8TH NOVEMBER 2022 - A memorable day at the Riverside Theatre

For the students, FREE inspiration.

For the teachers that participated there was a chance to win a return trip to Athens for two! Sara Green from Scotch College in WA was the winner!

A packed audience experienced the magic of live theatre, PLUS the empowerment of the democratic vote.

A first-time experience for most 11-14 year olds. Courtesy of the Martin-Lysicrates Play Competition which was held 8 November, 2022.

So how did it work? Students filled the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta, each one clutching a voting token. There they watched three finalist first acts written by accomplished playwrights. They were asked to judge for themselves which one of the three plays they wanted to see finished. That will be the winner. They are told that every vote matters, and they must make up their own individual minds on which play they wanted to see more of. No asking friends or teachers! They filed out, and, feeling empowered, they literally cast their vote into one of three urns.

Every year, the kids have stamped, laughed, shouted, booed, participated, got totally engaged. They have loved the whole experience. And so have all attending teachers. Attendance was completely free.

This year, the whole event was live streamed and students watched it all in the classroom if they couldn’t come to the theatre. And they voted too. The video of the total performance was then placed on the website and for four weeks kids around Australia, and the world, could vote.

The overall winner was Donna Hughes from WA with her play "Click to Undo". Donna received a Lysicrates commission of $12,000 and the help of a dramaturg to get the play fully ready for performance. Not only that, Donna also received two return tickets to Athens!

After seeing the plays, many kids have been inspired to write stories, poems and plays of their own. So satisfying for a teacher. And another interesting little feature. The names of all participating teachers went into a hat and Sara Green's name was picked out of the hat and she gets two return tickets to Athens.

Great for students. Great for teachers. Great for schools. Great for Australia's cultural future.

Watch the highlights below!



Brendan Hogan

Gamers For Life - The Return to Golden Castle

For me, the Martin-Lysicrates Prize is all about voice. It’s about honouring the voice of young people in Australia and giving them the power to influence the stories that are told about them and for them. No more adults deciding what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or ‘appropriate’. Young people are smart and they know what they want, know what interests them, know what grips and keeps them engaged. So, it’s only fair that they should get a say, right? The Martin-Lysicrates Prize is transformational in that it not only takes young people seriously, but it gives them the clout to shape the next generation of stories that will take the Australian stage (and maybe even the world) by storm.


Madelaine Nunn

Mars Bars and Beyond

The Martin Lysicrates prize is an exciting way to connect with the next generation of storytellers and take new Australian writing straight to the people. It gives young people a powerful opportunity to use their voice and decide what stories speak to them and their view of the world. Theatre plays a crucial part in our collective history and is an invaluable chance to sit with each other and share a moment of togetherness. This prize is an exhilarating event that Dionysus would be proud of!


Donna Hughes

Click To Undo

I spend a lot of time writing alone, imagining the action and voices of the characters in my mind. But, to develop and elevate a script it requires activation. The Martin-Lysicrates Prize offers a supercharged opportunity. Having a highly skilled team bring my fledgling play to life is invaluable. Being there while they perform for an audience of switched-on young people will help me see what’s working. I love that those same young people get to have their say on what they most want to see on the stage. I write for them, so I really want to know!


  • Producer

    Hayden Tonazzi
  • Stage Manager

    Kirsty Walker
  • Industry Readers

    Mari Lourey, Tim McGarry, Miranda Middleton and Jordy Shea