DEVELOPING ARTISTS AND THEATRE
MTC supports the development of theatre artists, workers and companies in ways that contribute to both the health of the theatre industry and the particular requirements of MTC. As a text-based state theatre company, our specific needs are for mid-career writers and creative artists to help us present world class theatre.
Each year MTC provides:
• Full time employment and directorial opportunities for at least one Associate Director
• Paid commissions to between 3 and 7 writers
• Research grants for between 2 and 5 writers
• Dramaturgical support to all these writers
• Private reading and workshop opportunities for 3-6 plays
• Public readings of 3-6 plays
• Financial support for the Playwriting Australia’s national conference
• Paid assistant director opportunities for 2-4 directors
• Debut opportunities for many actors including young actors
• Debut opportunities for directors and designers
• In kind support for actor masterclasses
• In kind costume, props, technical and space support for small to medium sized companies
• Secondment opportunities for stage management, design, directing and arts management students from NIDA, VCAM, WAAPA and other tertiary training institutions.
In addition to these core activities, we have created other opportunities dependent on the interests of the Associate Directors who work with the Company.
• Julian Meyrick was interested in new writing and so we had an Affiliate Writers program for 5 years and the Hard Lines playwriting program
• Kate Cherry had a particular interest in directors and multicultural artists and so we had a program called Wings that supported this idea
• Aidan Fennessy is interested in young and emerging writers and directors and so we currently have a program that provides development opportunities for them.
Each year a number of actors make their debut with MTC and a number of under 30 year olds are cast in mainstage, education and development productions. For example, over the last 5 years:
* Excluding 12 children
We support and develop writers with both time, expertise and money. Since 2000, we have provided commissions, research grants and public play readings for 54 writers. In addition, we have given writers dramaturgical support as well as the opportunity to work with actors and writers in behind-the-scenes workshops.
Over the last 10 years, we have produced and presented 21 world premieres of full length plays plus six one act plays.
We believe that the best way we can provide development opportunities for mid-career directors is to give them work. Since 2000, the Company has provided full time long term paid employment plus development and leadership training for Kate Cherry (Artistic Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company) (2000–2004), Julian Meyrick (2002-2007), Peter Evans (Associate Artistic Director, Bell Shakespeare Company) (2007-2010) and Aidan Fennessy (2009-ongoing). Mr Phillips has also provided main stage directorial opportunities over the last 10 years for other mid-career artists including Marion Potts, Wesley Enoch, Craig Ilott, Sam Strong, Melanie Beddie, Adam Cook, Kate Gaul, Tom Gutteridge, Peter Houghton and Dean Bryant.
We provide work experience opportunities for tertiary students from around the country – and even occasionally from overseas. These students are studying undergraduate or post graduate courses in direction, design, stage management and arts management.
Each year Marshall Day Entertech offer a scholarship in honour of the late Denis Irving to a VCA production graduate to gain experience in their company and in MTC.
Each year, we help individual artists and small to medium sized companies in a variety of ways. It may be costumes or props, technical support or marketing advice, free or low cost rental of rehearsal or performance spaces. This supports enables young and emerging artists do their own work in an affordable way.
Companies that have had the chance to develop their work or present it in the Lawler in Southbank Theatre in recent years include Stuck Pig Squealing, Echelon Productions, Polyglot Puppet Theatre, Mutation Theatre and Fusion Theatre.
MTC would like to thank the Cybec Foundation, the Peter and Joan Clemenger Foundation, the Harold Mitchell Foundation and Marshall Day Entertech for their support of our development activities.