Peta Murray is an Australian writer. She graduated from Killara High School, Sydney in 1975, the same year as current principal Mark Carter. She graduated from the NSW School of Drama, and has a Diploma of Education from the University of Sydney. She began work as a high-school teacher of English and History, and involved herself in fringe and community theatre throughout her teaching career. In 1989, she began writing full-time. Best known as a playwright, she also writes short stories, and is a dramaturg, director and occasional teacher of writing. She currently[when?] resides in Melbourne.
Murray's play The Procrastinator was produced by the Griffin Theatre Company in 1981. Her best-known play, Wallflowering, was workshopped at the Australian National Playwrights' Conference in 1988, and has since had numerous productions in Australia and overseas. Her play Salt won the 2001 Louis Esson Prize for Drama in the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. Other works include Spitting Chips (an adaptation of Tim Winton’s Blueback), The Procedure and The Keys to the Animal Room produced by Junction Theatre Company in South Australia. Community theatre works include This Dying Business produced by Junction Theatre Company and The Law of Large Numbers by Mainstreet Theatre company in Mount Gambier. In 2006, she wrote Room, for Playworks and the Melbourne Writers Festival. In 2010 two ‘micro-plays’ featured in Finucane & Smith’s The Carnival of Mysteries at the Melbourne International Arts Festival. She is currently[when?] developing a new work for performance entitled Things That Fall Over: an (anti-)musical of a novel inside a reading of a play, with footnotes, and oratorio-as-coda.
Murray has won the following Australian Writers' Guild awards: 1990 – Spitting Chips, Theatre in Education/Community Theatre Category; 1994 – Keys to the Animal Room, Theatre in Education/Community Theatre Category, and Major Award Winner 1994; and 2000 – Blueback, Theatre for Young People.
In 2003, Murray was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to society and literature.
Murray also works as a freelance dramaturg and director, and has taught playwriting at the University of Melbourne, at RMIT University, and as co-facilitator of The Black Writers Lab for Ilbijerri Theatre. She has taught writing at the University of Western Australia Extension Service, and spent eight weeks as Writer in the Community at Araluen Centre for Arts and Entertainment in Alice Springs in 1991.
She is co-founder and Creative Consultant of The GroundSwell Project. Several of her plays are published by Currency Press. Her short stories have been published by Sleepers, and by Scribe. She is represented by HLA Management, Sydney.