Biography

Alana Valentine is a librettist, playwright and director.

Alana Valentine

In 2021 she wrote and directed the Sydney Festival/Walkleys Award series THE JOURNALIST GENE, innovating a new form of interview panel with performance elements. As co-writer, with Ursula Yovich, of Barbara and the Camp Dogs she was awarded both a 2019 Helpmann Award and 2020 Green Room Award for Best Original Score, as well as a Helpmann for Best Musical and Green Room for Best New Australian Work. In 2019 Alana wrote the libretto for the critically acclaimed song cycle Flight Memory with composer Sandra France and many of her award-winning plays feature original songs including The Sugar House, Head Full of Love and Ladies Day.

Alana also works as dramaturg with Bangarra Dance Theatre and was part of the creative team for their Helpmann Award winning best new Australian work, Bennelong for which she wrote lyrics with composer Steve Francis, as well as working as dramaturg on their dance theatre productions of DARK EMU, PATYEGARANG, and ID (Belong).

In 2019 the Seymour Centre in Australia presented Made To Measure, a commission from the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, where Alana was Writer in Residence. Alana has been awarded four Australian Writers Guild awards and a Churchill Fellowship and she previously worked with six First Nations singers on the narrative concert Barefoot Divas: Walk A Mile In My Shoes. She has also received a Centenary Medal for her work on the Centenary of Federation, a Cultural Leadership Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts and a Literature Fund Fellowship.

Alana Valentine

In 2019 and 2020, Alana and Ursula were funded by Screen Australia to write the screenplay adaptation of Barbara and the Camp Dogs, to be produced by Bunya Productions. In 2020 she secured development funding from SBS TV to work with Blake Ayshford and Alice Addison on a TV series Lady Chaplain, produced by Easy Tiger. She has written for McLeod’s Daughters and her short films are Mother Love, The Witnesses, and Reef Dreaming. Her multi-media work includes an installation at the Museum of Sydney and a water screen installation in Sydney's Darling Harbor.

Alana is a multi-award winning playwright and librettist working with Belvoir on The Sugar House (to be presented in London in October 2021 at the Finborough Theatre), with Griffin Theatre on Ladies Day (nominated for the Nick Enright Prize for Drama in the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards) and The Tree Widows which won two Tasmanian Theatre Awards. In 2018 Merrigong Theatre Company toured Letters to Lindy to twenty venues in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and the NT including Darwin and Alice Springs. In October 2018, Sport For Jove presented Ear to the Edge of Time at Seymour directed by Nadia Tass.

She has more than 20 published works including two books of non-fiction - BOWERBIRD: The art of making theatre drawn from life (2018) and DEAR LINDY: A Nation Responds to the Loss of Azaria (2017) as well as been part of numerous short story and short play anthologies and collections.


News

ALANA VALENTINE wins the 2014 BBC/British Council International Radio Playwriting CompetitionALANA VALENTINE wins the 2014 BBC/British Council International Radio Playwriting Competition in association with Commonwealth Writers and Open University.

The BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition is the only global competition for radio playwrights, run by the BBC World Service and the British Council.

Alana Valentine's script for the International Radio Playwriting Competition, called The Ravens, is the winner in the section for writers with English as a first language.

“It’s about a young woman trying to get out of being a sex worker,” Valentine told The Australian.

“She gets a big payout and comes under pressure from all sorts of people as a result.”

Judges considered the 53-minute radio drama superior to other finalists from the US, Ireland, Sweden and Kenya, and it will be produced by the BBC on October 23 and 24 for broadcast on the World Service in either late December or early 2015. The World Service has a potential audience of 40 million.

The competition, which is in its 24th year, seeks submissions from writers outside Britain for a drama with up to six characters. This year it attracted nearly 1000 entries from 86 countries.

The judges said: “An ambitious play, admirably creating an authentic world of addiction, with a naturalism of language and believability of character. The play truthfully captures the brutality and violence, but with an attempt at tenderness, deliciously graphic for radio.”

For more details on the competition, visit bbcworldservice.com/radioplay


Alana Valentine at the AWGIE AwardsALANA VALENTINE wins 2014 Australian Writers Guild Award for Comin’ Home Soon.

Alana Valentine has won the 2014 AWGIE award in the Youth and Community Theatre category for Comin’ Home Soon.

Commissioned by the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, Alana worked with inmates at Goulburn Correctional Centre's Aboriginal Art Unit Nura Warra Umer, as well as with the children of prisoners and the Shine For Kids organisation at Silverwater Correctional Centre, and also drew on experiences working at Junee Correctional Centre and the Shine For Kids centre there.

Alana curated an exhibition of art works made by both the inmates and children of inmates and shown at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery in 2012.

The play was presented at the Lieder Theatre in 2013 to critical acclaim and intense community support. It featured the participation of a large number of both Indigenous and Non-Indigenous performers and was supported by the Pejar Land Council.

The play had a limited publication run in 2013, supported by the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery and Currency Press are currently considering re-publication of the now award-winning work.

Her 2014 AWGIE win follows Alana's 2013 triple AWGIE win in the same category for Grounded including the inaugural David Williamson award for excellence in theatre writing and the major AWGIE for the best overall script of 2013.


Alana Valentine at the AWGIE AwardsAlana Valentine wins Major AWGIE Award for 2013.

It was a fairytale finish for the winners of the Annual AWGIE Awards, which were held on Friday 4 October in the Plaza Ballroom, Melbourne.

Hosted by Sammy J, the awards now in their 46th year, celebrate the integral role of the writer in Australian film, television, theatre radio and interactive media. The AWGIE Awards are the only Australian awards judged solely by writers on the basis of the script – the writer's own vision.

AWG President Jan Sardi said, “The calibre of this year’s nominees is testimony to the outstanding achievement of this year's AWGIE Award winners, judged by their peers as being the best in what has been a top shelf year for Australian performance writing”.

The Sydney Morning Herald called it "Valentine's Day" after playwright Alana Valentine was the toast of the evening picking up three awards including the Major AWGIE Award for Most Outstanding Script of 2013 and the inaugural David Williamson Prize. David Williamson AO was in attendance, as Senator the Hon. George Brandis QC, Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts presented Valentine with the $25,000 prize.
Read the full article »


Alana Valentine Wins 2012 Stage International Script CompetitionAlana Valentine Wins 2012 Stage International Script Competition.

Ear to the Edge of Time, by Australian playwright Alana Valentine, is the winner of the 5th STAGE International Script Competition for the best new play about science and technology. The script was chosen from nearly 200 entries from a dozen countries and announced as the winner live on air on the BBC World Service Science in Action program on August 10th. STAGE will present the award to Alana at a ceremony in Dublin on October 21, 2012.

Valentine’s play was selected by a world-class panel of judges: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights Tony Kushner (Angels in America) David Lindsay- Abaire and Donald Margulies; Nobel Laureates Robert C. Richardson and Frank Wilczek; and winner of the U.S. National Medal of Science and the Franklin Medal, Dr. David J. Wineland. The US-based STAGE award, which is designed to bridge the divide between art and science, is admired among playwrights for the opportunities it brings and the rich $10,000 prize. Read the full press release »


Media Links

Alana Valentine wins Major AWGIE Award for 2013:

The following three media links are all in response to her current fellowship to research Lindy Chamberlain's archives.