The finalists have been announced for the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award for 2014-15, with two Brisbane-based and one Brisbane-born playwright in the running.

Daniel Evans with his work Oedipus Doesn’t Live Here Anymore will compete against Megan Shorey’s One in Seven and London-based playwright Timothy Benzie’s The Overflow for the final award, which will see the winning work turned into a professional production.

“We are excited not only by the quantity of entries this year, but also by their quality,” Premier Newman said. “Our three finalists are exciting writers, with three incredibly different and powerful plays. It’s an exciting time in Queensland for the arts and I can’t wait to see the finished work of the winner.”

The Queensland Premier’s Drama Award received 121 entries, which was more than double the amount from last year’s competition, and Newman says the entries were “…testament to the pool of creative talent in Australia”.

21 plays have been produced in total as part of the Award, employing more than 160 actors, writers and directors, and driving audiences of over 17,000 to new Queensland theatre.

“Queensland Theatre Company has been a pillar of our state’s performing arts scene for many years now and plays an important role telling the stories that define our time and place,” says Newman. “The three works will now be considered by the judging panel and the winner will be announced in June 2014, which will guarantee a professional production of their play.”

Artistic Director of Queensland Theatre Company Wesley Enoch (and one of the 2014-15 judges) congratulated the finalists and entrants for the Award.

“Writers from around the country and the world have submitted a range of plays which explore the form of theatre and the most important ideas in the country,” he says. “This award is unique in that it is the only drama award in Australia that guarantees the winner a production of their work.”

Maxine Mellor, winner of the 2012-13 award, noted the importance of communicating to a specific audience through the play.

“One of the most valuable things a playwright can do is see their work on stage with an audience,” she says. “That’s why the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award is so important – as a shortlisted applicant, you’re given the opportunity to articulate your ideas and introduce yourself to the company; as a finalist, you’re afforded several months to refine your work; and as winner, you become part of the team putting the show on stage.”

Judges for the 2014-15 awards include Executive Director of the Department of Premier and Cabinet Anne Moffat, prominent theatre artist Dr Kate Foy, Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company Lee Lewis, and Louise Gough, an Australian-based freelance script editor.

“I learned so much about my work and my role through this process, and I encourage anyone interested in performance writing or making to apply for this incredibly rewarding opportunity,” says Mellor.