The Diotima


Wise Women:

Philosophy, Drama

and the female Voice

Workshop 25 March 2023

Why is philosophy so male-dominated?

Bust of Juno Illustration

'The Diotima Prize' aims to use drama to focus on this question and redress the imbalance.

With money from the Australian Research Council, three one-act play submissions will win $5,000 each and have their plays presented as a staged reading, during a culminating event in 2024.

The ancient Greeks invented a new way of writing philosophy as a dramatic conversation. Yet women were rarely allowed to join the stage in ancient philosophical dramas. Dawn LaValle Norman's research, funded by the Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) project “The Female Voice in Ancient Philosophical Dialogues”, probes the historical roots of women's marginalisation in philosophical conversations from the Greek tradition into the modern day.

We will be running a workshop in the first half of 2023 that will provide provocations from the ancient world to inform modern one-act plays that reflect on the relationship between gender and the life of the mind.

The Diotima Prize will bring new voices onto the philosophical stage by supporting the creation of dramatic works that inspire us to rethink what it means to be a philosopher.

The Diotima Team

Dawn is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Religion and Critical Inquiry at Australian Catholic University. She is an expert on the ancient and late antique Mediterranean worlds, and is working specifically on the role that women play in ancient Greek philosophical dialogues as part of her DECRA. Educated in the USA, she completed a postdoc at Oxford, before coming to ACU in 2017.

yogashree thirunavukarasu

Yogashree (she/her) is a 2019 graduate of LASALLE College of the Arts’ Diploma in Performance program. She is an actor, playwright, poet and singer. Based in Melbourne from 2020, she graduated from Deakin University’s Bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama) in 2022. Yogashree also wrote and directed an original show, Unestablished, (September 2022) in Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Drama Studio, as part of her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) creative practice project.

Jamaica is a writer based in Melbourne/Naarm.

Her plays have been presented by and developed through NIDA Melbourne, La Mama Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company and Darebin Arts Speakeasy. She was a participant in MTC’s Women in Theatre Program, 2020; a creative in residence at the Centre Pompadour, France, 2019; and a writer in residence with Lonely Company, 2016. She has a Master of Writing for Performance from the VCA.


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March 2023: writing Workshop

Research-based writing workshop for interested playwrights at the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne Campus

April 2023: Submissions due

Playwrights submit 10 page excerpt and synopsis of a play developed from the writing workshop. Only playwrights who attended the workshop are eligible to submit. Due 26 April

June 2023: winners announced

Three winning submissions selected by judging panel

December 2023: plays completed

Three winners complete their drafts and receive their $5,000 prize

july 2024: Staged readings

Plays presented as staged readings as part of a conference at Australian Catholic University

Judging Panel

Chong-Gossard is an expert on women in ancient Greek tragedy, and is Professor of Classics at the University of Melbourne.

Cole works at the intersection of Classical thought and experimental theatre. She has extensive experience as a dramaturg and theatre consultant in the UK and will soon take up the role of Senior Lecturer in Drama at the University of Queensland.

Internationally renowned actor, writer and Classicist, Montgomery Griffiths is currently the Head of Performing Arts at Collarts.


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