Portrait of Hannie Rayson

Hannie Rayson

Hannie Rayson is a playwright and screenwriter best known for Hotel Sorrento.

Hannie Rayson has established a reputation for topical, complex dramas written with wit and insight. A graduate of Melbourne University and the Victorian College of the Arts, she has an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from La Trobe University.

Her plays have been extensively performed around Australia and internationally. They include Mary, Room to Move, Hotel Sorrento, Falling From Grace, Scenes from a Separation (co-written with Andrew Bovell), Competitive Tenderness, Life After George, Inheritance, Two Brothers, The Glass Soldier and The Swimming Club. She has been awarded two Australian Writers’ Guild Awards, four Helpmann Awards, two NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award as well as the Age Performing Arts Award and The Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award.

For television she has written Sloth (ABC, Seven Deadly Sins) and co-written two episodes of SeaChange. A feature film of Hotel Sorrento, produced in 1995, was nominated for ten Australian Film Institute Awards. In 1999 she received the Magazine Publishers' Society of Australia’s Columnist of the Year Award for her regular contributions to HQ magazine.

Hannie made playwriting history when Life After George was the first play to be nominated for the Miles Franklin Award. In 2006 and 2009 she was nominated for the Melbourne Prize for Literature, a prize for a Victoria-based writer whose body of published or produced work has made an outstanding contribution to Australian literature and to cultural and intellectual life.

She has recently completed a commission for the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York. Her new play is called Extinction.