From the Desk – June 2018


One of the best things about working for Melbourne Writers’ Theatre is that you get to launch a lot of new writers. The birth of a writer is possibly more satisfying than the birth of a new Australian play, these being MWT’s dual raison d’etres. The play is indeed the thing, but it can only be brought to life by a human being. Given that an intelligent, insightful, empathetic human being has the ability to write an intelligent, insightful and empathetic play, it’s exciting when you meet individuals who have perhaps not written a great deal but display admirable character traits. Our annual Season selection process always uncovers scripts with potential, but the adults who are attached to them are often the true cause for celebration. Given space, time and opportunities, most people can learn to write  – and given the wide range of tertiary writing courses now on offer, it is possible for more and more people to learn to write well – but there are currently no tertiary courses geared towards the creation of strong and spirited human beings, because these are qualities that are difficult to teach. It is said of creative talent that you either Have It or you don’t – the same could successfully be argued of character.

We are looking forward to working with the eleven writers whose scripts were recently selected for our Season 2018 productions, Six Degrees in Melbourne and The Melbourne Monologues. These writers range from highly experienced playwrights to new playwrights who are just commencing their journey. So their starting points are different, and what they bring to the script development process will differ from person to person depending on their talent, their tenacity, and the specific human characteristics that were either handed to them at birth or have become theirs through experience and adversity. The selected plays are all very different, and this is good. The writers have brought themselves to their writing.

We are also looking forward to meeting the sixteen writers who signed up for our intensive five-stage program In One Act. This will be the second year of this exciting creative partnership between Yarra Libraries and MWT, and it commences this Saturday 9th June at Bargoonga Nganjin. Again, the writers’ individual starting points vary greatly but their end points will be the same: the creation of a new theatrical work, a script that reflects who they are as a human being. We hope their journey over the next three months will be an enlightening and satisfying one, and we look forward to sharing it with them.


Clare Mendes
Company Manager
Melbourne Writers’ Theatre