Artwork for Inaugural MTC @ MPavilion program announced
Press Releases

Inaugural MTC @ MPavilion program announced

19 Sep 2018

Melbourne Theatre Company will present three events as part of MPavilion’s 2018/9 program, including one of New York’s most eminent young theatre directors, Lila Neugebauer, in conversation with MTC Literary Director Chris Mead on Thursday 6 December.

In demand by America’s finest new generation of writers, from Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Baker to Pulitzer Prize-finalist Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Lila Neugebauer will discuss the commercial pressures of being an artist in New York, and nurturing playwrights in such a public, pressure-cooker environment.

On Thursday 29 November MTC NEXT STAGE commissioned writer Benjamin Law will stage an informal reading of his new comedy-drama Torch the Place, the story of grown-up siblings confronting their mother about her pathological hoarding in the family home, the fire danger it presents, and how maybe they should just, as the title suggests, torch the place.

MTC NEXT STAGE Writer-in-Residence Dan Giovannoni will also present a reading of his latest work The Body on Thursday 13 December. In a small village, a body has fallen through Inga’s roof. This play slowly unpacks this appalling event and its unexpected, moving, and shocking effects.

All events are free and will take place from 6-7:30pm at MPavilion, followed by a short Q&A facilitated by Chris Mead. Reservations are not required, and seating will be available on a first come, first served basis

Dan Giovannoni has been writing plays for adults and children since his graduation from NIDA in 2010. Most recently his adaptation of Merciless Gods, based on the book by Christos Tsiolkas, played to critical acclaim in Melbourne and at Griffin Theatre Company in Sydney. His play Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories won the Helpmann Award for Best Children’s presentation in 2016 and was also nominated for Best New Australian work. His Red Stitch commission, Jurassica, played to sold out houses in 2015 and won him a Green Room Award for Best New Writing for the Australian Stage. He has also written for ensembles, such as with Cut Snake and The Myth Project: Twin for independent theatre company Arthur. Dan is an MTC NEXT STAGE Writer-in-Residence.

Benjamin Law is a Sydney-based journalist, columnist and screenwriter, who holds a PhD in television writing and cultural studies. In 2017, Benjamin was commissioned as part of MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writer’s Program. He is the author of two books, The Family Law (2010) and Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012), both of which have been nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards. Together with his sister Michelle and illustrator Oslo Davis, Benjamin has also co-authored the comedy book Shit Asian Mothers Say (2014). The television adaptation of The Family Law, created and written by Benjamin, screened on SBSin 2016 and received an AACTA Award nomination for Best Television Comedy Series. Benjamin was part of the writing team of recent Network Ten drama, Sisters, now streaming on Netflix.

Lila Neugebauer is an Obie, Drama Desk, and Princess Grace Award-winning director. Recent credits include Annie Baker’s The Antipodes and The Aliens, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Everybody, Edward Albee’s The Sandbox, María Irene Fornés’ Drowning, Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of a Negro, A.R. Gurney’s The Wayside Motor Inn, Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves, Abe Koogler’s Kill Floor, Mike Bartlett’s An Intervention, Amy Herzog’s After The Revolution and 4000 Miles, Zoe Kazan’s Trudy and Max in Love, Eliza Clark’s Future Thinking, Lucas Hnath’s Red Speedo, Dan LeFranc’s Troublemaker, and Mallery Avidon’s O Guru Guru Guru. Lila is a an alumna of the Drama League, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab; a former Ensemble Studio Theatre member, New Georges Affiliated Artist and New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect.

Lila Neugebauer appears thanks to University of Melbourne’s Macgeorge Fellowship program.

Dates & Times

Thursday 29 November – 6pm
Torch the Place by Benjamin Law

Thursday 6 December – 6pm
Lila Neugebauer: In Conversation

Thursday 13 December – 6pm
The Body by Dan Giovannoni

Queen Victoria Gardens, St Kilda Road, Melbourne (opposite Arts Centre Melbourne)

For more information visit

Published on 19 September 2018