Writing for the Stage and Screen and Pitching the Story

Successful writers talk about writing for other mediums - and selling their work

Host – Nerys Evans

The Leningrad Symphony

Steph Lady

Leningrad was under German siege when Dmitri Shostakovich wrote and rehearsed his symphony No. 7. Then the symphony was performed and broadcast to the world from Leningrad as defiant proof that Russia was still in the war, still fighting and even winning. Experienced Hollywood screenwriter Steph Lady shares his experience of writing a screenplay about the creation of the symphony.

Putting on A Smoke Social

Sandra Thibodeaux

Sandra Thibodeaux’ acclaimed play A Smoke Social recreated the Darwin gatherings of over a century ago. They were organised to farewell soldiers departing for the Great War. Sandra talks about how she created A Smoke Social to enable today’s audiences to share Darwin’s emotions as its men left to fight the war to end all wars.

Steph, Sandra and Nerys will welcome your ideas and your questions.

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BIOGRAPHIES

Ted Egan AM and Nerys Evans

Ted Egan was 16 when he first came to Darwin in 1949, intending a short stopover en route to South America where he thought he would find adventure as a gaucho. He went no further – the Territory offered more than enough adventure! He quickly demonstrated an empathy with Aboriginal people. He spent the next 25 years as a public servant, crocodile hunter, Native Affairs Branch officer, and school teacher, acquiring a Bachelor of Arts degree along the way. He listened carefully to everyone he met, soaking up remarkable stories and astonishing speech patterns. By the late 1960s he was in demand as a singer and story teller. In 1969 he wrote the song Gurindji Blues, a powerful commentary on the Gurindji struggle for land rights. A few years later he began writing and singing full time, with national popular success. In 2003 he was appointed Administrator of the Northern Territory, the pinnacle of the many honours and awards that have justly come his way; however, he considers that being involved in 1952 with the establishment of St Mary’s Football Club in Darwin, to provide an opportunity for Tiwi players to participate, was the highpoint of his life. For the centenary of the Great War he created the multi-media kit – The Anzacs 100 Years on, in Story and Song. Recently, he shrugged off an aggressive cancer. Now, he is busily engaged planning his 90th birthday celebrations in 2022 – and he is still writing, still singing, still telling yarns, still delighting everyone he meets.

Ted’s ‘Companion for Life’, Nerys Evans is a talented singer, with a voice beautifully suited to the presentation of many of Ted’s songs. Nerys, a teacher, scriptwriter and singer, came to Australia from Wales in 1964.

Steph Lady

Steph Lady is a Californian screenwriter and producer. He holds a BA from San Francisco State University and an MA in Screenwriting from California State University, Northridge. He has an impressive list of screen credits. Steph is interested in the filmic possibilities of several aspects of the Second World War in the Territory, including the evacuation of children from Croker Island and the bombing of Darwin. He recently relocated to Darwin to live.

Sandra Thibodeaux

Sandra is a Darwin based poet and playwright. She has written more than a dozen plays that have been staged as part of festivals across Indonesia and Australia and have been broadcast on Radio National. She has twice won NT Literary awards; she has published four books of poetry and she has been Australian Poetry’s Poet in Residence.

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