and mentors.

The six month program will culminate in readings of the four plays held via Zoom.

As part of the six month program, five additional monthly masterclasses co-facilitated by Amy Sole and industry experts, will be open to all First Nations artist,  held on Zoom.

The masterclasses are designed to empower First Nations artists to take space and feel capable within the theatre industry – all the while held and cared for - alongside the IILIJERRI team. It hopes to strengthen the sovereignty of our theatre practices alongside knowledge from industry professionals from multiple disciplines.

This opportunity is available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander People only, aged 17+

This is part one of a multi-year program in three-phases. Watch this space!


The BlackWrights program creates a culturally safe and nurturing space that is designed to empower First Nations artists to share our stories through theatre. The evolution of the BlackWrights program continues based on needs identified through each previous iteration of the program.

To date, BlackWrights has evolved through writer’s residencies; commissions; connecting and evolving programs including the Creators Program (supporting streams such as Writers Program and Dramaturg Program) and the Master Labs series (hands-on theatre workshops), all exclusively codesigned with and for First Nations artists and creatives.

Publicly presented outcomes of the program include a presentation at Melbourne Festival in 2019 of select excerpts from three fresh new scripts by cutting edge First Nations playwrights: Monica Jasmine Karo, Nazaree Dickerson and Blayne Welsh. These daring works were developed through the Creators Program, presented by Melbourne International Arts Festival in association with ILBIJERRI and Melbourne Theatre Company.

Success of the writers residency program can be seen in a number of works including the dance-theatre script Blood on the Dancefloor by Jacob Boehme, which was seeded in an earlier iteration of the BlackWrights program and went on to tour internationally, Katie Beckett’s Which Way Home which toured nationally in 2018, and John Harvey’s Heart is a Wasteland which had a season at Darwin Festival in 2021 and is going on to tour further in 2022.

The BlackWrights Program is a meditation on the future direction of theatre and what it means for First Nations People. It is a dynamic program aimed at self-determination, innovating the development and performance development of our stories.

The program utilises theory, practice and play while aiming to innovate, collaborate and reimagine live performance. BlackWrights honours the demands of narrative, theory, structure, and the power of language in performance making, while provoking form and strengthening networks and entrepreneurship.


Amy Sole is a proud Wiradjuri/Worimi person. Amy is a director, playwright, actor, dramaturg,  producer and advocate. They are a current graduate of the MFA (Directing) at NIDA, and hold a  Master of Theatre (Playwriting) from VCA, and an Advanced Diploma in Acting at AFTT. 

Recent works for theatre include Burning (writer/director, NIDA, 2022), Nan's Place (writer,  ILBIJERRI Theatre Company as part of Blackwrights, 2020-21), Doing (writer/director, Kings Cross Theatre, 2019). 

Amy has worked as assistant director on productions of God's Country (NIDA, 2022),  Metamorphoses (NIDA, 2021), RENT (Sydney Opera House, 2021). Amy regularly directs  developments of new works at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, including Dylan Van Den Berg's  Way Back When in 2020. Amy has worked in various roles at Queensland Theatre Company, Moogahlin Performing Arts, Hayes Theatre Co, and Playwriting Australia including production,  dramaturgy, and consulting. They are currently Creative Director of Big Blak Bang, a festival of First Nations storytelling and  Artist-in-Residence at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Co-Founder of Puddle or Pond Theatre  Company, and a sitting Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee.

The BlackWrights program is supported by the Australian Government through the Indigenous Languages and Arts Program, City of Melbourne, and the Dennis Osborne Clarke Charitable Trust.

Photo by Tiffany Garvie

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