From the Desk – October/November 2023


On MWT’s ever-widening pool, and the talent that swims within


1One of the many privileges of running Melbourne Writers’ Theatre is the vast number of people you get to meet each year. Playwrights, dramaturges, directors, and actors, actors, actors – such as Kristina Benton (pictured). With each program we deliver, each production we present, more new creatives arrive, each one landing in our inbox as a name and a contact detail. For Gasworks Script Lab, which last week culminated in two Showcase Nights with a third to come, we had a team of 35 – in Page to Stage the total number is 40, most of these to reveal the breadth of their talents, to Us, in The Stage Door Readings, these being the culmination of the Page to Stage program. It can be slightly daunting to meet whole groups of actors you have only e-met, and as a name and a contact, and when they read scripts as beautifully as they do you see that they are a name, and contact detail, backed by a very rich life, with some heavily in demand as artists, as are the dramaturges and directors we engage for these dramaturgical programs. We are always grateful when they say ‘Yes’, and I’m always excited to see who the directors themselves engage to work on the scripts we give them. Suffice to say that there are talented artists living in every corner of this state – and we love it when they come and work for us.


MWT is growing, and if you have ever written, directed or performed for us then you are an intrinsic part of that growth. If you are swimming somewhere else at the moment we view that as an achievement,, and we also love it when you dabble your toes in the MWT pool again or just dive right into one of our projects. The provision of opportunities to playwrights and the artists who support them, and the creation of tangible pathways for everyone who enters our doors, are dual goals of this organisation – they drive our daily activities and make our annual calendar as vast and productive as it is. The additional support we receive from our creative partners and grant-makers makes these goals both easier and more pleasurable to pursue than they might otherwise been. To this end, I would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Cybec Foundation for this year’s Gasworks Script Lab Showcase Nights, and also City of Melbourne Arts Grants for their forthcoming support of Scripts @ The Dock.

We couldn’t do what we do without the many artists who join us each year – talented people on exciting trajectories, who step aside from their daily lives for a month, or just a moment, to come and work for Us – so Thank You.


In creativity,

Clare Mendes
Company Manager
Melbourne Writers’ Theatre