Show artwork for Year 2 NEXT STAGE Writers
MTC Foundation

Year 2 NEXT STAGE Writers

In July 2018 we welcomed ten new writers to join our NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program, MTC’s landmark $4.6 million play development initiative.

Commissions have been awarded to Louris van de Geer, Tom Holloway, Anchuli Felicia King, Joe Penhall, and co-authors Chris Ryan, Mark Leonard Winter & composer Megan Washington, who join the program to develop new works for the stage.

In addition to the new commissions, three new writers-in-residence have joined the Company. Declan Furber Gillick, Melissa Reeves and Chris Summers will begin their placements later this year.

MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said, ‘The calibre of writers involved in our NEXT STAGE program is nothing short of exceptional. It is with great pleasure that we announce the ten new writers and welcome them to MTC – some for the first time and some whom we’ve had the great fortune of working with before.

‘NEXT STAGE has infused MTC with a fresh creative energy and, as we enter the second year, the program is in full flight and firmly focused on its core intention of enhancing the Australian theatre landscape.

‘NEXT STAGE is a unique program that will reap benefits nationally. It is not designed to be MTC centric but rather to provide writers with the investment and support they need to produce their best work for Australia’s stages. Thanks to the donors and foundations who have provided the vital funding for this program, the future is bright for contemporary Australian playwriting.’

As the second year of the program commences, there are twenty writers under commission or in residency.

The three inaugural writers-in-residence, Dan Giovannoni, Natesha Somasundaram and Kylie Trounson, continue their placement with the Company, and have each been commissioned to write a new play. And the seven inaugural commissioned writers, Angus Cerini, Patricia Cornelius, Michael Gow, Benjamin Law, Joanna Murray-Smith, Ellen van Neerven and Leah Purcell have each delivered first drafts and are progressing with workshops and developments.

MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program addresses the need for greater investment in Australian writers through increased resources dedicated to commissioning, workshopping and developing plays. The pioneering program allows MTC to both build on existing and foster new artistic relationships over the long-term and on a scale that was previously unattainable. The five-year, $4.6 million initiative was launched in 2017 and is co-funded by MTC and the donors and foundations comprising MTC’s Playwrights Giving Circle.

Meet the NEXT STAGE writers.

For more information about MTC’s NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program visit

Published on 1 August 2018

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