MTC announces three new writers-in-residence and seven new commissions

Now entering the third year of the program, 25 writers have been commissioned or are in residence with Melbourne Theatre Company.

MTC announces three new writers-in-residence and seven new commissions

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25 workshops have been held to further the development of 16 plays and the first NEXT STAGE Commission to be staged, Golden Shield by Anchuli Felicia King, opened as part of Season 2019.

For 2019, Elise Hearst, Andrea James and Phillip Kavanagh join the Company as writers-in-residence while new commissions have been awarded to Van Badham,Aidan Fennessy,Dan Giovannoni and Anchuli Felicia King. In addition, the 2018 resident writers Declan FurberGillick,Melissa Reeves and Chris Summers have also been commissioned to write new plays as they continue into the second year of their residencies. 

MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program addresses the need for greater investment in Australian writers through increased resources dedicated to commissioning, workshopping and developing plays. The pioneering program allows MTC to both build on existing and foster new artistic relationships over the long-term and on a scale that was previously unattainable. The five-year, $4.6 million initiative was launched in 2017 and is co-funded by MTC and the donors and foundations comprising MTC’s Playwrights Giving Circle.

The five year program involves a $4.6 million investment, $2.3 million from the visionary donors of MTC’s Playwrights Giving Circle, complementing $2.3 million contributed by MTC, and will:

  • provide a total of 50 residencies and commissions
  • commission a minimum of 35 new plays, with flexibility in commission fees to allow writers additional time and resources to write;
  • engage up to 15 playwrights as writers-in-residence for up to three years; and
  • increase resources to workshopping and developing plays going through to production to ensure that they have been afforded every level of creative scrutiny and artistic support in making the finest possible work.

Embedding writers in theatre companies has been shown to be the most successful model for the development of British and American playwriting – with the Royal Court Theatre, the National Theatre of Great Britain, New York’s Public Theatre and Signature Theatre all utilising this model to develop some of the most renowned playwrights in the world.

For more information about MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program visit: mtc.com.au/NEXTSTAGE

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