In One Act 2018

The state-of-the-art library space that is Bargoonga Nganjin, North Fitzroy Library, has once again opened its doors for IN ONE ACT, a creative partnership between Yarra Libraries and MWT that gives new and emerging playwrights from the City of Yarra and beyond the opportunity to immerse themselves in an intensive five-stage writing program.

Facilitated by MWT’s resident director Elizabeth Walley, IN ONE ACT is, remarkably, a free program. This ensures that everyone has the opportunity to participate. Having said that, participants are expected to work solidly from the first workshop on 9th June to the final event on 13th September – submitting pieces of writing as required, sharing their writing as a group, and ultimately producing a script that can be read by actors in front of an audience.

This is the second year of IN ONE ACT. A highlight of this year’s program will be the inclusion of a Playreading Workshop on 11th August. On this day, participating writers will listen as their scripts are read and workshopped by MWT actors in preparation for presentation at one of two Reading Performances. The first of these will be held on 10th September at MWT’s theatrical home, La Mama Courthouse, while for the second and final event writers, MWT actors and audience members will return to the beautiful space of Bargoonga Nganjin to enjoy more of the scripts created during this year’s program.

Below are some snaps taken at Workshop #2 on 14th July, where Elizabeth Walley led participants through a series of creative warm-up activities before moving onto an afternoon of brainstorming, discussion, and writing exercises.

And here are some photos from the Script Workshop held on 11th August – a valuable opportunity for writers to see their scripts come to life hear their scripts come to life in the hands of professional actors Claire, Alec, Karissa and Charlie, and to listen to feedback from both the actors and other program participants. This feedback will be used to redraft their scripts in preparation for the Performance Readings that will be held on 10th and 13th September. (Photos: Eliza Coyle)


In One Act 2018 ended with two public Play Readings of ten scripts that had been created and workshopped during the program. A last-minute venue change for the Play Reading held on Monday 10th September did not appear to deter anyone, with a large audience coming along to the Kathleen Syme Centre in Carlton to celebrate the following writers and their scripts:

‘The Morning Express’ by Sophia Dickinson
‘A Perfect Plum’ by Mare Maticevski
‘Her Mother’s Daughter’ by Nola Frawley
‘Listen’ by Louise Riseley
‘Anything But Gas-Filled Balloons’ by Miranda O’Connell-Lever

On Thursday 13th September we returned to Bargoonga Nganjin in Nth Fitzroy to enjoy scripts from the following writers:

‘Other Movies, Other Studios’ by Tom Wade
‘Lobster Season’ by Anna Gould
‘White Plight’ by Sharlene Kuruppuarachchi
‘Hoarding’ by Samantha Napier
‘Yoga For Seniors’ by Adele Shelley

Thank you to participant Louise Risely for supplying a couple of photos from the first Play Reading:

It was gratifying to see so many of the In One Act writers supporting their fellow writers by attending on both nights. A special camaraderie between writers was evident, from start to finish, in this year’s In One Act program. This resulted in scripts that were strong, and had clearly undergone the intensive workshopping that is only possible with honest feedback and regular collaboration, but perhaps an outcome just as pleasing was the development of friendship and writing networks between these new playwrights. Some of you have already begun to use your In One Act experience as a ‘jumping-off’ point from which to explore further avenues for writing for the stage; for others, the In One Act program will lead to another writing course, an increased interest in theatre, or simply the creation of a new script! Some participants will go on to join Melbourne Writers’ Theatre, and take advantage of the many opportunities this organisation provides for the development and performance of new Australian plays by local writers.

Wherever your In One Act experiences leads you next, we hope you all enjoyed your creative journey! We look forward to the opportunity to present In One Act again, in partnership with Yarra Libraries, in 2019.

Company Manager
Melbourne Writers’ Theatre

Melbourne Writers’ Theatre gratefully acknowledges the support of Yarra Libr’aries and the City of Yarra in the creation and delivery of this year’s IN ONE ACT program.