Writers Workshops: My Friend the Dramaturg

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Hosted by MTC Literary Director Chris Mead, with guest playwrights, NEON’s Writers Workshops return in 2014, offering the opportunity for playwrights and dramaturgs to partake in one of three sessions.

A play is a dynamic whirl of words, histories, images and possibilities – an urtext with almost no end, no end of connotations and no end to the work to be done. Is a dramaturg a nuisance, a resource or a confidant? Patricia Cornelius, currently under commission by MTC, joins Chris Mead in talking through, to and around the furious, abstract, and visceral business of play development.

Wednesday 30 July
2pm – 6pm
Southbank Theatre


Patricia Cornelius

Patricia Cornelius is a founding member of Melbourne Workers Theatre. She’s a playwright, novelist, film writer and dramaturge. She’s a recipient of a Fellowship from the Theatre Board of the Australia Council and the 2012 Patrick White Fellowship. She has also been awarded the 2014 Victorian Premier’s drama award, 2011 Victorian and NSW Premier’s literary awards, 2006 Patrick White Playwright’s award, 2009 Richard Wherrett Prize, 2003 Wal Cherry Award, The Jill Blewitt Award and the R.E Ross Trust Award. Her plays have earned her 10 Awgies for stage, community, theatre for young people, and feature film adaptation. She has written over 25 plays. Her most recent works are: Big Heart, Savages, Do not go gentle…, Slut, Love and The Call.

Patricia has worked in collaboration with many theatre companies including young people’s theatres and has a commitment to the development of the text through work shopping with actors, directors and other theatre makers.

She had taught writing for performance for 8 years at Swinburne Arts.

She has been on the Literature Board of the Australia Council for the last 2 years.

She was a long term member of the Board of Melbourne Workers Theatre.

She has been mentor and dramaturg to many playwrights including Melissa Bubnic (Shedding) and Tony Briggs (The Sapphires).

Plays: Big Heart, Taxi, Savages, The Berry Man, Slut, The Call, Good, Do not go gentle…, Boy Overboard, Cunning, Love, Fever, Who’s Afraid of the Working Class?, Platform, Hogs Hairs and Leeches Little City, Lilly and May Jack’s Daughters, Max, Dusting Our Knees, The Aftermath, Last Drinks, Taxi, No Fear, Opa- a Sexual Odyssey, Home of a Stranger, Somewhere Else, Witch, On the Brink, You Still Here, The Flying Emu
Film: Blessed
Novel: My Sister Jill-

Chris Mead

Chris Mead

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.