CJ McLean is an Adelaide-based writer and performer for theatre and screen.

His creative work has appeared in InDaily, Vaein Zine and broadcast on Coast FM. In 2015, CJ participated in the Australian Theatre for Young People’s Fresh Ink Mentoring Program. He worked with playwright Nicki Bloom to produce two short plays, Bed Song and 3AM. In this same year, he attended ATYP’s National Studio at Bundanon, NSW. Over the course of the retreat, CJ developed a seven-minute monologue, Changing Room (under the mentorship of playwright Lachlan Philpott), that was selected to be a part of The Voices Project. The monologue was performed at ATYP’s Studio 1 in Sydney’s Rocks area, from the 3rd of February to the 20th, and published by Currency Press in an anthology under the same name. It was later broadcast on ABC Radio National’s program “Pocketdocs” in late 2016 under the same name.

In 2017, CJ mounted and sold out his first one-man cabaret show for the Adelaide Fringe, “Love & Anger”. The show explored themes of lost love and identity, and featured performances of Kate Bush and Tori Amos songs.

He has reviewed for the Adelaide Fringe’s 2015 and 2016 seasons, for Buzzcuts and Rip It Up respectively. In 2017 he began reviewing for Glam Adelaide.

In 2014, CJ attended Oxford University’s Creative Writing summer school, and studied with playwright Shaun McCarthy. He travelled to Guangzhou, China as part of the AsiaBound project in early 2015 to mentor Creative Writing students at Sun Yat-sen University’s South and Zhuhai campuses. Later that year, he completed his Honours in Creative Arts (Creative Writing) at Flinders University.

In 2015 CJ was nominated in the Express Media Awards for Best Piece Published in Buzzcuts, for his review for Zygosity (which can be read here). CJ received commendations in the South Australian State Theatre Company’s ‘Young Playwright’s Award’ competition for two of his unproduced plays; in 2010, for Call Me Lolita, and in 2013 for The Pink Elephant. In 2017 he was made the Senior Winner for his play The River. The play reading was developed with director Sarah Dunn, and publicly read at the Dunstan Playhouse by actors Annabel Matheson and Matilda Bailey. Later that year he contributed the screenplay for short film Don’t F*** With Mother, which won the Adelaide 48-Hour Film Project.

CJ currently works for the Adelaide Film Festival and Hybrid World Adelaide, and is looking forward to seeing these two festivals bring Adelaide to life in October and July, respectively.


For a condensed version of this bio, please contact CJ.


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