Mary Anne Butler – Playwright

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Broken reading sells out in Los Angeles!

Broken has a reading in downtown LA this month – gorgeous cast and director Leah Patterson has been utterly gorgeous to work with, and sold the house out! Check out the gorgeous mob here:

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Broken Update

So delighted that Broken won Best Ensemble at the Sydney Theatre Awards this month. It’s a great credit to the cast and team of the Darlinghurst Theatre production. Congratulations to Darlinghurst Theatre Company, director Shannon Murphy, actors Sarah Enright, Ivan Donato and Rarriwuy Hick, Producer Amy Harris, Artistic Director GlennTerry, Sound Designer James Brown, Lighting Designer Benjamin Brockman, Set Designer Sophie Fletcher and Stage Manager Melanie Stanton. Also to Tania-Lee Turbin, Richard Whitehouse, Simon Boyd and Brett Wilbe, Aiden Brennan, Rebecca Michel. GO you good things.


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about Mary Anne Butler

Mary Anne Butler is a Darwin based playwright. Her play Broken won the 2014 NT Literary Award for Best Script, was shortlisted for the 2014 Griffin Theatre Award and will be published by Currency Press in 2016.

Highway of Lost Hearts [published by Currency Press] premiered at the 2012 Darwin Festival to a sold out season, a 2013 return season, and 2014 three-month national tour funded by playing Australia.

Mary Anne’s feature screenplay Hopetown won the 2012 NT Literary Award Birch Carroll and Coyle Screenwriting Award, and Dragons won the 2010 Darwin Festival Best Script Award.

Mary Anne is a 2014 Churchill Fellow, member of the Australian Writers’ Guild Playwrights’ Committee and peer advisor to the Australia Council for the Arts. She holds a Masters of Philosophy [Creative Writing] from the University of Queensland, and a Masters of Arts Education [Theatre in Education] from UNE.


REVIEWS FOR HIGHWAY OF LOST HEARTS 2012 Darwin Festival, 2013 Browns Mart Theatre return season by demand, 2014 3-month national tour

“…an absorbing piece about loss and change, the importance of country and the power of a journey.” – The Canberra Times

“Mary Anne Butler’s unique one-woman play, “Highway of Lost Hearts,” proves to be one of the hidden gems in The Street Theatre’s winter season.” – City News

“…an excellent reminder of how good Australian theatre can be…” – Canberra Critics Circle

“…as humorous as it is gut-wrenching… Highway of Lost Hearts is a great piece of theatre.” – Lip Magazine

“A [Darwin] festival highlight …vivid, often hilarious… written and performed with great heart.” – NT News

“…the best piece of theatre I’ve seen in years.” – Nicole Beyer, Director, Theatre Network Victoria


“Butler writes with a toughness and energy that is somehow distinctly Territorian. She  [writes] about isolation and madness and the power of nature, these are big themes and… a powerful addition to the argument that some of our best theatre is coming from  regional Australia.” – Cairns Post

“Humour and pathos, black comedy and stark realism jostle each other continually [with] echoes of Ray Lawlerʼs Doll in its use of down-to-earth, pithy one-liners and its  gradual revelation of home truths that the characters will not admit either to  strangers or, most of all, themselves.” – Arts Nexus

“Very much Australian and very much an original play, make sure you go and see Halfway There.” – ArtsHub

“One hell of a yarn… an incredibly in depth look at another side of Australia, Half Way There takes the audience all the way.” – Cairns Sun

“The opening night audience loved the play, laughing heartily at times and listening so intently at others that you could have heard the proverbial pin drop. …a very  successful production – making for a memorable theatrical experience.” – Arts Nexus

Writing testimonials:

Mary Anne’s work is tough, intelligent and muscular with an intensity of passion that is balanced with a rigour, a discipline and an understanding of that craft….I am increasingly impressed by her talent – particularly the strength of her on-stage imagery. Her work is strong, emotionally profound and exhilarating in its theatrical realizations. – Peter Matheson, Dramaturg, NSW

I really like your writing… powerful and evocative, great to imagine… Really good to read, to know what you’re capable of!  …very impressed… – Sarah Watt, Writer/Director, Look Both Ways, My Year Without Sex

Mary Anne is one of the NT’s finest playwrights… She is adept at incorporating the psyche, sentiments and odd philosophies of NT characters into her work, utilising the style of `dark comedy’ which she is increasingly being renowned for… Her ability to portray the surrounding often dangerous and expansive landscape to dramatic effect is powerful and pertinent… – Dr Sandra Thibodeaux, EO, NT Writers’ Centre

Mary Anne is not afraid to explore disturbing human issues and in her humanity she finds humour, love, hope and the powerful resonances evoked by the vastness of the NT’s empty spaces. Mary Anne is an innovative and important new NT voice whose work has a crucial contribution to make to contemporary Territory identity. – John du Feu