with Declan Furber Gillick, Melissa Reeves & Chris Summers

Friday 29 March, 4PM

Southbank Theatre, The Lawler

Join us as we share fresh new works from our 2019 NEXT STAGE Writers-In-Residence.

All tickets are $8, or add all five Cybec Electric sessions to your cart and get one free!


Join us as we share fresh new works from our 2019 NEXT STAGE Writers-In-Residence.

Declan Furber Gillick, Melissa Reeves and Chris Summers have been working on three new Australian plays over the past six months. Literary Director Chris Mead sits with each of them to discuss their playwriting journeys, what they are writing and why. Hear a short excerpt from each read by the Cybec acting ensemble.


  • Wheelchair Accessible

Artwork for Declan Furber Gillick

Declan Furber Gillick

NEXT STAGE Writer-In-Residence

Declan Furber Gillick is an intercultural Arrernte (First Nations) writer, performance artist, story-teller and musician from Alice Springs. While studying Law and Philosophy he worked as a Cultural Competency Educator, an Aboriginal Legal Support Officer and an Outdoor Educator. Declan completed a draft of his first play, The Great Emu War, as part of the Victorian College of the Arts Masters of Writing for Performance in 2017. With an artistic grounding in hip hop, street theatre, activist-art and performance poetry, he delivers fierce and humorous work that interrogates race, class, culture and history, while striving to articulate and embody the complexities of mixed-race identities. His work is concerned with the strengths of First Nations communities, as well as the internal and intercultural political difficulties that these communities face the world over. Declan’s other projects for 2018 include The Unspeakable War, an international collaborative spoken word show with poet and performance artist Arielle Cottingham, and Frankie Bedlam and The Wellness Cult, a soundscape and storytelling collaboration with Aboriginal Jaadwa musician/producer James Howard.

Artwork for Chris Summers

Chris Summers

NEXT STAGE Writer-In-Residence

Melissa Reeves

Melissa Reeves

NEXT STAGE Writer-In-Residence

Melissa Reeves is a Melbourne playwright. Her plays include: Happy Ending (MTC Lawler); Furious Mattress (Malthouse); The Spook (Belvoir, Malthouse); Sweetown, In Cahoots and Storming Heaven (Red Shed Co.); Great Day (Melbourne Workers’ Theatre); Road Movie (Back to Back Theatre); and Salt Creek Murders (Mainstreet). She has co-written a number of plays for Melbourne Workers’ Theatre including: Magpie, with Richard Frankland; Who’s Afraid of the Working Class and_ Fever_, both with Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Christos Tsiolkas and composer Irine Vela. Melissa also co-wrote the screenplay for Blessed. She was recently awarded a two year fellowship by the Theatre Board of the Australia Council. Previous awards include the Jill Blewitt Playwright’s Award (Sweetown, 1993); Queensland Literary Award for Best Play, two Best New Play AWGIES and the Jill Blewitt Playwrights Award (Who’s Afraid of the Working Class, 1999); and the Louis Esson Prize for Drama, Victorian Premier’s Awards, and two Best New Play AWGIES (The Spook, 2005).

Chris Mead

Chris Mead

MTC Literary Director

Chris is Literary Director of Melbourne Theatre Company. He has been the inaugural Artistic Director of PlayWriting Australia; Literary Manager of Company B Belvoir; Curator of the Australian National Playwrights’ Conference; Festival Director of the International Festival for Young Playwrights; and Wharf 2LOUD Producer and Literary Manager of Sydney Theatre Company. His recent directing credits include Ian Wilding’s Rare Earth (NIDA 2011) and Quack (Griffin 2010); and Damien Millar’s The Modern International Dead (Griffin 2008), which won Best New Play at the Sydney Theatre Critics’ Awards and the WA Premier’s Literary Award, as well as being shortlisted for the NSW, Queensland and Victorian Premier’s Literary Award. Chris has a PhD from Sydney University, was awarded an inaugural Dramaturgy Fellowship by the Australia Council for the Arts in 2004 and was selected to attend New Visions New Voices at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center in 2008. His monograph What is an Australian Play? on institutional racism and outreach strategies was published by Currency House in June, 2008; and he has recently written introductions to Currency Press volumes by Lachlan Philpott and Lally Katz.

In 2009, Chris was named as one of Sydney’s 100 Creative Catalysts as part of the Creative Sydney Festival. He sat on the steering committee for the 2011 Australian Theatre Forum and on the Board of Arena Theatre Company from 2008-13, is on the artistic directorate of Hothouse Theatre, and has just joined the Board of Theatre Network Victoria.

The Lawler

140 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria 3006