Elizabeth Walley is an actor, writer, director, dramaturge, drama teacher and presentation
skills trainer. She has worked professionally in commercial radio, film and television, and
trained with Uta Hagen at the HB Studios in New York.
In 1993 her first short play, Commodities, was produced at the Covent Garden Theatre Club,
London, and in 1994 the play received a second season at the New End Theatre in
Hampstead. Whilst living in London, Elizabeth was engaged by Angus & Robertson to
dramatise the book G’Day: Teach Yourself Australian for a UK book tour. She later optioned
the book for television, and produced a pilot for the BBC.
Upon returning to Australia in 1995, Elizabeth established the theatrical partnership
Equipoise Productions, and staged an outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Measure For
Measure at the Northcote Amphitheatre. Her play Louder Than Words was produced at the
Carlton Courthouse in 1996 and at Chapel Off Chapel in 2000, and received a 3CR Best New
Australian Play Award.
Elizabeth’s acting credits include regular appearances in theatre, television drama and
commercials. She was most recently seen in Offspring.
Directorially, Elizabeth has worked with Alec Gilbert to devise his cabaret show Smart Alec
for the Butterfly Club. Together they launched the production company Double Garage in
2010. She has written, directed and performed in An Evening With Noel, a cabaret homage to Noel Coward, and both written and directed a number of productions for the Double Garage drama studio ‘Confidence for Kids’.
Elizabeth’s role as Resident Director of MWT sees her providing ongoing dramaturgy and directorial support to the writers and performers who participate in MWT’s highly popular script reading event Eat My Words! She also works with MWT’s writers in the development of their individual scripts. Her association with Melbourne Writers’ Theatre began in 2013, with the direction of a rehearsed reading of Sales Pitch by Clare Mendes. This went on to become the full-length play The Agreement, which she directed as the featured play in MWT’s 2015 season of new work, Page to Stage. As part of Page to Stage she also directed the inaugural season of The Melbourne Monologues. In October 2016 she directed the full-length play (The World Without :Birds by Christine Croyden), together with The Melbourne Monologues. Most recently, in June 2017, she directed Clare Mendes’ second play Trash Goes Down The River, which was performed at Bluestone Church Arts Space.
Elizabeth holds a Master of Creative Writing, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology), and is currently undertaking her PhD in Creative Writing. She is a full member of MEAA and British Equity.
The Melbourne Monologues 2016 – Writers
LOUISE BAXTER worked as a journalist and editor for ten years in her hometown of Perth. In 2010, she studied fiction and screenwriting in New York, but has since switched her focus to theatre, as the form better suits her writing strengths and creative ambitions (although film and short stories are still on the cards). This year, she moved interstate and joined the Melbourne Writers’ Theatre. Her monologue, The Man in the Moon, will be her first produced theatre piece.
‘The Man in the Moon explores the fragility of human existence through the eyes of a return astronaut. I first had the fleeting thought in 2012, when Neil Armstrong passed away, about how you’d re-adjust to ‘normal’ life after such a historic, defining experience. Particularly in 1969, at a time of such political and cultural revolution – it must have been jarring to witness the height of technological progress, and then having to endure the conservative views of the time. The Astronaut’s existential crisis is a heightened scenario, but I believe we can all relate to those feelings of fear and uncertainty.’
CHRISTINE CROYDEN is a Melbourne-based playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and author whose plays have been produced throughout Australia. Her latest play, The World without Birds, premiered in October 2016 at La Mama Courthouse. In 2011 Christine was awarded the inaugural Stage and Screen residency at Varuna and in 2012 she was the recipient of Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) scholarship. In 2014, she travelled to London with her script and lyrics for a new Australian musical The White Mouse: The Nancy Wake Story, for production soon. In London she was mentored by Mercury Musical Developments followed by a stint in Paris working on the craft of lyric writing with veteran American lyricist, Jack Robinson. Chris is the author of two novels for young adults and many published short stories, the Artistic Director of Melbourne Writers’ Theatre, and a graduate of The University of Melbourne. Christine particularly enjoys creating stories about strong women, like Miki in Tokyo Love Hotel, and plans to develop Miki’s story into a full-length play in the future.
‘The ‘love hotel’ represents the way Japanese society has always been one of performance and role-playing, from the proscriptive roles of good wife and salary man to the precision and detail of the ancient tea ceremony, Geisha and the ever-popular Karaoke. Miki sees defined gender roles and tradition disappearing in Japan but it is only when she brings her dodgy Australian husband back to Tokyo that she realizes she too must change, and give up on her idea of romantic love.’
ALISON KNIGHT was born in Manchester. She graduated from Birmingham University with a degree in English and subsequently completed a research degree on Henry James at Manchester University. Formerly an English teacher, she is now active in community theatre as a writer, director and actor. She has gained a number of awards and commendations for her plays and short stories.She writes in a wide variety of styles, from quirky comedies to darker psychological dramas. She recently published her first novel, Peter Stone, a mystery which explores the burden of the past and the complexity and fragility of human relationships.
‘I often draw inspiration from snatches of overheard conversation, finding comic potential in the life events and consequent anxieties that commonly beset us in middle age. The humour is heightened when people fail to realise the full implications of what they’re saying. In How does Your Garden Grow, Mary is intrigued by the new neighbour whose cucumbers and tomatoes are so much more impressive than husband Rodney’s. However does he do it, she wonders.The next time someone advises “Il faut cultiver notre jardin”, you might like to consider it more deeply.’
MAZZ RYAN has been involved in theatre in many capacities, from writing, acting, directing, back stage, lighting, sound, props & costumes and children’s theatre, since graduating from the University of Tasmania with a Performing Arts Degree in 2001. Returning to Melbourne in 2014 after a long stint travelling, she is now back in the swing of theatre and all it has to offer. She intends to continue writing, exploring and expanding her repertoire of work, and hopes you enjoy her exploration of family relationships in The Letter.
‘The Letter was written in response to the current climate in which our offspring are inclined to live at home longer and longer. Meanwhile their parents have the dilemma of helping them to financially secure their own homes, while at the same time encouraging them to be ‘responsible’ adults. This scenario is becoming more common – but who’s at fault and where does the responsibility lie?’
BRUCE SHEARER has written plays for adults and children which have been performed and published in Australia and overseas. They include Let’s Party and Quick Dispatch Centre (MWT, October 2011), Webley and Huxley Live the Life (MWT, October 2010), Esla and Frinz Go Partying (Short and Sweet Sydney, 2009, and Singapore, 2008), This Is Something Special and Not Yours, Not Yet (Sacramento Actors Centre, 2004), Broken Hearts and Good Sometime Everything (Radio National), Shock of White and I like it bright and clean (MWT, November 2014), Lift up your lazy legs (Fort Point Theatre Channel, Boston, Feb 2015) and Deadly Romance (Book of Love Geelong, March 2016). Bruce is a graduate of Melbourne University, Arts/Law and B.Litt and in 2009 completed RMIT’s Advanced Diploma in Professional Screenwriting.
The Visit – Ed has been struggling since Ailsa was rushed into hospital after having a turn. Ed and Prince are just getting through day by day and Ed is concentrating on one desperate hope, that Ailsa will, against all odds return home and life will return to their old routine which they love so well. Ed is visiting Ailsa every day trying to restore her spirits, but Ailsa has stopped responding and Ed is hoping and praying that somehow it can all turn out alright.
Humpster Dumpster – Humpty Dumpty has been gone for a long while. Humpty has been through some difficult times and had some serious disappointments on the wall, maybe even a spill or a fall. But now Humpty is back and all brand new as Humpster Dumpster the rapper with a whole new perspective on life. The Humpster Dumpster is loud, brash and bold, busting a whole lot of new moves in a new world of possibilities.