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New partnership funding young playwrights adds to strong record of firms supporting the arts

National law firm Holding Redlich has grown its support of the arts with a new partnership that supports the next generation of young playwrights.

user iconJess Feyder 12 August 2022 Big Law
New partnership funding young playwrights adds to strong record of firms supporting the arts
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Holding Redlich has partnered with Canberra Youth Theatre to be the principal sponsor of the Emerging Playwright Commission for the next three years. 

The commission offers an emerging playwright or writing team $16,500 to develop a new, full-length work that brings the voices and stories of youth to the stage. 

The program places emerging playwrights at the centre of the creative process and is specifically designed to springboard writers at a crucial point in their careers.


The commission is open for playwrights aged under 35 who have created a modest body of work but have not yet been professionally produced by a major theatre company. 

In 2021, the inaugural Emerging Playwright Commission program received over 50 applications from around the country. ACT-based artist Joanna Richards was awarded the commission.

Ms Richards said the commission offered her an enormous opportunity to develop as a playwright.

“To write material for young people — about what is arguably one of the most formative times in any person’s life — is such a gift,” she said. 

“I am excited to create a work that is intellectually meaty and performatively fun for an ensemble to work on.

“I am indebted to Canberra Youth Theatre for giving me this opportunity.” 

The new partnership represents an expansion of the firm’s national arts sponsorship, which includes the Salon des Refusés exhibition in Sydney, the Victorian College of the Arts Masters Exhibition in Melbourne, the Flying Arts Alliance in Brisbane and regional Queensland, and the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair.

Several other firms in Australia’s legal sector hold strong commitments to supporting the arts. Clayton Utz has several long-established partnerships, bringing Australian artists into their firm by exhibiting pieces in their offices, along with a partnership with the Australian String Quartet and sponsoring an Art Award in Queensland. 

Fellow national firm Maddocks has supported Australia’s contribution at the Venice Biennale, the world’s premier contemporary art event, since 2001. They also sponsor the Maddocks Art Prize.

Holding Redlich national managing partner Ian Robertson AO said that the firm is proud to sponsor the commission. 

“Our firm’s long-standing support for the arts stems from our founder, Peter Redlich, who was a great supporter of the arts. 

“This is our first-ever sponsorship for emerging playwrights, and we are excited to partner with the Canberra Youth Theatre to help these young artists develop their own artistic practice,” he said. 

Canberra Youth Theatre’s artistic director and chief executive Luke Rogers said the opportunity is invaluable for an emerging playwright, as they are supported and nurtured through a process that sees their ideas developed and brought to life.

“In 2022, Canberra Youth Theatre celebrates the phenomenal 50-year legacy of bringing young people together to collaborate and create, with a focus on our proud history of commissioning and developing new Australian works created especially for young people. 

“With Holding Redlich’s support, we will continue to invest in and support emerging playwrights to stretch their creative boundaries and reach a wider audience for their stories,” Mr Rogers said.