DION Teasdale’s Gone is the first recipient of the inaugural Playtime program, presented in partnership with Melbourne’s Midsumma festival at Gasworks Arts Park.

Playtime, a professional development program for playwrights dealing with LGBTI themes, aims to identify and support LGBTI issues and creative talent, as well as direct them towards a mainstream audience.

Gone, which was selected by an industry panel and audience feedback, will receive support and development in becoming a full-scale work presented at Midsumma 2016 and ultimately exposed nationally to a range of metropolitan, regional and rural audiences.

The play is a black comedy that follows single gay writer Alex Riley, who wakes up on his 40th birthday to find his penis gone. 

Teasdale said that he was excited to continue working on Gone for audiences in 2016.

“I’m thrilled, delighted and over-the-moon,” he said.

“Playtime is such a great initiative and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to develop and present new work in partnership with Gasworks and Midsumma.”

The competition received over 20 applications from across Australia, four of which were selected to participate in The Playtime Staged Readings held during this year’s Midsumma festival.

Midsumma festival director Tennille Moisel said the Playtime initiative received some high-quality shortlisted entries.

“We can’t wait to see Gone in Midsumma’s 2016 program and to see the next round of entries,” she said.

Gasworks Arts Park director Tamara Jungwirth said developing the play alongside Teasdale for Midsumma 2016 is an ambitious project.

“We are not only aiming to support the development of a brand new Australian play from script to stage, we are also aiming to develop a work that has the capacity to tour Australia, including regional centres,” he said.

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