Canberra playwright Joanna Richards' forthcoming play is titled You Can't Tell Anyone.
Since the play has not been completed, and she doesn't want to reveal the twists, we can't tell you much about it.
But we can tell you that Richards, 27, was chosen as the recipient of Canberra Youth Theatre's inaugural Emerging Playwright Commission, worth $16,200.
She will also receive dramaturgical support and a creative development workshop of her play, collaborating with a director and actors to get it to a performance-ready draft.
Although Richards had written a web series, television pilots and comedy sketches, she said, "I was pretty ecstatic ... This is my first proper commission".
You Can't Tell Anyone is set at an end-of-high-school party. Gwen, who's hosting, says the price of admission is that each fellow teenager has to write down a secret they're keeping for someone else at their school and drop it in a bucket.
But the secrets will come out eventually.
It's a situation rife with comedic and dramatic possibilities and moral issues.
Knowing that she's a decade or so older than her characters, Richards was looking forward to collaborating with adolescent actors who will help her create an authentic contemporary atmosphere. But while fashions, language and technology might change - the last affecting the way people communicate with each other - a lot of issues and experiences remain the same over the generations.
Richards combined the personal with the universal in You Can't Tell Anyone.
"It's based on my experience of being a teenager," she said.
Experiences such as a first love and first betrayal and the feelings these evoke were both unique to the individual and relatable.
Everyone goes through the stormy passage of adolescence, trying to form an identity and present themselves to the world
"It's the first time you have an independent problem and don't run to mum: you want to deal with it yourself."
Richards studied with the Moscow Art Theatre School, the American Repertory Theatre Institute, and The Groundlings. She is a PhD candidate conducting research on gender theory, political theory, and language philosophy and this work has informed her play.
"I'm interested in the power of what we don't say - keeping someone's secret is essentially having some sort of power over them," she said.
"You Can't Tell Anyone explores what it means to be yourself and what it means to be a friend. Drawing on philosophical concepts, the piece will challenge our understandings of truth and deception, empathy and selfishness, and the extent to which we have control over how we are seen."
Canberra Youth Theatre's artistic director, Luke Rogers said the judging panel - including him, two playwrights and two young people - chose Richards' play from more than 50 entries.
"It was really strong," he said, adding that the ideas resonated particularly with the young people on the panel.
"There's a real intelligence to the work."
He said the commission was intended to nurture an emerging playwright's professional growth by investing in artistic development at an early stage.
You Can't Tell Anyone will undergo a development process of about 12 months and might be produced after that.
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