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Press Releases

Cybec Electric 2017

7 Feb 2017

Melbourne Theatre Company is thrilled to announce the final line-up of artists taking part in its annual play reading initiative, Cybec Electric, from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 February at Southbank Theatre, The Lawler.

For the first time ever, Cybec Electric will be joined by international directors Jo Kukathas from Malaysia and Mark Zhuang Yi from China, who will each bring their world class expertise to works by nine emerging playwrights: Kim Ho, Hiroki Kobayashi, Alan Nguyen, Jeremy Nguyen, Hoa Pham, Natesha Somasundaram, Arun Subramaniam, Jean Tong and Chi Vu.

This invigorating line-up of talent will work collaboratively with MTC Literary Director Chris Mead and an ensemble of talented actors Emina Ashman, Jing-Xuan Chan, Joseph Lai, Georgina Naidu, Ricardo Rusch and Gareth Yuen, to bring these new plays to life.

Cybec Electric is an integral part of MTC’s commitment to developing and presenting new Australian plays. It gives playwrights the opportunity to work with professional directors and actors to develop their work and road test it with a critical ingredient of live theatre: an audience.

MTC Literary Director and Cybec Electric curator Chris Mead said, ‘Come join us for the shock of the new. Here are works that not only confirm the talent and vision of our emerging playwrights, but their fearlessness and muscularity. What better way to celebrate Asia TOPA than by championing these powerful new writers with two exceptional international directors and a great cast.’

In 2017 Cybec Electric is part of the inaugural Asia TOPA, the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Performing Arts.

Cybec Electric is only possible due to the support of Roger Riordan AM and The Cybec Foundation.

Tickets for the play reading series are available on MTC’s website now.


Mark Zhuang Yi

Mark Zhuand Yi is Artistic Director of Hit Please Theatre Company and is a playwright, director, songwriter, actor and poet working in both Chinese and English. Extremely versatile, his works encompass almost every theatrical genre: plays, musicals, operas, and dance theatre. As a playwright and librettist, he has written The Villa, The Telekillers, Deng Shichang, The Legend of Zhenhuan, The Moon Opera, One Thousand Springs, Xidi’s Tooth Adventures and Lin Whei-Yin. Most of these works have toured around China and have been met with both critical and popular acclaim for fusing the verve of contemporary culture with the gravitas of classical literary tradition. Currently, he is one of the playwrights on the prestigious International New Writing Programme hosted by Royal Court Theatre. Director to many of his own stage works, he has developed a distinct personal style often described as scintillating, quirky and poetic. His works as a director have opened at prominent art festivals in Asia such as Wuzhen International Theatre Festival, Shanghai International Art Festival, and Taiwan Straits Theatre Festival.

Jo Kukathas

Jo Kukathas is an actor, writer and director of The Instant Café Theatre Company, Malaysia, best known for its political satire and contemporary theatre that reflects Malaysia’s diverse ethnic, religious and cultural composition. She started various new writing platforms including FIRSTWoRKs and Almost True Stories to encourage and support new writing that dealt with social issues of race, religion and politics as well as identity and belonging. Her international work includes performing as well as directing in Singapore where she has received accolades as well as awards as an actress. She has conducted workshops on Shakespeare in Brazil and the theatre of healing in Taiwan. Other international work includes The Island in Between, a Malaysian Japanese collaboration co-written and directed by Jo; Hotel Grand Asia, a three-year Asian collaboration project based out of Tokyo; and Break-Ing, a multi-lingual Malaysian collaboration that toured Japan and Singapore. She has also toured plays to the World Theatre Festival in Brisbane, OzAsia in Adelaide, Festival Tokyo in Japan and performed at the NY Fringe Festival. She has directed plays, an opera, various festivals as well as Shakespeare indoors and out.


Southbank Theatre, The Lawler

23 February to 25 February 2017

$10 each
($30 for a 4-play pass),
Under 30s $5 each
($15 for a 4-play pass)

MTC Box Office
on 03 8688 0800

For more information about Cybec Electric visit


Published on 7 February 2017