MTC takes the future very seriously. We are always looking for plays that we might produce over the next few years – that is, of course, our core business – but we also must look to the artists who will be the future leaders of this discipline, and also of Australian culture.
With Melbourne’s demography changing so rapidly, and with the entertainment possibilities so varied here in Melbourne, we are very aware that our repertoire of plays and our opportunities for the gifted must stand out.
And Cybec Electric, which just concluded in the Lawler and was supported by the Cybec Foundation, showed MTC at its most forward-thinking and accessible. The plays traversed topics as disparate as online dating, bio-ethics, the history of tea, the Sri Lankan civil war, and a re-imagining of the moment before the white colonisation of Australia. The style and theatrical form of each of the plays was as varied as the plays’ themes, from the shockingly innovative, to the epic and sumptuous, to a heart-warming re-working of the domestic dramas with which we are so familiar. Plus, three of the five plays were written by women, four were directed by women, four of the interns were women (and all recent VCA graduates) and three of the casts were almost entirely non-Anglo.
What was especially heartening about Cybec Electric was to see Melbourne respond in such large numbers. Six readings were completely sold out. Nearly fifteen hundred people came, plus we put on an extra (sold out) show for a schools audience. Over the season we ran at 85% capacity – for readings, not full-scale productions. This is unprecedented for the Cybec readings series and reveals a Melbourne interested in seeing talent, imagination and ambition and meet on the MTC stage.
MTC Literary Director
Cybec Electric was a series of five play readings held at Southbank Theatre, the Lawler from 6 to 22 February.