The Performer’s Pen


Learn the principles of performance writing with Australia’s most successful playwright Joanna Murray-Smith and industry-leading dramaturg, director and our Head of Acting, Iain Sinclair.


The 16th Street Foundation is excited to announce The Performer’s Pen – an exclusive workshop series with Joanna Murray-Smith and Iain Sinclair. Designed for performers and writers looking to take their skills to the next level and become writer-performers.

All successful applicants will have their tuition costs paid for by The 16th Street Foundation.* However, participants will be required to pay an administration fee as a contribution to facilitation costs, not covered by the foundation.

Harness the power of the Writer Performer and develop your skills in dramatic writing. With a focus on writing for performance, you’ll learn the fundamentals of generating story construction, developing characters and effective line writing that resonates and engages audiences.

The program is divided into five workshops over a 16-week period, with each workshop designed to help you refine your skills and develop your piece further. You’ll work with Joanna Murray-Smith in the first workshops with a strong focus on generative work. Then you’ll be joined by Iain Sinclair, in the final few workshops for production dramaturgy and direction. 

The program culminates in a final rehearsed public reading.

Participants have the option to join either as individuals or as a group. Everyone, an individual or group will be allocated the same amount of time during the sessions, groups are expected to work collectively and present ideas or exercises as one.


If you’re ready to take your career to the next level as a writer, don’t miss this incredible opportunity. 


Apply now for “The Performer’s Pen” and take your first step towards becoming a successful writer-performer. 
Application is by email submission of a CV, a treatment for a dramatic work to develop in the program and a short sample of dramatic writing by the artist.
Please send applications to  


The Performer’s Pen over 140 contact hours 

Each session will be from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (1-hour break for lunch) 


WORKSHOP 1: (5 DAYS) September 25th – 29th

With Joanna Murray-Smith

WORKSHOP 2: (5 DAYS) October 16th – 20th

With Joanna Murray-Smith

WORKSHOP 3: (4 DAYS) November 13th – 16th

With Joanna Murray-Smith

WORKSHOP 4: (5 DAYS) December 4th – 8th

With Joanna Murray-Smith and Iain Sinclair

WORKSHOP 5: (5 DAYS) January 8th – 12th

With Iain Sinclair


Work and preparation outside the program is expected and encouraged.


Tuition Fees: 

The 16th Street Foundation will cover the 144 contact hours of tuition cost for all participants. A participant fee which covers a portion of the administration and facility costs is required to confirm your place. Please note the participant fee is separate from the tuition fee and is not covered by the foundation. Payment plans may be available where requested. 

Successful applicants will be required to cover their own personal expenses, accommodation and travel.

Administration Fee:

Individual participant: $545 (incl. GST) 

Group, 2 or more participants: $845 (Incl. GST) 

  • For example, if working in a group of 2 the fee would be $422.50 each. 
  • Payment should be organised amongst yourselves and paid together. 


Applications open: 20 June

Applications close: 17th August

All our courses and programs are for ages 18+, if you’re under 18 please look at our youth programs or email our admissions team for training opportunities.


Submit application