CJ McLean is a Sydney-based writer and performer. His work has appeared in Glam AdelaideInDailyBuzzcuts, Vaein Zine, and Rip It Up. 

CJ’s monologue ‘Changing Room’ appeared in ATYP’s The Voices Project 2016, All Good Things, and was later published by Currency Press in an anthology of the same name. He later adapted the monologue for ABC Radio National. Both productions were performed by actor Moreblessing Maturure.

CJ mounted his first cabaret show in the 2017 Adelaide Fringe, Love & AngerIn the same year, his short film won Best Film at the Adelaide 48-Hour Film Project.

He is the winner of the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s 2017 Young Playwrights Award for The River, a full-length LGBTQIA+ play for young actors. The play reading was developed with director Teddy Dunn, and read at the Dunstan Playhouse by actors Annabel Matheson and Matilda Bailey.


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, where he developed the 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.


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 is a contributing writer and reviewer for Glam Adelaide, and worked for the Adelaide Film Festival. 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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