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

His work has appeared in InDailyBuzzcuts, Rip It Up and Glam AdelaideCJ’s monologue ‘Changing Room’ appeared in ATYP’s Voices Project 2016, All Good Things, and was later published by Currency Press in an anthology of the same name, and adapted for ABC Radio National. CJ mounted his first cabaret show in the 2017 Adelaide Fringe, Love & AngerIn the same year, he won the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s Young Playwrights Award for The River, and his short film won Best Film at the Adelaide 48-Hour Film Project 


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 seven-minute monologue Changing Room (under the mentorship of playwright Lachlan Philpott).

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.

CJ was nominated in the Express Media Awards for Best Piece Published in Buzzcuts, for his review for Zygosity (which can be read here). He received commendations in the State Theatre Company of South Australia’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.


CJ completed his Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing), with Honours, at Flinders University in 2015. During this time, CJ attended Oxford University’s Creative Writing summer school, and studied with playwright Shaun McCarthy. He also 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.

He was a contributing writer and reviewer for Glam Adelaide, and worked for the Adelaide Film Festival and Hybrid World Adelaide. He currently works for the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

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


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