The magic of making theatre continues.

As we head towards the culmination of some of our 2021 theatrical projects, there are some special events to look forward to – with 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 have been well-attended, and we hope you were able to attend some of them – if not, you can check out what you missed BELOW.  Excitingly, the final three workshops for 2021 will be delivered by Naomi Sumner, our UNESCO City of Literature virtual Playwright-in-Residence. You can read about Naomi, her work and her first workshop, to be presented online on Monday 25th October, HERE. This fantastic opportunity is for MWT members only.

Our Page to Stage program, which over a six-month period has seen MWT playwrights paired with skilled dramaturgs for the purpose of working intensively on their original full-length scripts, began in May and will conclude with the showcasing of our four supported works from 15th – 19th November. You can read more about The Salon Readings here and you can meet our 2021 Playwrights and Dramaturgs here. Meanwhile, the In One Act program presented annually by MWT in partnership with the City of Yarra is also entering its final exciting stages, with the short plays written by our 2021 Participants to be shared with audiences on Tuesday 19th October. If you’d like to attend this Webinar event, refer to the log-in details on our In One Act 2021 page.

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

 

2021 CALENDAR

In 2021, our monthly workshops have been delivered at the Kensington Town Hall and on Zoom.. 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
*Moved to Zoom

July 6
Workshop #6
The 2021 Monologue Soiree
*Moved to Zoom

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

September 7
Workshop #8
The 2021 Short Play Soiree
*Zoom

 

MONDAY OCT 25, NOV 8 & 22

A series of workshops to be presented by NAOMI SUMNER
(UNESCO Playwright-in-Residence)
7PM – 9PM on ZOOM

Monday 25th October
Workshop #1 – Autobiographical Writing

Monday 8th November
Workshop #2 – Creating Verbatim Theatre

Monday 22nd November
Workshop #3 – Selling your Script

 *** MWT members, click HERE to visit the Events page, where you can register for these workshops!

 

15 – 18 NOVEMBER

PAGE TO STAGE 2021:
The Salon Readings 

These Readings represent the culmination of this 2021 program.
They will be presented nightly on Zoom at 7pm – 9pm as follows:

Monday 15th November
‘The Jasmine Suite’
by Michael Olsen

Tuesday 16th November
‘Tatiana, Dragon and Friend’
by Inna Tsyrlin

Wednesday 17th November
‘Agenda Conversation’
by MJ Wilson

Thursday 18th November
‘Blackspot Hotspot’
by Bruce Shearer

 *** Click HERE to visit the Events page, where you can register to attend The Salon Readings ***

 

2020 show photos by John A. Edwards

 

P a g e

t o           


STAGE

 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

Photos:
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

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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.

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