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Famous Playwrights from Australia

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List of notable or famous playwrights from Australia, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in Australia and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to Australia. If you're trying to find out the names of famous Australian playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from Australia is included when available.

The list you're viewing is made up of many different people, like Nick Enright and Patrick White.

This historic playwrights from Australia list can help answer the questions "Who are some Australian playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from Australia?" These prominent playwrights of Australia may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected Australian playwrights.

Use this list of renowned Australian playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. 
  • 1

    Alec Coppel

    Dec. at 64 (1907-1972)

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

    Alec Coppel was an Australian-born screenwriter, novelist and playwright. He spent the majority of his career in London and Hollywood, specialising in light thrillers, mysteries and sex comedies. He...  more
  • 2

    Alex Broun

    Age: 56

    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

    Alex Broun (born 16 March 1965) is an Australian playwright and screenwriter, who has worked extensively with Short+Sweet, a series of theatre festivals for productions of ten minutes or less. Born...  more
  • 3

    BirthplaceTransvaal Province, South Africa

    Alison Croggon (born 1962) is a contemporary Australian poet, playwright, fantasy novelist, and librettist....  more
  • 4

    BirthplaceKalgoorlie, Australia

    Andrew Bovell (born 23 November 1962) is an Australian writer for theatre, film and television....  more
  • 5


    Andrew Upton (born 1 February 1966) is an Australian playwright, screenwriter, and director. He is the husband of actress Cate Blanchett....  more
  • 6
    Beejan Land (born 14 February 1989 in Paddington, New South Wales, Australia) is an Australian actor and award-winning playwright. He graduated from Newtown High School of the Performing Arts Beejan...  more
  • 7

    Bill Neskovski

    Dec. at 25 (1964-1989)

    BirthplaceBitola, Republic of Macedonia

    Blagoja "Bill" Neshkovski (Macedonian: Благоја „Бил“ Нешковски, 20 January 1964—25 November 1989) was a Macedonian Australian playwright and actor. He wrote in both English and Macedonian Born...  more
  • 8

    Bille Brown

    Dec. at 61 (1952-2013)

    BirthplaceBiloela, Australia

    Bille Brown AM (11 January 1952 – 13 January 2013) born as William Gerald Brown was an Australian stage, film and television actor and acclaimed playwright....  more
  • 9

    Bob Maza

    Dec. at 60 (1939-2000)

    BirthplacePalm Island, Australia

    Robert Lewis Maza (25 November 1939 – 14 May 2000) credited as Bob Maza was an Australian actor and playwright....  more
  • 10
    Caleb Lewis (born 16 April 1978) is an Australian playwright. His plays include Destroyer of Worlds, Maggie Stone, Nailed, Dogfall, Death in Bowengabbie, Rust and Bone, Aleksander and the Robot Maid,...  more
  • 11
  • 12

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

    David Keith Williamson, AO (born 24 February 1942) is an Australian dramatist and playwright. He has also written screenplays and teleplays....  more
  • 13

    Dorothy Hewett

    Dec. at 79 (1923-2002)

    BirthplacePerth, Australia

    Dorothy Coade Hewett (21 May 1923 – 25 August 2002) was an Australian feminist poet, novelist and playwright. She has been called "one of Australia's best-loved and most respected writers". She was...  more
  • 14

    Gwen Meredith

    Dec. at 98 (1907-2006)

    BirthplaceOrange, Australia

    Gwenyth Valmai Meredith OBE (18 November 1907 – 3 October 2006), also known by her married name Gwen Harrison, was an Australian author, dramatist and playwright, and radio writer. She is best known...  more
  • 15

    Hal Porter

    Dec. at 73 (1911-1984)

    BirthplaceVictoria, Albert Park, Australasia, Melbourne, Australia

    Harold Edward (Hal) Porter (16 February 1911 – 29 September 1984) was an Australian novelist, playwright, poet and short-story writer. Porter was born in Albert Park, Victoria, grew up in...  more
  • 16

    BirthplaceMelbourne, Australia

    Hannie Rayson (born 31 March 1957) is an Australian playwright and newspaper columnist. She is recognised as one of Australia's most significant playwrights. ...  more
  • 17

    Jack Davis

    Dec. at 83 (1917-2000)

    BirthplaceAustralasia, Western Australia, Australia, Yarloop

    Jack Davis (11 March 1917 – 17 March 2000) was an Australian 20th-century playwright and poet, and an Indigenous rights campaigner. He was born in Western Australia, in Perth, and lived in Fremantle...  more
  • 18
    Jane Harrison (born 1960) is an indigenous Australian playwright, novelist, writer and researcher. A descendant of the Muruwari people of New South Wales, from the area around Bourke and Brewarrina,...  more
  • 19

    Jennifer Rankin

    Dec. at 38 (1941-1979)

    BirthplaceSydney, Australia

    Jennifer Rankin (born Jennifer Mary Haynes) (18 November 1941 – 8 December 1979) was a 20th-century Australian poet and playwright. Rankin was born in and grew up in Sydney and went to Ravenswood...  more
  • 20

    Jim McNeil

    Dec. at 47 (1935-1982)

    BirthplaceSt Kilda, Australia

    James Thomas McNeil (23 January 1935 – 16 May 1982) was an Australian award-winning playwright. While serving a 17-year sentence in Parramatta Correctional Centre for armed robbery and shooting a...  more
  • 21

    BirthplaceMount Eliza, Australia

    Joanna Murray-Smith (born 17 April 1962) is a Melbourne based Australian playwright, screenwriter, novelist, librettist and newspaper columnist....  more
  • 22

    BirthplaceManly, Australia

    Katherine Thomson is an Australian playwright and screenwriter. Katherine Thomson was born in Manly, New South Wales and began her theatrical involvement as a teenager with the Australian Theatre for...  more
  • 23

    BirthplaceVictoria, Australasia, Melbourne, Australia, Brunswick East

    Kenneth Graham Ross (born 4 June 1941) is an Australian playwright, screenwriter, and lyricist best known for writing the 1978 stage play Breaker Morant, that was based on the life of Australian...  more
  • 24

    Kylie Tennant

    Dec. at 75 (1912-1988)

    BirthplaceNew South Wales, Australasia, Manly, Australia

    Kathleen Kylie Tennant AO (; 12 March 1912 – 28 February 1988) was an Australian novelist, playwright, short-story writer, critic, biographer and historian....  more
  • 25

    BirthplaceMurgon, Australia

    Leah Purcell (born 14 August 1970) is an Indigenous Australian actress, director and writer. She is a Helpmann Award and AACTA Award winner....  more