2020 so far …
Suffice to say that 2020 is not shaping up as the year that any of us had planned – but here at MWT we are still enjoying a highly productive period of writing and theatre-making, and are looking to a big second half! Our year began on 5th March with our one-night International Women’s Day show The Best and Fairest – Celebration which will lead on to a theatrical Season of the same name. This has been rescheduled and will now be presented at Gasworks from 30th September – 15th October. On 30th October we will present VICTORIOUS 2020, an evening of rehearsed readings of scripts written in response to the current pandemic. This will be followed by MWT’s SEASON 2020, which showcases new monologues and short plays written by our members. SEASON 2020 will be presented from 12th – 21st November as part of Melbourne Fringe. Our annual In One Act creative development program will this year run from 13th June – 17th September. And in between, our monthly Workshops will keep your writing skills on track while giving you opportunities to connect with other MWT members and the broader theatrical community. As we wait for the lifting of government restrictions, we are enjoying presenting these workshops via Zoom video conferencing. All in all, we have managed to turn 2020 into a great year for playwrights! We invite you to be a part of our story.
This year our theatrical seasons will be presented at Gasworks Arts Park, while our monthly workshops, currently being conducted via Zoom video conferencing, will return to Kensington Town Hall once restrictions have been lifted. You are warmly invited to attend both.
The Best and Fairest – IWD Celebration
March 5 @ 7.30pm
The Best and Fairest – SEASON
September 30 – October 15 (rescheduled)
MWT SEASON 2020
The Metropolis Monologues
6 original monologues will be presented.
12 – 21 November
The City Park Plays
4 original short plays will be presented.
12 – 21 November
*Submissions for our Season 2020 closed on 30th April. Selected scripts will be announced on 15th June..
For details of forthcoming workshops and to register, please visit the EVENTS page
The Art of the Short Play
The Craft of the Monologue
Script Development Night – Feedback on scripts written at Feb and March workshops
A Bunch of Scripts #1 – Professional actors read your scripts
Script Markets – opportunities for scripts
SEASON 2020 – Script Meeting
Writers meet directors to discuss scripts
SEASON 2020 – Script Readings with Actors
Actors read scripts, followed by feedback
The Plays we Need to Read
What can we learn from reading a great script?
A Bunch of Scripts #2 – Professional actors read your scripts
An evening of Script Readings
How to edit and strengthen your script
2019 show photos, from top right:
Sarah Hamilton – Daring Dog Monologues
Giovanni Piccolo and Peter Logan – Beachside Stories
Del Jordan and Faran Martin – Six Degrees at a Hot Melbourne Market
Tony Manago – Beachside Stories
Fringe cast – Daring Dog Monologues
Photos by John A. Edwards
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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.