Catherine Zimdahl is a playwright, screenwriter and visual artist. Her plays include Gifted, Step Up Stare Down, Deviant Art for the Degenerate (film adaptation nominated for IF Best Unproduced Screenplay), A Day Too Great, HereNowThenThere, Clark in Sarajevo, Family Running For Mr Whippy, Left Breathless A Question, The Fox, A World into A Child, A Child into the World and Moonfleet. Her film credits include Sparks and Life on Earth As I Know It. Catherine’s plays have been produced around Australia by the Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, the Griffin Theatre Company, Windmill National Children’s Theatre and ABC Radio, amongst others. Awards include Griffin Playwriting Award, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, New Dramatists Exchange and AFI Awards for Best Short Film and Best Screenplay. Catherine studied screenwriting at the Australian Film, Television and Radio School where she was the recipient of the Qantas Travel Award graduate prize. Catherine is a member of 7-ON Writers Theatre, in 2012 No Nudity, Weapons or Naked Flames, a book of monologues was published by Federation Press, which includes three monos by Catherine. Her feature film script The Ego Trip is currently in development.
Family Running For Mr Whippy is a reverie into the outer suburbs in one woman’s inner world.
It is a world which is haunting and hilarious, where imagination and memory intermingle ominously, where the narrator struggles to find her way through it, to go above it, to find a way, out, and to see…
It is an experimental work, approximately 20 minutes long.
2 males 2 females chorus - mixed
Clark In Sarajevo traces the journey of Clark Cant, a mild-mannered reporter, who in an effort to cast off his ordinariness reinvents himself as a war correspondent in Sarajevo. It is a play about the gaze of the West as it follows Clark’s fall from a flat disengaged spectator/voyeur of the siege, to a man who comes to embody the complex emotions of an uncomprehending witness to a catastrophe.
2 acts (approx 80 minutes)
1 male central character/other characters multi
6 - 8 cast (variable, equal male/female division. Has been performed with 2 males, 4 females, with some doubling)
It is 1946 and Peggy is an expressionist artist in a Sydney that doesn’t yet understand. But it matters not for on one fateful night she meets the young, rich and powerful art patrons, the Huxleys. She swoons, she falters, she falls in love but does love really look like this?
Joss is 22 years old, she’s tried and failed to kill herself but is determined in her own chaotic way to try again.
A Day Too Great charts the night of her suicide watch. In her flat, her boyfriend and best friend are with her - watching, waiting, increasingly terrified and exhausted.
Through the night the pain yelps out of Joss - she has the impulse to cut and crush those dearest to her, to cast out every demon thought, to wrestle with her murderous god as she tests the limits of love, spinning those in her orbit on a darkening trajectory…
A Day Too Great is a searing portrait of psychic pain. It examines the fragile bonds that hold us all in place, blowing away the comforting aphorisms and asks the question what part of the self needs to be killed in order to live?
Everyone wants to be Lydia - they just don’t know it. She is gifted, the medallist of her year from the University of Sydney back in the day, an independently rich, sexy older woman. Such is Lydia’s self-perception. She is in fact, every neighbour’s nightmare, a raving alcoholic. From her porch she performs unrelentingly for the attention of the world, perversely compelling in her desires, demands, songs, threats: all in brilliant ‘blue’ language. GIFTED unfolds in a heightened realism that is unashamedly dark and comic. (Full-Length Play.)
A man traumatized by his past, is followed by his shadow self. In his attempts to transcend his difficulties his shadow is always there. It transforms constantly to advocate, lover, tormentor and friend. (20 minutes play.)
2 actors, both male
(adaptation of the children’s classic by J.M. Falkner)
A ripping yarn of smuggling, a search for treasure and a ghost. Told in promenade theatre style.
Awgie award nomination. (60 – 70 minutes)
Radio Plays (Readily adaptable for stage productions)
Kristen is a 21st Century woman who wants nothing more from the world than a child. In the fog of IVF drugs she finds herself falling into an ancient Inuit fertility myth. (40 minutes approx)
Two monologues. A barrister and his wife share the complexities of a marriage from different points of view. On a daily basis “he” deals with marriages broken beyond repair, seemingly unaware that his own marriage is vulnerable. “She” hopes to find answers for her endless questions in by shopping. (30 minutes)
Five characters experience extraordinary moments of being that occur within ordinary situations. (30 minutes.)