Alma De GroenPlaywright

Alma De Groen was the first playwright to win the Patrick White Literary Award for her contribution to Australian theatre. Alma currently lives in New Zealand, with her plays still being performed both in Australia and around the world –Wicked Sisters recently played in Poland, and The Rivers of China is being translated for performance in France.

Alma’s first play, The Sweatproof Boy was presented at the Nimrod Street Theatre in 1972, and The After-Life of Arthur Cravan had a season the same year at Jane Street Theatre, Sydney. This was followed by Going Home and Chidley both of which had their premiere seasons in Melbourne. Alma De Groen was awarded the 1985 AWGIE award for her television adaptation of Man of Letters, and she also wrote a telemovie, After Marcuse, and television series Singles and Rafferty’s Rules. The Rivers of China premiered at the Sydney Theatre Company, winning the Premier’s Literary Award for Drama in both New South Wales and Victoria. The Girl Who Saw Everything premiered at the Russell Street Theatre in Melbourne in 1991 and won the 1993 AWGIE for best stage play.

Amateur Licence Form


  • Cast number: 2 women, 2 men
  • What has happened to Joss’s baby? Did she appear on daytime TV with Joss? Or is she safely at home? What happened in the park? And why is Joss playing hopscotch? The Joss Adams Show is a one-act play with influences from the Pop Artists of the 1960’s framing in a macabre comedy-drama an urgent problem that had no name or acknowledgment at the time – namely post-natal depression.
  • Currency Press
  • Cast number: 1 woman, 2 men
  • Housewife Viv, would have perfectly understood Betty Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique”, had she ever read it. But Viv is one of those women Friedan wrote about, stuck in suburbia trying to make sense of it all, with a baffled husband, and a young male boarder who disturbs them both. Perfectly All Right is a one-act play inspired by concepts from Pop Artist Claes Oldenburg’s Ray Gun Theatre in its staging and set.
  • Currency Press
  • Cast number: 2 women, 3 men
  • Struggling Australian artist, Jim, and his wife Zoe, are trapped in snowbound Canada and desperate to get home to the technicolour part of the world. But Jim has lost two young art students across the US border on a field trip to Ypsilante, and is dealing with his angry boss, Tom, and the rivalries and resentments raised by the arrival of successful Mike, who has made a splash in the New York art world. Then there’s hectically emotional Molly, Tom’s estranged wife…
  • Currency Press
  • Cast number: 2 women, 2 men
  • What does a sense of vocation actually mean for women? Does it mean the sci-fi writer, Joy, has the same freedom to act in the world as her ambitious academic husband Godfrey? Does aspiring actress Vicki, now a young mother, have the same sense of agency and entitlement as her fevered and obsessive zoologist husband Ross? Vocations wittily examines, life, art, and threats to all life in an early reference to James Lovelock’s theory of the Gaia Hypothesis.
  • Currency Press
  • Cast number: 3 women, 4 men
  • The Man wakes swathed in bandages in a hospital bed in contemporary Sydney convinced that he is the famous writer, Katherine Mansfield. In reality he is a suppressed citizen of a female led society where men have no identity as writers or artists. In a parallel reality Mansfield herself appeals to the notorious guru and mystic Gurdjieff to cure her TB and to “save her soul”. The Rivers of China is an ambitious experiment in aiming to immerse its audience, male as well as female, in the uncertain experience of living now, under patriarchy.
  • NSW Premier’s Award, 1988; Victorian Premier’s Award, 1988
  • Currency Press
  • Cast number: 4 women, 2 men
  • Driving up to the Blue Mountains in an attempt to persuade his solitude-seeking wife Liz to return to their home in Sydney, Gaz is shocked by the death of a girl knocked down by another car as she flees from him in terror when he stops to help her. What he sees in the Girl’s eyes, a terror that seems directed at him personally, changes Gaz, his marriage, and his comfortable and unreflecting view of the world and the relations between men and women.
  • AWGIE Award for Best Stage Play, 1993
  • Currency Press
  • Cast number: 5 women, 2 men
  • The great Russian poet, Anna Akhmatova, is compelled by Stalin to appear in her window twice a day so that operatives of the secret police can be sure that she is obeying her sentence of house arrest. She is forbidden to write and for safety her words are not written down but are committed to memory by women comrades as she composes them. In another surveillance society, a monstrous and denatured super-society of 2300, poetry is about to disappear from the archives and a young woman, Rachel, imperils herself in a fight to discover and save the words before they are wiped from human memory.
  • Short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Award 1999
  • Currency Press
  • Cast number: 4 women
  • How wicked are they? Meridee, Hester, Lydia and Judith, are responding each in their own way to the legacy and ideas of Meridee’s late husband Alec Hobbes, famed genius and social Darwinist and his terrifying computer program that depicts a war of all against all. Four women friends in their fifties are in a sharp-fanged battle of wits and ideas as they meet in the great man’s study and uncover a history of betrayal and adultery. How important are altruism and empathy in the lives of each of them? Or is there a moral void in their efforts to ensure their own personal survival? Does Alec Hobbes’ computer program accurately depict the fate of the human race? Or was he too optimistic?
  • Currency Press

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