Black Swan State Theatre Company of Western Australia acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live.

First Nations People have been telling stories on this country for many thousands of years, and we acknowledge their incredible contribution to the cultural and environmental landscape we reside in.


FORGE Header image




FORGE (verb)

1. Make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire or furnace and hammering it.

2. Create (something), strong, enduring, or successful.

3. Move forward gradually or steadily.

Black Swan’s Emerging Writers' Program FORGE is designed to enhance participants' craft in playwriting and storytelling, whilst connecting them to fellow playwrights and industry professionals.

The 2024/25 cohort meet fortnightly to engage in a range of activities such as play discussions, industry-led writer's workshops, exploration of social issues and topics regarding playwriting, sharing of original works, and panel discussions with local and national playwrights.

FORGE 2024-25 is running From April 2024 - Feb 2025.

Cezera Critti-Schnaars

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Cezera is a proud Nyoongar and Greek theatre maker whose passion for theatre started when she was a kid. As a teenager, she branched out into writing her own work, participating in Yirra Yaakin Writers’ Group. She completed the Aboriginal Performance Course at WAAPA in 2018. Since, she has worked with a number of companies in both acting, writing and directing positions. Most recently she co-directed Seven Sisters with WAYTco for Perth Festival 2023, and wrote and starred in her debut play Salted Pretzels at The Blue Room Theatre with APK Productions. For her performance in Hecate (2020) she was awarded Best Newcomer and Best Supporting Actress at the PAWA awards.

Donna Hughes

Donna Hughes is an award-winning playwright based in Walyalup (Fremantle). Her writing has been recognised around Australia and internationally. Donna’s play, Trackers, won an Australian Writers Guild award (AWGIE) in 2021 and she was the recipient of the Martin Lysicrates Prize 2022. Donna’s short film Isolation In Lockdown was nominated by the New York Independent Cinema Awards and nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Writing by the WA Screen Culture Awards 2022. Her play The Next Stop won the Best Writer Award at the Short + Sweet Festival, Hollywood. Donna’s plays for young people are published with Australian Plays Transform.

Izzy McDonald

Izzy McDonald is a WA writer, director and political activist. Izzy graduated from UWA with a degree in English and Cultural Studies in 2015, the same year she co-founded the award winning independent theatre company Rorschach Beast and directed the company’s premiere show Girl in the Wood. GITW won Fringe World’s Best Emerging Artist and the Melbourne Fringe Ready to Tour Award. That year she also participated in the Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Studio for young writers. Her piece Dive was performed in Sydney and published by Currency Press. The following year she wrote, produced and performed in Bus Boy, which went on to win Fringe World’s coveted Martin Sims award, the Theatre award, the Best Emerging Artist award and went on to tour internationally to Brighton Fringe. In 2020 Izzy wrote and co-directed French Over in the State Theatre courtyard, being nominated for the Theatre Award that year. Most recently she directed SIT! Or I'll Make You Sit as a part of the Blue Rooms 2022 program winning TBLT Members Choice and PAWA Outstanding Direction of an Independent Production. In 2022 she completed her Honours in Performance Making at WAAPA. Izzy just finished her artistic residency at PICA for her new project in development, Diving for Dust.

Lainey O'Sullivan

Lainey is a Boorloo-based performer, writer and emerging theatre artist from Dublin, Ireland. She holds a first-class honours degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin and worked as a literary assistant for Fishamble; The New Play Company before relocating to WA in September 2021. In addition Lainey works with The Humour Foundation as a Clown Doctor (Dr. Scallywag) in PCH. Some recent highlights includes being a member of TLGH’s Gatherers' Collective '22/23, having her debut play Conception produced as part of TBRT's Summer Nights Festival 2023, and touring with Undercurrent Theatre and their production of My Shout for the Red Earth Arts Festival 2023.

Laura Liu

Laura Liu is a Christian Chinese-Australian emerging performance maker, playwright, and figuring-it-out director. Graduating with a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Performance Making) from WAAPA in 2019, she went back in 2022 to complete her Honours degree, focusing on the possibilities of formatting and (omitting) translation in a new multi-lingual play text. Laura has this terrible habit of collecting drinks in her fridge, followed by two stressful days of downing said drinks when she needs to move houses. She says she’ll stop, but there are currently five miscellaneous cans, four UP&GOs, two juices, and a 1.25L bottle in the fridge. Yummy.

Medina Dizdarevic

Medina Dizdarevic is an emerging Bosnian Muslim playwright and theatre-maker from Boorloo. Her work explores displacement, culture and intergenerational trauma. She graduated from Curtin University in 2015 with a degree in Creative Writing and endeavours to use theatrical storytelling as a means of community healing, joy and connection. She was a participant in Playwrights to the Front with Static Drive Co in 2021 as well as Performing Lines WA Kolyang Lab cohort. In 2022, she was the writer for The Complete Show of Water Skiing in Blue Room Theatre's Summer Nights season and developed her newest work The Strangers with Performing Lines WA and Black Swan State Theatre Company through the DLGSC Playwright Partnership Program.

Rachel McMurray

Rachel McMurray is a director, theatre maker, writer and applied theatre practitioner who recently emigrated to Boorloo/Perth from the UK. She has a BA in Performing Arts from The University of Salford and an MA in Applied Theatre from The University of Manchester. In the UK, Rachel worked The Lowry Theatre, The Royal Exchange Theatre, Theatre in Prison and Probation, Oldham Coliseum Theatre and more. She was co-founder and Artistic Director of Fine Comb Theatre, a UK based new writing company, from 2013-2022. Rachel is passionate about socially engaged practice having delivered arts programs with a variety of communities including within prisons, hard-to-reach young people and adults, schools, theatres, community venues and more. Website:

Sophie Minissale

Sophie Minissale is an award-winning, self-producing artist from Boorloo (Perth). Sophie has had worked performed at The Blue Room Theatre, The State Theatre Centre of WA and her work for children, Alex and Evie and the Forever Falling Rain, completed a state-funded WA regional tour at the end of 2023. This was produced with every other theatre company, which she co-founded in 2020. Sophie has had the privilege to work as the Creative Coordinator for the 2023 state-wide youth arts and culture Festival, KickstART by Propel Youth Arts WA. This saw her programming the week-long Festival in conjunction with Youth Week WA. Some people also know Sophie as a photographer, a radio host, a workshop leader and a journal editor.


Andrew Sutherland
Chelinay Gates
Sam Ireland
Sian Murphy
Sam Nerida