The Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award

The Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award encourages the development of new Australian plays or performing arts projects emphasizing positive values.

The Award is offered each year for the development of a play or other approved performing arts project.

The Award provides financial assistance for playwrights during the writing or development of a play or a project. It is not intended as a prize for a finished work.

The Award may also assist with production costs, workshops, restaging, publishing or touring. A recipient may be working alone or jointly with others including writers, composers, designers, directors, producers.


Applicants for the Award should download:

Applications to be emailed PDF format. (refer to Entry Form for full details)

Ms Carol Martin
The Seaborn Broughton & Walford Foundation

Suite 10, 20 Young Street,
Neutral Bay NSW 2089

Phone: 02 9955 5444

The Trustees

The Trustees of the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award are:
Diana Simmonds - Chair
David Berthold
Ken Healey AM
Lee Lewis


The Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Trust receives funding from the Rodney Seaborn Estate. Although it is closely associated with the S,B&W Foundation, the Trust is a separate legal entity. The Trust welcomes contributions from companies and individual donors. Contributions of $2 and over are tax-deductible.

Award Winners

Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award: Winners 2000 - 2023

Maxine Mellor wins the 2023 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award

Award for her play O'Mighty Make Believe. 

Dylan Van Den Berg wins the 2022 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award

Award for his play The Chosen Vessel. 

Steve Rodgers wins the 2021 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award

Sydney actor playwright Steve Rodgers was named as the winner of the 2021 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award for his play The Future is History.
The announcement was made at the COVID-affected, scaled-down Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation’s Christmas celebrations, In presenting the $20,000 Award, Gaz Simpson AM, Chairman of the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Trust, explained that the late Dr Seaborn AO OBE created the Award ‘to encourage the development of a play or other approved performing arts project’ that emphasised, in the widest sense, ‘positive values such as faith, hope and love’. Dr Seaborn, a retired psychiatrist and outstanding patron of the performing arts, hoped the Award would help address an 'undue emphasis on the negative or less salutary aspects of life to be found in much contemporary performing arts projects’.
Introduced by Peter Lowry OAM who praised Dr Seaborn’s visionary guidelines, the presentation was held in the Seaborn Library at the Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation (S,B&WF) premises in Neutral Bay, before a small audience of Foundation Board members, staff, volunteer Friends and invited guests.
As Steve Rodgers is currently working in Dubai, his daughter, Lily Rodgers, accepted the Award on his behalf. She read a message expressing his regret that he was to unable to be present to accept the Award as such ‘prestigious awards in the playwriting world are few and far between’. Steve Rogers wished to convey his thanks to those who had assisted in the development of the play, and those he had met and interviewed in the course of his research. He also thanked the Foundation, its Administrator Carol Martin and the Trustees for the Award, describing the Award ‘as a celebration of storytelling’.
THE PLAY: The Future is History
The Future is History is a loving portrait about the invisibility of people who live with economic and social disadvantage, and the difficulties they face if they aspire to a different life. It’s also about human prejudice, and the way we perceive ourselves and others based on class, history and notions of success. But, ultimately, it’s about love and the desperate lengths a mother will go for her daughter, to provide the chance and opportunity of an empowered life.
Steve Rogers has described his play as being about love, but said that it also raises questions of individual aspirations and societal inequality and reflects his belief that education can help combat any social divide if people have equal access to it. In this play he wished to examine invisible lives, shine a light on them and reveal them as the heroes they are.