The magic of making theatre continues.

As we cross the halfway mark of 2021, there is a lot to look forward to at MWT and plenty of magical moments already behind us.

The year began with our long-awaited theatrical season THE BEST, THE FAIREST, THE FIRST which was necessarily rescheduled (twice!) due to the events of 2020 before being presented at Gasworks Theatre from 3rd – 6th March. This brand-new production was created as a celebration for International Women’s Day, and featured scripts and performances by MWT playwrights and actors. If you didn’t manage to see this uplifting season of theatre, you can check out some show photos and reviews HERE.

Our monthly workshops so far have been well-attended, and in 2021 we are offering a mix of face-to-face and Zoom events – so that all members can participate according to their preferences. The dates and details for our 2021 workshops are listed BELOW. We’d love to see you at one!

Our Page to Stage program, which sees MWT playwrights paired with experienced dramaturgs for the purpose of working intensively on their original full-length scripts, began in May and will conclude in November with the presentation of our 4 supported works. Read more.  Meanwhile, the In One Act program presented annually by MWT in partnership with the City of Yarra, is now underway, providing our 11 selected writers and artists with playwriting skills and knowledge and, we hope, some exciting new theatrical works to be shared with audiences in October.

2021 is indeed shaping up as another magical year for the playwrights and artists of Melbourne Writers’ Theatre. We invite everyone to join us on our creative journey.



In 2021, all monthly workshops will be presented on TUESDAYS from 7 – 9pm. Workshops will be delivered alternately via Zoom and at the Kensington Town Hall.. Full details regarding each of these workshops may be found on the EVENTS  page. At a glance, they are as follows:

Tuesday February 2
Workshop #1
Writing at Length – The Craft of the Full-Length Play
Kensington Town Hall
*This first workshop for 2021 was preceded at 6.30pm by the AGM.

Tuesday March 9  
Workshop #2
Writing at Length – The Craft of the Full-Length Play
*This time offered on Zoom

Tuesday April 6
Workshop #3
A Bunch of Scripts #1 – members’ plays are read and workshopped
*Kensington Town Hall

May 4
Workshop #4
Play Analysis – an in-depth discussion of a selected work
*Kensington Town Hall

June 8
Workshop #5
The Art of the Monologue
*Offered on Zoom

July 6
Workshop #6
The 2021 Monologue Soiree
*Offered on Zoom

August 3
Workshop #7
The Craft of the Short Play
*Offered on Zoom

September 7
Workshop #8
The 2021 Short Play Soiree
*Kensington Town Hall

October 4, 5, 6, 7
Nightly from 7pm – 9pm
Script Readings – Page to Stage 2021
*Offered on Zoom

November 9
Workshop #10 (Final)
*Kensington Town Hall


2020 show photos, from top right:
Marli van der Bijl – The Forgotten Return by Michael Olsen
Tim Clarke – The Wave by Lois Maskiell
Sue Rosenwax and Amir Rahimzadeh – Out of this World by Bruce Shearer
Lansi Feng and Kyle Roberts – Under a Rock by Mazz Ryan
Curtain call – The Metropolis Monologues
Curtain call – The City Park Plays
Season 2020 Show Poster

Photos by John A. Edwards



P a g e

t o           


 2 0 2 1


Q & A  with  MICHAEL OLSEN  ‘The Forgotten Return’ & ‘Sapling’

Michael’s monologue ‘The Forgotten Return’ and his short play ‘Sapling’ will both be performed in MWT’s Season 2020 (November 2020). We asked Michael for an insight into his playwriting life and journey.

Q. You have a lot of produced plays to your credit. Which of these would you describe as your favourite – and what makes it so?

Isn’t that like asking a parent who their favourite child is?  The parent is supposed to say they love all their children equally. In a sense I’m the same: I love all my plays equally—but even without a blowtorch to the soles of my feet there are some more equal than others.  My favourite pieces go back to the beginning: Cannibals of the Heart (eight scenes all based around the theme of betrayal); Double Tap (my first one-act play) about two young men about to graduate from assassin school; and of course Two Women & A Chair (because this one went around the world, was so theatrical, and was the first of my works to be published).

Q. Where does a play ‘start’ for you? With an idea, a character, a line, a question needing an answer – where?

A play can start from anything, anywhere, at any time.  You really need to be awake to all possibilities.  That’s why the notebook and pen are an essential part of this writer’s toolbox: it doesn’t really mean anything until it’s down on the page.  Once it’s down on the page, that’s when the hard work really begins.  As Hemingway once said: “The first draft of anything is shit.”

Q. Tell us about other jobs you have done in your life, and how they rank in relation to your role as a Playwright.

Nothing has equalled the role of writer.  I haven’t really seen myself having a career.  I have usually seen each of my jobs (public servant, administrator, factory worker) as a means to support my passion.  The challenge, as always, is to write the best you can, communicate the best you can, give an actor a challenge, hand over to a director a piece and say: “Make this work even better.”  The thrill is always to finally see and know your work is making that essential connection with the audience

Michael Olsen, pictured with his author photo at Daring Dog Monologues (November 2019)
A scene from Two Women and a Chair
A scene from
The Last Dance of the Plum Sisters

Photos supplied by Michael Olsen.

Read more Q&A by MWT Members and Resident Writers

Become an MWT Member

Meet writers, directors and actors, and get your work on stage!

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre

Established In

Members Joined

Scripts Edited

Plays Staged

Develop your script ideas with MWT

Our monthly Play Readings, script workshops and annual Monologue Soiree provide playwrights with the opportunity to develop and improve their scripts, with the aim of bringing them to life on stage.

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land, the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin Nation, and pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.