2016:
ANOTHER
PRODUCTIVE
WRITING
YEAR

We kicked off with ‘Let’s Start a Play’ and ended the year with a season of new plays. We did three Eat My Words script development workshops, two rehearsed readings of new works and a mid-year fundraiser that also saw the presentation of new works. We invited submissions for our 2016 season, creating an opportunity for one original, unproduced full-length play and six original, unproduced monologues to be brought to life on stage at La Mama Courthouse.

Along the way, we provided script advice to our members, performance opportunities to both regular and new actors and gave local theatre lovers the chance to come along and see the exciting work we are creating at Melbourne Writers’ Theatre.

At right, a moment captured during an Eat My Words script workshop (6th June 2016 – Emma Cox pictured). Bottom right, a scene from The World Without Birds (26th Oct – 6th Nov … Margot Knight and Charlotte Fox pictured). They represent the two ends of MWT’s business, our purpose, our reason for existence since our inception in 1982 – the development of our members’ scripts from Page to Stage.

We look forward to continuing the journey with you in 2017.

Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.

The committee of Melbourne Writers’ Theatre

 

Photos courtesy of
JOHN EDWARDS

To see photos from Page to Stage 2016, click here and here

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Q & A       with MWT member ALISON KNIGHT

Q. You hail from Manchester and have a background in teaching. Have either your origin or your earlier career influenced the way in which you write – eg. the subjects you tackle?

A. In common with many English people, I love humour that contains an element of absurdity, especially as reflected in everyday life. Teaching has allowed me to observe a wide spectrum of humanity within a confined setting that serves to intensify the attendant dramas. The fact that you can declaim a Shakespearian soliloquy with the same degree of passion with which you might assert territorial rights over a filing cabinet has always struck me as being ripe with comic potential.

Q. Tell us about the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write (or, if that’s too hard, the piece of writing you’re proudest of)

A. I’ve had a number of challenging assignments – cutting “King Lear” down to 75 minutes, for instance! However, the most difficult piece I have written was my novel, “Peter Stone”. Some parts involved synthesising a fair amount of research before moulding the details into a form that was both literary and historically accurate. The revision process was a grind. I reworked many sections following advice from a manuscript assessor. I axed 8,000 words (that hurt!) and added 13,000. And then there was the nit-picking phase: fixing the typos, checking for consistency of detail and ensuring that I hadn’t overused particular words. But there comes a time when you’ve done the very best you can – and then you have to let it go.

Q. What do you want audiences to take from the monologue “How Does Your Garden Grow”?

A. A stern moral imperative: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s cucumbers.”

PHOTOS: Alison Knight (top) and a scene from Committed (2016).

 

Read more Q&A by MWT Members and Resident Writers ALISON KNIGHT

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