Playwright Leah Purcell has capped off an incredible year of recognition for her play The Drover’s Wife, taking home the top two writing honours at the Australian Writers’ Guild’s 50th Annual AWGIE Awards in Sydney on 25th August.
Purcell was awarded the 2017 Major Award and the David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre for her re-imagining of Henry Lawson’s short storyThe Drover’s Wife, as well as winning the Stage category in a competitive year for theatre.
The David Williamson Prize for Excellence in Writing for Australian Theatre provides Purcell with $20,000 as a commission for a new work while $80,000 will go to Belvoir St Theatre – the company who programmedThe Drover’s Wife – to commission and program a new Australian work within the next 12 months.
Other winners in the theatre categories included Danny Ginges with Philip Foxman forAtomic in the Music Theatre category, 2015 David Williamson Prize-winning playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer (Where Words Once Were) in the Theatre for Young Audiences category, Anelga Betzien forEgg in the Children’s Theatre category, and joint winners Lachlan Philpott (Michael Swordfish) and Noëlle Janaczewska (Teacup in a Storm) in the Community and Youth Theatre category.
Over 350 screen and stage writers, industry representatives and special guests gathered to celebrate the 50th year of the Australian Writers’ Guild’s AWGIE Awards, where over 25 Australian writers were recognised for their outstanding contribution to the Australian arts.
The full list of winners can be found here