Noosa Arts Theatre

National One Act Playwriting Competition

OAP Comp




Congratulations to the 2015 finalists:

(in no particular order)

Needle in the Haystack

By Damon Lockwood from Western Australia



By Ian Robinson from Victoria


Dotty’s Inheritance

By Debra Chalmers from Queensland

(Her 2nd time as a finalist)


Thank you to our industry panelists: Dr Kate Foy, Helen Howard and Dr Stephen Carleton.


Calling for Entries 2016!

Offering a total prize pool of $6,000 cash.

The winner of Best Play will take home a prize of $3,000, 2nd place $2,000, and 3rd place $1,000.  The winner of the Nancy Cato Audience Choice Award wins a cash prize donated by the family of the late Nancy Cato.

The Noosa Arts Theatre National One-Act Playwriting Competition attracts entries from playwrights across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and USA.

This playwriting competition offers a unique opportunity for the three finalist playwrights to see their new work performed on stage at the Noosa Arts Theatre One-Act Play Festival, for a 11 performance season over 3 weeks in July as part of the Noosa Longweekend 10 day cultural festival - fast becoming one of the nations top cultural festivals.

Scripts are judged anonymously by a local panel to prepare a shortlist; the shortlisted scripts are sent to a professional panel of 3 industry experts, who will also judge the scripts anonymously, give written assessments which are sent to the playwrights, and decide the 3 finalists.

During the Festival, the audience is asked at each performance to vote for the ‘Nancy Cato Audience Choice Award'.

Presentations of Awards take place after the final performance.

Entries close, October 1, 2015

ENTRY FORM & RULES will be available in early August.

As an example CLICK HERE to Download the 2014 ENTRY FORM & RULES in PDF.

NOTE: This competition is not resticted to Australian residents.

Payment options include electronic funds transfer and PayPal, please contact the convenor if you wish to use these facilities.

For more information, please email or phone 61 (0)7 5449 9343.



Need accommodation?
Visit LastMinute
for all the lastest Accommodation Specials.


A word (or two) from previous finalists:

"Finding out I was a finalist in the 2013 Noosa Arts Theatre One-Act Play Festival was very exciting.  To be there and see the outstanding performances of Steve and Jenni, who, through their understanding of the characters made the play much funnier than it reads on the page and then, to place second, was exhilarating.

What equals these things though is the number of audience members who complimented me on Direct Pressure, using words like 'profound' and 'thought provoking'.

As a writer, these things are at the very heart of my stories and to have an audience who appreciates them is a privilege.

The theatre was so welcoming and professional and I hope to encounter again, all the wonderful, hard-working people who make this festival happen.

A belated thanks also, to those who created the fantastic car which my play was staged in."

Nicola Bradbury (2nd Best Play, 2013)


"Again, I just wanted to say a big thank you for the wonderful opportunity you and the Noosa Arts folk provide to aspiring playwrights’.  Without this competition and the amazing support from your sponsors many stories would remain untold and possible careers would be unthought-of.  Noosa Arts Theatre rocks!!!!"

Debra Chalmers (Best Play and Audience Choice winner 2012)


"Nothing was the first play I'd ever written.  I always thought I could write but winning the competition unlocked something in me and I haven't stopped since.  Since 2011 I have written five full-length plays, four one-act plays, a feature film, a short film, several training DVD's and this email.

My plays have been performed all over Australia and New Zealand and I genuinely owe it all to this competition.  Just last night we had the first read through of my latest piece, incidentally with Roger Gimblett (another previous winner), and I fully intend to start work on my next one this weekend.

More power to you and my heartiest congrats to all the finalists, cast, crew and administrators who make this competition so successful."

Mark Langham (Best Play and Audience Choice winner 2011)

"I wish to convey my thanks to Liza Park and the actors that presented the play reading of Persons of Mass Destruction last Thursday evening.  I thought that the reading was most professional and went down well with the audience.  It was very good for me to see and hear it

I would also like to thank the Noosa Arts Theatre for running the one-act play competition which is a good opportunity to have script writers work read and evaluated.  I appreciated the opportunity to see the three winning plays for 2010.  To me the plays were all very good and very profesionally presented and performed."

Frank Rotherham (Finalist 2009)


"I really want to say a huge thank you to everyone connected with the festival.  I am very disappointed I wasn't able to attend and I really did try but it wasn't possible.

Vic and Erika had a wonderful time and are full of praise for the way everything was organised, the committment of those involved and warmth of their reception - Vic was even asked for her autograph in a fish and chip shop!  I would like to pass on my thanks to the director, cast and crew of my piece and, indeed, all those who took part in the three plays.  It is a source of great inspiration to me that my play did well and I am just thrilled beyond words to have won.

I also want to say thank you to you for all your tireless work and enthusiasm for this event.  Vic is already onto me to write something for next year!  I have a vague idea about a comet striking the earth.

If I can find 12 working dinosaurs, I think it might work...

If there is anything that I can do to help you promote this event for next year or anything else, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Once again, many thanks for the whole experience."

Mark Langham (Best Play and Audience Choice winner 2011)


News of previous winners:

Roger Gimblett has had 3 of his plays presented by the Hunters Hill Theatre in May and June 2011.  Two of the plays were previous winners of the competition - Three Chairs (2004) and Decline and Hall (2008).

Three Chairs has also been performed in South Africa, the UK and around Australia.

Michael Olsen's Two Women and a Chair has been a popular festival entry (including the Edinburgh Festival) almost from the day it won the Audience Choice in 2001, including winning Best Play, Best Actress in a Comedy and Best Director at the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival in 2003.

Gail Denver of Maverick Musicals wrote on March 13 , 2012,  "We love receiving news like this: 'Just to let you know, the performance of Two Women and a Chair was a huge success, garnering a host of awards in the Wellington (UK) Drama Festival at Shropshire (Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Staging) so we may want to repeat it!'  Brian Hughes, Little Elayses Players."


Bruce Olive heard the following from TORQUAY THEATRE TROUPE:  "Great news, we entered God Willing in the Anglesea 1 Act Play Festival last weekend and scooped the pool!


BEST FEMALE ACTOR - Lisa Berry playing Nadia.

2nd BEST MALE ACTOR - Fred Preston as Narrator

ADJUDICATORS' AWARD - Rehanon as Suria. (Even the dead body, Lisa's daughter, got a mention!)

We had a celebratory champagne, of course, we raised a glass to you and I even got a thanks for finding the play!  I did get to the Noosa Festival and enjoyed your play - The Knock on the Door and our Troupe would appreciate reading the script.  I said I would let you know of our (and your) success.  We are thrilled!  You might care to visit the web site of the festival.  Cheers and thanks!


Mark Langham's play Nothing (winner 2011) was performed at the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival in August 2011 and picked up 3rd Best Play (out of 20!), Best Actor in a Comedy (Michael Morgan) and short-listed for Best Director (Jane Rivers).

Frank Wilkie's hilarious comedy Tudo Au Nada (Audience Choice winner 2010) has been published by Maverick Musicals and Plays, along with 2 other of his scripts. It has been performed several times across Australia.

Debra Chalmers' play Here's the Thing... (winner 2012) was performed at the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival in August 2012 and picked up the Best Unpublished Script Award as adjudicated by Kate Foy.

Frank Wilkie's hard-hitting darma The Devil's Dance (Second Best Play 2014) was performed at the Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival in August 2014 and picked up Second Best Play, Best Actress in a Drama, Best Actor in a Drama and the Adjudicator's Award for actress Michelle Lamarca, as adjudicated by Margi Brown Ash.