Elizabeth was selected for the NIDA Playwrights’ Studio while working as trainee script assistant on Home and Away, and has since balanced writing for television and theatre.
Elizabeth has written four full-length plays, including the smash hits Secret Bridesmaids’ Business and It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To), both of which broke box office records in their premiere Australian productions directed by Catherine Hill, and are still regularly performed over twenty years later. In addition to several major Australian productions and a national tour, Secret Bridesmaids’ Business has been produced in countries as diverse as the United States, Finland, Estonia, Turkey and Hong Kong. It was also adapted as a largescale musical in Japan. Secret Bridesmaids’ Business was nominated for the Drama Award at the 2000 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and spawned an ABC telemovie in 2002, which Elizabeth also wrote. It also inspired a six part drama series that screened on the Seven Network in 2019.
It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To) premiered at the 1993 Melbourne Comedy Festival and has since attracted over two hundred productions in Australia and internationally, including a national tour in 1995, a New York production starring F. Murray Abraham, and a twentieth anniversary national tour in 2013. Like Secret Bridesmaids’ Business, It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To) is still frequently performed by amateur companies throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Elizabeth also wrote This Way Up, which premiered in 2001, and Almost With You, which premiered in 2012 and was inspired by her late twin brother, Greg.
While at the NIDA Playwrights’ Studio she wrote the one act play Sometimes I Wish I Was Jana Wendt, which attracted several productions in Sydney and Melbourne. She earlier wrote the one act play, Civil Strangers.
Elizabeth would like to thank all the producers, companies and crews who have produced her plays and all the casts who have performed them, but as she doesn’t have space to mention everyone individually she thought it best not to get into specifics!
Praise for Elizabeth’s plays
It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To)
‘It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To) is a deathly black comedy at its most hilarious…’
Sydney Arts Guide
‘It’s My Party (And I’ll Die If I Want To) comes pretty damned close to getting ten out of ten.’
‘It has you laughing until you draw breath and think, hang on, was that funny? A true black comedy.’
Secret Bridesmaids’ Business
‘Secret Bridesmaids’ Business is terrific… this train smash of a wedding is a spectacle everyone can enjoy.’
‘A very funny play… A light-hearted exploration of the duty of friendship. Four stars!’
‘Coleman’s exciting new voice will be cause for celebration in theatres everywhere.’
The Australian Financial Review
This Way Up
‘This Way Up delivers comedy with true heart.’
The Cairns Post
Almost With You
‘Almost With You is a deeply heartfelt and very real story about grief and the process of healing… told with humour, sincerity and insight… Coleman has a knack for mixing the funny with the poignant in a way that makes it harder to laugh, not easier.’