Queensland playwright and USQ Theatre graduate Steve Pirie has converted his time as a funeral director into an award-winning play that has gained national acclaim.
Set in Toowoomba – Mr Pirie’s hometown –Return to the Dirt is the stage adaption of the playwright’s experience of returning to Australia after travelling abroad and, after a series of dead-ends, finding himself working for a local funeral home.
The playwright’s clever wit and gentle humour have earned the play the 2020 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award.
'Ultimately the play is a celebration of finding your place in the world, the power of personal redemption and humility at the end of all things,' Mr Pirie said.
'USQ nurtured the skills I needed to pursue my career on stage,' Mr Pirie said.
'The importance of relationship building, and industry connectedness were instilled in us from the very beginning, so by the time I left, I already had a presence in the industry.'
Mr Pirie said that USQ gave him many opportunities to continue nurturing his craft beyond the lecture rooms and out into the auditorium.