Date & Time
Saturday 14 October, 12.30pm 
Lennox Theatre, Riverside Theatres Parramatta

On Saturday 14 October 2017, a unique event will fill the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta. 250 children will have the chance to vote for the winner in Australia’s first child-adjudicated competition for plays written for children 8-12 years old (grown-ups will not be allowed to vote!).

The Martin Lysicrates Prize celebrates the best new Australian writing for children aged 8-12. The event is free. It’s named for James Martin, the Parramatta boy raised in the servants’ quarters of Parramatta Government House, who overcame discrimination and poverty to become three times Premier of New South Wales and Chief Justice, and was a fierce champion of the colony’s self-reliance.

After the voting, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, Member for Hawkesbury, will unveil a statue of the boy James Martin.

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Playwrights have submitted the first act of a brand new play to the Prize, and the three finalists’ entries will receive a staged reading on Saturday 14 October at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta at 12.30pm.

The audience on the day will vote for the winner who will receive a full commission to complete the play.  Help our youngest audiences have a say in the future of Australian theatre! 

The three finalists are:

House by Dan Giovannoni –

Part fable, part mad-cap adventure story, House is the story of a little big girl (a little girl who is big), making her way through a magical realm.  The play looks at some of the more challenging aspects of growing up and living in the world – sadness, grief, loneliness – and the need to embrace these elements in order to be a whole and complete person.

The Zookeeper’s Daughter by Verity Laughton –

A Circus of Fabulous Beasts, a mysterious box of tricks and a perilous adventure for a young girl and her companions. The Zookeeper’s Daughter is about bravery, friendship and trust (and a baby Basilisk).

Summerland by Katie Pollock –

All the kids understand they must keep quiet about the strange boy they’ve found, that he’ll be in more danger than he already is if the adults know he’s here… Summerland is a holiday adventure of the very best kind, full of excitement and peril, unexpected challenges and the bittersweet lessons of growing up.


Tickets are free, however you will still need to book your seats.

Teachers are encouraged to bring their students. They may bring up to five 8-12 year-olds from their school. Download more information here

Parents are welcome to attend the readings, however, we would like to encourage children to experience these new plays by themselves or with friends. Children will be supervised by carers during the performance. Parents must remain on the premises throughout. 

For more information and to register, please contact Will Harvey at the Griffin Theatre (02) 9332 1052 (or

The Martin Lysicrates Prize is presented by The Lysicrates Foundation in association with Griffin Theatre Company and National Theatre of Parramatta.