Supporting our commitment to fostering the professional development of Australia’s next directors.

The MinterEllison Future Directors Initiative creates career pathways for aspiring theatre directors, contributing to both Melbourne Theatre Company's ongoing investment in local artists and to the sustainability of the arts sector.

Providing paid placements for assistant directors to work alongside senior theatre directors on a Melbourne Theatre Company production, the Initiative provides an invaluable opportunity for participants to learn about the process of developing productions for large-scale companies and will encourage fresh, new voices and perspectives to the stories we tell in the future.

Each assistant director will gain practical experience, hone skills and develop relationships that will support taking the next steps in their careers.

Learn more about past participants here. 


Major Partner 

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Artwork for Kamarra Bell-Wykes

Kamarra Bell-Wykes


Kamarra Bell-Wykes (Yagera/Butchulla) is a playwright, director, dramaturg, devisor, facilitator, performer, creative curator, community developer and education consultant. Kamarra served as ILBIJERRI Theatre’s education manager and creative director from 2014-2019 and Malthouse Resident Artist 2020-2022. Writing and directing credits include Because the Night (Malthouse Theatre), The Score, Scar Trees, Viral, North West of Nowhere, Body Armour, Chopped Liver, Shrunken Iris (ILBIJERRI), Crying Shame (Next Wave) and Mother’s Tongue (Yirra Yaakin). In 2020 Kamarra and Carly Sheppard became co-artistic directors of A Daylight Connection, a motley crew of independent theatre-makers dedicated to smashing performance binaries. Their credits include Chase (Malthouse Theatre/Hot House) and A Nightime Travesty (Yirramboi). In 2023 Kamarra directed A Daylight Connection double-bill featuring Whose Gonna Love Em? I am that I AM and Chase at Malthouse Theatre. She was awarded the Patrick White Award for Whose Gonna Love ‘Em? I am that i AM (Footscray Community Arts Centre/ILBIJERRI) in 2021.

Artwork for Jennifer Sarah Dean

Jennifer Sarah Dean

The Almighty Sometimes

Jennifer Sarah Dean trained at the Guildford School of Acting and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. She is the artistic director of the Melbourne Shakespeare Company and has directed ten of their productions including Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night. Other theatre credits include resident director for the Australian tour of Moulin Rouge! The Musical (Global Creatures); The Haunting (Athenaeum Theatre); a site-specific production of Festen (Ripponlea Ballroom); Travesties (fortyfivedownstairs); LOW (Theatreworks). She was also co-director on the first Australian national tour of Ghost Stories with Peter Snee. Jennifer has directed a number of productions in the UK including Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the worldwide premiere of In the Loop, and the national tour of Pop Up Panto. Jennifer is represented by Ian White Management.

Artwork for Afsaneh Torabi

Afsaneh Torabi


Based in Melbourne, Afsaneh Torabi is an interdisciplinary artist from Iran who distils her broad explorations into immersive, intimate and participatory art experiences. Specialising in sculpture and live art at Monash University, she developed a language for ambitious live performance, achieving a Masters of Sensory Theatre with the University of Girona, Spain. She has since made work for both major and independent companies, venues and festivals across Australia and internationally including The Lighthouse (Arts Centre Melbourne); Heart of Darkness (El Grec Festival of Contemporary Art); Echo of the Shadow (Melbourne Festival); From the Rubble (Queensland Theatre/Perth Theatre Company). Alongside being a key creative member of Polyglot Theatre, freelancing as a deviser, consultant and performer, and leading community and youth engagement projects across Australia, she’s immersed in developing a new body of work that explores the profound connection between humans and water.

Artwork for Alistair Baldwin

Alistair Baldwin

Cost of Living

Alistair Baldwin is a screenwriter, director, playwright and comedian. His debut play Telethon Kid premiered at Malthouse Theatre in 2023. It was shortlisted for the Griffin Award and Highly Commended in the 2024 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. His other credits include writing the episode ‘Bound’ for SBS’s AACTA-nominated anthology Erotic Stories, as well as staff writing on ABC's The WeeklyHard Quiz, and Get Krack!n (the latter of which he also stars in as overworked personal assistant Matthew). Alistair made his directorial debut with the second episode of SBS Digital Original Latecomers, which was selected for Séries Mania 2023, won the SDIN Award at the 21st Annual SPA Awards and was nominated in AACTA’s Best Online Drama or Comedy category.