Writers Group


Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company is committed to creating and sharing stories with our community, through theatre.

Yirra Yaarnz was a weekend of play readings from emerging WA Aboriginal playwrights responding to 2018 National NAIDOC theme: Because of her, we can! Held at The Blue Room Theatre, this presentation showcases the importance of storytelling and playwriting as it relates to Aboriginal culture. Yirra Yaakin Writers Group members were mentored by award-winning playwrights Hellie Turner, Polly Low and Geoff Kelso before sharing their stories to NAIDOC Week audiences in celebration of Aboriginal culture.

Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, The Blue Room Theatre and Playwriting Australia are combining dedicated resources to nurture new and emerging Aboriginal playwrights.


Writers Group Co-ordinator: Irma Woods
Writers Group Facilitator + Dramaturg: Geoff Kelso

Writers Group Facilitator + Dramaturg: Polly Low
Writers Group Facilitator + Dramaturg: Hellie Turner

The Writers Group

Yirra Yaakin invites aspiring playwrights to participate in an intensive playwriting program on the craft and process of writing a play script.

Writers are guided through craft sessions and writing sessions aimed at turning their idea into a play script.

At the culmination of the workshop program, six writers are selected for one-on-one assistance to help them prepare their scripts for a public reading. During NAIDOC Week in 2018, new works developed by members of The Writers Group were read by professional actors at The Blue Room Theatre.

To express your interest in joining The Writers Group, please email reception@yirrayaakin.com.au or call 9380 3040.

Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, The Blue Room Theatre and Playwriting Australia are dedicated to nurturing new and emerging Aboriginal playwrights.

The Writers Group Facilitators

Geoff Kelso has more than 40 years of experience as an actor, comedian and writer working in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in theatre, radio, TV and film. Geoff is a co-creator (‘writer’) and performer of Bindjareb Pinjarra, a play about the Pinjarra massacre, which was first performed at The Blue Room Theatre in 1994 and currently still tours around Australia. Geoff graduated from NIDA in 1975, and in 2010 graduated from the WA Screen Academy with a Bachelor of Communications in Film and TV Writing and Directing.

Polly Low began work as an actor in the theatre industry more than 35 years ago. She now also works as a dramaturg, literary advisor, director, lecturer and writer. She is currently the Literary Director at Black Swan State Theatre Company, where she works one-on-one with commissioned writers developing their plays, and also reads and assesses scripts from around the world. Polly first worked with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company as a workshop leader back in the 1990s and has also worked as a dramaturg for the company.

Hellie Turner is a prolific WA playwright with numerous awards and production credits to her name. She has written for all sectors of the theatre. She was resident playwright for kompany M from 2005 to 2010. Hellie has won the WA Premier’s Book Awards twice (2002 and 2006) and had her work show-cased in both London and New York in recent years. Her most recently produced shows are Anytown (2011), Mad Fred (2013), Meow! (2015 and 2016). Her documentary theatre piece Project Xan was produced at PICA in 2016. Her new play The Lighthouse Girl was performed in May 2017 as part of Black Swan State Theatre Company’s 2017 program.

To register for The Writers Group email reception@yirrayaakin.com.au or call 9380 3040.

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