Last night at the Seaborn Broughton and Walford Foundation (SBW) Christmas Party, Gaz Simpson, Chairman of the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Trust, announced that CAMPION DECENT had won the 2012 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award for his play "Unholy Ghosts".
The $20,000 award for the development of a play or other approved performing arts project attracted 121 submissions (a record number) from across Australia.
Campion Decent said in his proposal that should he win the award he would put the funds towards a world premiere production to be produced by CDP (Christine Dunstan Productions). Before that occurred a further draft of the play would be completed, in dialogue with the director and prior to commencement of rehearsals.
"Unholy Ghosts" is described as a vibrant portrait of one particular family with all its idiosyncrasies that at the same time speaks more broadly to the 'landscape of goodbye' that all families experience. A son invites the audience on a journey to unpick his family tapestry.
At a practical level the son is attempting to navigate his parents through failing health and ready them for death while dealing with the daily pressures of a world that does not stop for such things. But at a deeper level he is trying to make sense of the life he shared with his parents; to create, from the splinters of memory, some kind of understanding that will allow him to reconcile his parent's bitter marriage, his own traumatic childhood and the death of his sister, so that he might move forward, without the anchor of biology, to weave a new understanding of family.
Campion Decent has worked in the arts for more than 20 years, most recently as Artistic Director of HotHouse Theatre. His work as a writer includes the award-winning Embers (HotHouse Theatre & Sydney Theatre Company 2006/National tour 2009/ABC Radio 2012. Shootings (ABC Radio), Baby X (Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras / CDP / Playbox) Three Winters Green (Mardi Gras) and the Judi Connelli cabaret Back to Before (New York/Australian tour).
Previous appointments include Literary Manager at Sydney Theatre Company, Artistic Director of Next Wave Festival and Festival Director for Mardi Gras. As a dramaturg he has worked with many writers including Jane Brodie, Rosalba Clemente, Wesley Enoch, Kate Mulvany and Bojana Novakovic. As a board member and/or volunteer he has contributed to the work of the Australian Writers Guild, the Australian National Playwrights' Centre (as Chair) and the Australian Script Centre (also as Chair). He is a graduate of the NIDA Playwrights' Studio and holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts.