Creative, Ambitious and Headstrong.
One of Queensland Academies’ newest graduates, Samantha Hammond, is blazing a trail through the theatrical space as a playwright after receiving a number of recent industry awards. In particular, Samantha spent the better half of Year 11 (last year) perfecting her script, Pi in the Sky, before hitting the road to showcase her work at a number of festivals including, the Beenleigh Theatre Festival and the Brisbane Arts Theatre Drama Festival. The enticing script about the education system’s political environment landed her a slew of awards including the Queensland Theatre Companies Young Playwright’s Award – laying the groundwork for a very successful future in the arts.
Samantha’s decision to pursue a career in theatre started from a passion for creative writing as a kid, before gravitating towards playwriting in her early high school years. Upon graduation this month, she hopes to land a coveted spot at UQ’s Advanced Humanities course where she hopes to specialize in drama and international relations; an area Samantha is eager to explore in order to further her work and bring interesting political concepts onto the stage, and into the spotlight.
Like many young millennials, Samantha prides herself on being busy. Just this month the young creative has graduated, started writing her next piece, and picked up work within her Mum’s business, Writer on the Road. This position will see her co-host a summer program, a 3-day masterclass, and an online course, all before picking up University in the new year.
As part of her work with Writer on the Road, Samantha has developed a desire to bring theatre and writing to kids at a young age. Through a series of hands-on workshops she has been exposed to the importance of helping kids hold onto their confidence, develop new ways of thinking, and explore writing in groups rather than alone as has traditionally been the case. All in all, Samantha enjoys working in this space and seeing kids comfortable in their own skin.
When she isn’t working with Writers on the Road (or playing with her cat) however, Samantha is hard at work on her next piece set on Magnetic Island – a place close to her heart, where she spent time as a child before moving to Brisbane. She expects the piece to be finished by early next year so stay tuned! In the mean time if you’re interested to see what Samantha is up to over the holidays, head on over to http://writerontheroad.com/
SEVEN SPARK QUESTIONS
1. What are three words that describe you?
Indecisive, intense, introverted.
2. Who is a female role model for you and why does she inspire you?
There are so many women that inspire me – artists like Anne Bogart and Alison Bechdel, political activists like Sylvia Rivera, and, of course, my mum. But let me take a moment to introduce you to one of my favourite historical figures, Julie d’Aubigny. She was a French bisexual opera singer who challenged anyone who disagreed with her to a sword fight, and won. She once set fire to a convent in an effort to rescue a young female lover who had been committed to said convent by her parents. Truly an inspiration to us all!
3. What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received so far? Who was it from?
The quote by which I live my life comes, rather embarrassingly, from a picture book called ‘Santa Kid’, which I read obsessively when I was little. This quote is: “You’ve got to believe in something bigger than yourself.” My challenge in life and in art is bringing a sense of wonder and openness to everything that I do.
4. What is something you’re good at that people wouldn’t know about you?
Nany Drew computer games! A hard-earned skill – I used to make my sister play them while I watched because they were too scary.
5. What makes you happy?
My family, my cats, good books, reading fanfiction, creating theatre, leather jackets, denim jackets, mismatched socks, chocolate, long baths, libraries, exploring cemeteries, Brooklyn Nine Nine, Rosa Diaz, Rosa Diaz coming out as bisexual on Brooklyn Nine Nine, being overdramatic, John lock, playing cards, the colour purple, and the word ‘quagmire’.
6. When you’re having a bad day, what makes you feel better?
It depends on what kind of bad day it is… Sometimes it’s talking to my family, sometimes it’s belting songs at the top of my lungs, and sometimes it’s just lying on my bed and alternating between my book and sleeping.
7. Where do you see yourself in 5 years' time? And how do you plan to get there?
I’ve got several different life paths planned out – post-graduate study at Oxford, post-graduate study at the Victorian College of the Arts, skipping post-graduate study and emigrating to a mountain somewhere to write plays with my wife and my five cats, seeing Hamilton five times a week as a career… I’m still working out how to weave them together. Mostly I just want to go with the flow, exploring myself and my art form, and taking whatever opportunities come my way.