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Stephen Carleton

Stephen Carleton is an award-winning Australian playwright based in Brisbane, where he teaches drama and playwriting at the University of Queensland.  Stephen’s work is frequently anchored in northern Australian landscape, imagery and politics.

Stephen is one of only three playwrights nationally to win both major theatre industry awards for new writing: the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award (Sydney Theatre Company) and the Griffin Award for Best New Australian Play (Griffin Theatre Company). He is also the winner of the New York New Dramatists Award (2006), and a Matilda Award Lord Mayor’s Prize for Best Australian Play (2017).

He was Chair of the National Playwrights Committee for the Australian Writers’ Guild in 2015/16 (with Mary Anne Butler), is a board member of Queensland Theatre, and his company Knock-em-Down Theatre has received a Sidney Myer capacity building grant to promote his work in the US.

His major plays include: Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset (2006), The Narcissist (2007), Bastard Territory (2014), New Babylon (2021), and Brutal Utopias (2022) all published by Playlab; The Turquoise Elephant (2016), published by Currency; and the musical with Paul Hodge, Joh for PM (2017). His short stories have been published in Westerly and Imago.

His plays have been produced by companies including Queensland Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, La Boite Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre Company, JUTE Theatre Company, Brown’s Mart in Darwin, La Mama, and the Brisbane Powerhouse. His award winning plays, Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset and The Turquoise Elephant sit on secondary school and university drama curricula and have been performed at schools and universities around the world.