Peta Murray began writing full time after her play, WALLFLOWERING, was workshopped at the Australian National Playwrights’ Conference in 1988. It premiered with Canberra Theatre Company in 1989, transferred to the Spoleto Festival, Melbourne in 1989 and then to Belvoir Street Theatre for the Sydney Festival in 1990. WALLFLOWERING has since been performed in New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA, Europe and all over Australia.
Peta’s award-winning plays for young people include SPITTING CHIPS, commissioned by Toe Truck Theatre Company in 1989 and an adaptation of Tim Winton’s BLUEBACK for Terrapin Puppet Theatre. Other works include THE PROCEDURE for Melbourne Workers Theatre, and SALT, winner of the Australian National Playwright’s Centre New Dramatists Award and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama. SALT premiered at Playbox in March 2001 and was then staged by Sydney Theatre Company starring Ruth Cracknell and Pamela Rabe. SALT has since had further productions in South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia and in the ACT.
Short works include ROOM for the Melbourne Writers’ Festival, and TWO HATS and SACRAMENT for Finucane and Smith’s Carnival of Mysteries. Commissioned works include THIS DYING BUSINESS, for Junction Theatre Company, Adelaide, in association with the Hospice Society, and THEY KEYS TO THE ANIMAL ROOM, about family violence, which went on to win the 1994 Gold AWGIE. In 2003 Peta wrote THE LAW OF LARGE NUMBERS, about women and gambling, for Mainstreet Theatre Company. The same year she was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to society and literature.
In 2012, Peta was awarded a Masters Degree in Playwriting from QUT. This gave rise to an epic new text, THINGS THAT FALL OVER: AN ANTI-MUSICAL OF A NOVEL INSISDE A READING OF A PLAY, WITH FOOTNOTES AND ORATORIO-AS-CODA which had its one and only performance at Footscray Community Arts Centre in 2014. In 2017 Peta was awarded a PhD from RMIT University, where she is now a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Media and Communication. Here she is bringing her playwriting and theatre-making skills to bear on the making of performed essays and secular rituals that counter ageisim and increase community agency in old age, and at end-of-life.