From the South Australian State Theatre Company’s website:
‘CJ McLean and Jack Cummins are the 2017 winners of the Flinders University Young Playwrights Award, State Theatre Company’s major award for the encouragement and support of new writing talent, now in its 17th year.
The Award consists of two categories – the Junior Award and the Senior Award. […]
The Senior Award winner is CJ McLean whose play The River explores the relationship between love, hatred and jealousy, and the poisonous effect of this mix on life decisions.
CJ McLean is an emerging Adelaide writer. His fiction and poetry has appeared in InDaily and Vaein Zine, and he has read and performed at Speakeasy and The Hearth.
In 2015, CJ was mentored by Adelaide-based playwright Nicki Bloom in the Australian Theatre for Young People’s (ATYP) Fresh Ink Mentoring Program. He developed a seven-minute monologue, Changing Room, at ATYP’s National Studio, which was later selected for The Voices Project 2016. Changing Room was reworked and broadcast on ABC Radio National’s Pocketdocs program in late 2016, and published by Currency Press in an anthology of the same name.
In 2017, CJ mounted his first one-man cabaret show for the Adelaide Fringe, Love & Anger, which explored themes of lost love and self-identity.
CJ completed his Honours in Creative Arts (Creative Writing) at Flinders University in 2015. During his degree, he also attended Oxford University’s Creative Writing Summer School, and travelled to Guangzhou, China as part of the AsiaBound project to mentor creative writing students at Sun Yat-sen University.
In 2015, CJ was nominated in the Express Media Awards for Best Piece Published in Buzzcuts, and he has received two Commendations from the State Theatre Company in the Young Playwrights Award.
As the senior young Playwrights Award winner, CJ received $1000 cash prize; a 4-play subscription; script development with Dramaturg and Director Sarah Dunn and cast, culminating in a public reading of his work by actors Annabel Matheson and Matilda Bailey in the Dunstan Playhouse this evening.’