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 MWT writer Louise Hopewell
Q. You are relatively new to playwriting, but an experienced writer beyond plays. Tell us a bit more about this.
Having had all the creativity educated out of me, I made a conscious decision a few years back to start living more creatively. Since then I’ve dabbled in a range of different writing forms and styles. I’ve had some short stories and flash fiction published and I also write a lot of haiku—that’s modern image-colliding haiku, nothing like the formulaic 5-7-5 form kids learn in primary school. I’m a passionate theatre-goer, but had never considered writing a play until a friend told me about the In One Act program run by Yarra Libraries and Melbourne Writers Theatre. I participated in this program in 2018 and now I’m hooked on the short play form. I also enjoy writing songs and one day I’d love to have a go at writing a musical.
Q. How does writing a play specifically challenge you?
Telling a story predominantly through dialogue is a real challenge and I’ve found myself grappling with how to convey the characters’ backstories and inner worlds. Also, playwriting is a very collaborative process and I’ve had to open myself up to receiving public feedback on my work. The robot character, Scamp, did not have an active role in the first draft of The Future of Organics. At the script’s first outing—a MWT script development session—I got the feedback ‘we want to see the robot.’ I went home with absolutely no idea how I was going to write a robot character into my play, however I gave it a go and feel my play is stronger (and funnier) as a result. Finally, I’ve learnt that theatre is a team effort and, as a writer, I have to let go of my work. I’ve handed my script over to the talented Melbourne Writers’ Theatre directors and actors who will make it their play too. I can’t wait to see what they do with it!
Q. What will audiences feel when they watch your short play The Future of Organics?
In The Future of Organics, Scamp is an adorable, highly huggable robot, but he has a dark side too. I want audiences to be entertained but I also hope they leave the theatre reflecting on the type of society we want to create for future generations and the role of artificial intelligence in that future.
The Future of Organics will be performed in Six Degrees at a Hot Melbourne Market, which will run at Gasworks Arts Park from November 13 – 23.