Page to Stage

 

PAGE TO STAGE is a six-month intensive dramaturgical program offered by Melbourne Writers’ Theatre. MWT is pleased to announce that the following MWT playwrights will have their new plays further developed from May – November 2022:

MAG O’BRIEN   
ALISON CAMPBELL RATE 
RICHARD MEALEY   
LOUISE HOPEWELL  

These playwrights will meet regularly with their partnering dramaturgs – Cathy Hunt, Brooke Fairley, Callum Dale and Elizabeth Walley – to develop their scripts through a process of collaboration, redrafting and workshopping with actors. The program will culminate in the public script reading event The Stage Door Readings, which we are excited to be presenting at Theatre Works on 12th and 13th November. We look forward to sharing these new plays with the MWT and broader arts community at this important event.

 

PAGE TO STAGE 2022 is generously supported with a grant from the Rodney Seaborn Playwriting Support Fund,

 

2022 SCRIPT SELECTOR: KEZIAH WARNER

Keziah is a playwright and dramaturg. She is an alumna of Melbourne Theatre Company’s Women in Theatre Program, Malthouse Theatre’s Besen Family Artist Program, Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre’s INK Program, Playwriting Australia’s Post-Production Program, and Soho Theatre’s Writer’s Lab, UK. She has won Sydney Theatre Company’s Patrick White Playwrights Award, been shortlisted for the Griffin Award, the Martin-Lysicrates Prize, the Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award and the Max Afford Award, and longlisted for Soho Theatre’s Young Writer’s Award. Credits include Poona (Next Wave, 2021), Control (Red Stitch, 2019), Help Yourself (MTC’s Cybec Electric, 2019), LuNa (VCA, 2019), and Her Father’s Daughter (Hotel Now, 2018). She is currently under commission at Malthouse Theatre with an adaptation of FW Murnau’s vampire classic Nosferatu and developing a new play as part of APT’s Duologue program.                                   Photo: Matto Lucas

 

 

SELECTION REPORT 

SELECTED
Only Human by Louise Hopewell
Ian’s Visit by Richard Mealey
Knife Edge by Alison Campbell Rate
Fucking Michigan by Mag O’Brien

HIGHLY COMMENDED
How to Come Out (But Not, Like, In a Gay Way or Anything) by Gabriel Fallen
Last Time by Lily Hensby
One Hot Brick by Johnny Bolger
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I was impressed by the range of submissions. There’s a full gamut of themes here and often with a
strong political engagement making the work feel timely.

The four scripts I selected stood out for a few reasons: understanding of dramatic action and
theatricality, skill with dialogue and an inherent voice or something to say. There’s a nice
range here across female and queer experience, family and romance, naturalism and more stylised
work. And addressing important themes of aged care, Covid, grief, financial hardship, divorce,
artificial intelligence – but all with moments of levity too. I was so pleased to find a sci fi! That take
felt really fresh and exciting.

Each of the scripts had something to recommend it and the faults were by no means consistent.
Perhaps the biggest area to improve was in the works that tended towards being discursive rather
than dramatic, without a propelling through line. I also noticed in the playwrights’ notes that they
were often hoping to be able to tie everything up neatly and I don’t think plays ever need to do that
– if I had one general note it would probably be to feel confident in making the bolder, darker
choices and letting audiences make their own judgements                    – Keziah Warner, May 2022.

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TIMELINE for the 2022 PROGRAM

STAGE 1: Selection        April
Submitted scripts are sent to our 2022 independent selector for reading, feedback and selection of scripts.

STAGE 2: Reading of scripts by Dramaturgs        May
Each playwright is paired with a dramaturg, with whom they will work closely on the further development of their script.

STAGE 3: Meeting between Playwright and Dramaturg     June
The playwright and dramaturg meet for a one-on-one discussion of the script.

STAGE 4: Playwright submits 1st revised draft to Dramaturg     July
Using feedback received at the Meeting, the playwright completes and submits a 1st revised draft of their script

STAGE 5: Feedback from Dramaturg     July
The dramaturg provides feedback on the 1st revised draft.

STAGE 6: Playwright submits 2nd revised draft to Dramaturg    August
The playwright completes and submits a 2nd revised draft of their script.

STAGE 7: Directors receive Scripts    September
The scripts are sent to Directors, who cast and prepare them for reading at The October Workshops

STAGE 8: The October Workshops    October
Closed workshopping of the scripts over four nights – attended by playwrights, dramaturgs, directors and actors
3rd – 6th October 2022    7pm – 9pm each night

STAGE 9: Playwright submits 3rd revised draft to Dramaturg    October
The dramaturg provides post-workshop feedback – the playwright completes and submits a 3rd revised draft.

 

STAGE 10: THE STAGE DOOR READINGS  November

The scripts are presented to audiences at Theatre Works on 12rh – 13th November 2022.
*This public presentation will include a Q&A with the playwright and dramaturg.

 

 

A reflection on PAGE TO STAGE 2021

From the Program Coordinator, Clare Mendes

 


I’d like to sincerely thank the four creative teams who brought our four new scripts to life in The Salon Readings. Thank you also to the audience members who tuned in each night – it was great to have you there for the first-ever presentation of these works, and we hope you also enjoyed the nightly Q&A with our playwrights and their mentoring dramaturgs. 

The following new works were presented at The Salon Readings:

Monday 15th November
‘The Jasmine Suite’
Writer: Michael Olsen
Dramaturg: Brooke Fairley
Director: Mazz Ryan
*Why did Michael write this script? Watch the Q&A..

Tuesday 16th November
‘Tatiana, Dragon and Friend’
Writer: Inna Tsyrlin
Dramaturg: Cathy Hunt
Director: DB Valentine
*Why did Inna write this script? Watch the Q&A.

Wednesday 17th November
‘Agenda Conversation’
Writer: MJ Wilson
Dramaturg & Director: Elizabeth Walley
*Why did M J write this script? Watch the Q&A.

Thursday 18th November
‘Blackspot Hotspot’
Writer: Bruce Shearer
Dramaturg: Callum Dale
Director: Alec Gilbert
*Why did Bruce write this script? Watch the Q&A.


If you are interested in talking to any of these writers
or reading or commissioning any of these scripts,
please contact MWT at melbournewriterstheatre@gmail.com