Melbourne Theatre Company Artistic Director Brett Sheehy AO today revealed MTC’s 2019 Season; a feast of theatrical delights at Victoria’s state theatre company.
‘Making theatre relevant to 21st century Australia is the lifeblood of MTC and in 2019 we present a season of challenging, brilliant and entertaining works that speak to our times with great urgency and in ways only possible through theatre,’ Brett Sheehy said.
‘Amongst the suite of productions on our stages, we are especially pleased to present six terrific works by Australian writers, including the first commission from our landmark NEXTSTAGE Writers’ Program.’
The season opens with Alan Bennett’s legendary and autobiographical, The Lady in the Van, starring stage and screen icon Miriam Margolyes, directed by Dean Bryant.
Melita Jurisic plays the irrepressible Mae West opposite Diana Glenn as Diane Arbus in the world premiere of Arbus & West by Stephen Sewell, directed by MTC Associate Director Sarah Goodes.
Iain Sinclair returns to MTC and to Arthur Miller’s tragic masterpiece A View from the Bridge, to direct a new production of this visceral drama featuring Daniela Farinacci and Ivan Donato.
Esther Hannaford, Hunter Page-Lochard, Rahel Romahn and Katherine Tonkin star in the MTC and Sydney Theatre Company co-production of Così, Louis Nowra’s darkly funny and deeply moving Australian classic, directed by Sarah Goodes.
The Violent Outburst That Drew Me to You by Finegan Kruckemeyer tackles the ticking time-bomb of adolescence in a smart, sweet and fiery tale about two offbeat kids at war with the world, starring Harry Tseng and directed by Prue Clark.
Kat Stewart and Peter Kowitz take to the stage in Simon Stephens’ latest Broadway and West End hit, Heisenberg, turning our attention to life’s intangible mysteries and the peculiarities of the human heart in an Australian premiere production directed by Tom Healey.
The timeless and much-loved classic novel, Storm Boy, is brought to the stage in an epic MTC and Queensland Theatre co-production, in association with Dead Puppet Society, directed by Sam Strong and featuring a cast including John Batchelor, Tony Briggs and Emily Burton.
The illustrious Simon Phillips directs an Australian premiere stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning film and glorious romantic comedy, Shakespeare in Love, featuring a cast including Aljin Abella, Laurence Boxhall and Adam Murphy.
Nicholas Bell, Jing-Xuan Chan, Josh McConville and Yuchen Wang star in the world premiere MTC NEXT STAGE commission, Golden Shield, an urgent legal thriller by rising star Anchuli Felicia King, directed by Sarah Goodes.
Nakkiah Lui’s hit Australian satire Black is the New White arrives in Melbourne with a brilliant cast including K*ylie Bracknell, Tony Briggs, Luke Carroll, Vanessa Downing, Melodie Reynolds-Diarra, Tom Stokes* and Anthony Taufa, directed by Paige Rattray.
Nadine Garner returns to the stage under the direction of Pamela Rabe in the Australian premiere of Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51, a moving portrait of a dazzling scientist and unsung hero, Rosalind Franklin.
And the season closes in spectacular style with Kander & Ebb’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Kiss of the Spider Woman, starring music theatre legend Caroline O’Connor, Adam Jon Fiorentino, Natalie Gamsu and Bert LaBonte directed by Dean Bryant.
‘2019 at MTC is filled with stories of adventure, love, friendship, discovery and drama. We have curated a year that takes audiences on a journey around Australia and the world via the very best new plays, reimaginings of beloved classics and fresh productions of international smash-hits. Add the country’s best creative talents to bring it all to life and there’s no question we’re in for a special year,’ Mr Sheehy said.
As well as the works on stage, in 2019 MTC continues its array of renowned artist development programs and initiatives including the Cybec Electric play reading series, Women in Theatre Program, CAAP Directors Initiative and the Company’s groundbreaking NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program, which enters its second year with 20 writers under commission or in residency.
Through MTC’s acclaimed Education Program, thousands of students across the state will be provided with life-changing theatre and learning opportunities through programming for young audiences, specialised enrichment programs, education resources and workshops.
And MTC’s celebrated Sharing the Light initiative again makes theatre more accessible through subsidised $5 tickets, MTC’s Indigenous Scholarship Program and extensive regional touring of the Company’s Education production.
‘Through the theatre we present and the programs we provide, we aim to enrich the lives of all who come into our orbit,’ Mr Sheehy said.
‘As the most subscribed theatre company in the country, we are ever grateful for the enthusiasm and generosity with which our audience embrace the art on our stages. We are passionate about creating vibrant theatre for audiences of today and tomorrow and look forward to sharing another wonderful year at MTC with our dedicated theatre-going community.’