Ten new writers join MTC's Next Stage program

Melbourne Theatre Company announced the 2018 intake of its NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program, welcoming ten more writers to the $4.6 million play development initiative.

Ten new writers join MTC's Next Stage program


Commissions have been awarded to Louris van de Geer,Tom Holloway,Anchuli Felicia King,Joe Penhall, and co-authorsChris Ryan, Mark Leonard Winter & composerMegan Washington who join the program to develop new works for the stage.

In addition to the new commissions, three new writers-in-residence have joined the Company.Declan Furber Gillick,Melissa Reeves andChris Summers will begin their placements later this year.

MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said, ‘The calibre of writers involved in our NEXT STAGE program is nothing short of exceptional. It is with great pleasure that we announce the ten new writers and welcome them to MTC – some for the first time and some whom we’ve had the great fortune of working with before.

‘NEXT STAGE has infused MTC with a fresh creative energy and, as we enter the second year, the program is in full flight and firmly focused on its core intention of enhancing the Australian theatre landscape.

‘NEXT STAGE is a unique program that will reap benefits nationally. It is not designed to be MTC centric but rather to provide writers with the investment and support they need to produce their best work for Australia’s stages. Thanks to the donors and foundations who have provided the vital funding for this program, the future is bright for contemporary Australian playwriting.’

As the second year of the program commences, there are twenty writers under commission or in residency.

The three inaugural writers-in-residence,Dan Giovannoni,Natesha Somasundaram and Kylie Trounson, continue their placement with the Company, and have each been commissioned to write a new play. And the seven inaugural commissioned writers,Angus Cerini, Patricia Cornelius, Michael Gow, Benjamin Law, Joanna Murray-Smith, Ellen van Neerven andLeah Purcellhave each delivered first drafts and are progressing with workshops and developments.

MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program addresses the need for greater investment in Australian writers through increased resources dedicated to commissioning, workshopping and developing plays. The pioneering program allows MTC to both build on existing and foster new artistic relationships over the long-term and on a scale that was previously unattainable. The five-year, $4.6 million initiative was launched in 2017 and is co-funded by MTC and the donors and foundations comprising MTC’s Playwrights Giving Circle.

For more information about MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program visitmtc.com.au/NEXTSTAGE

Meet the NEXT STAGE writers.


Declan Furber Gillick
Dan Giovannoni
Melissa Reeves
Chris Summers
Natesha Somasundaram
Kylie Trounson


Angus Cerini
Patricia Cornelius
Louris van de Geer
Michael Gow
Tom Holloway
Anchuli Felicia King
Benjamin Law
Joanna Murray-Smith
Ellen van Neerven
Joe Penhall
Leah Purcell
Chris Ryan
Mark Leonard Winter
Megan Washington (composer)