with Elise Esther Hearst, Andrea James & Phillip Kavanagh

Friday 28 Feb, 4pm

Southbank Theatre, The Lawler

All tickets $8

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

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

Elise Esther Hearst, Andrea James and Phillip Kavanagh have been working on new plays during the first six months of their NEXT STAGE Residency. Hear from each playwright in conversation with MTC Literary Team Chris Mead and Jenni Medway as they discuss their playwriting journeys, alongside short excerpts from each play read by the Cybec Electric acting ensemble.


  • Wheelchair Accessible

Artwork for Elise Esther Hearst

Elise Esther Hearst


Elise Esther Hearst is a Melbourne-based playwright and storyteller. Elise trained in London at the Royal Court Theatre and had a long-time collaboration with independent theatre company Arthur and director Paige Rattray. Her plays include Bright World, co-written with Andrea James (Theatreworks), The Mesh (Red Stitch) and The Sea Project (part of MTC’s inaugural Cybec Readings series and shortlisted for the Griffin Award). Her play Dirtyland was part of the PWA National Play Festival. Elise is a former resident playwright at the Griffin Theatre. From 2019-2020, Elise was an MTC resident writer as part of the Next Stage writers' program.

Artwork for Andrea James

Andrea James


Andrea is a Yorta Yorta/Gunnaikurnai woman and graduate of VCA.  She was Artistic Director of Melbourne Workers’ Theatre 2001-2008 where she is best known for her play Yanagai! Yanagai!  Relocating to Sydney, Andrea was the Aboriginal Arts Development Officer at Blacktown Arts Centre 2010-2012 and Aboriginal Producer at Carriageworks from 2012-2016 and Blak Box Producer for Urban Theatre Projects in 2018.

She was a recipient of British Council’s Accelerate Program for Aboriginal Art Leaders in 2013 and was awarded Arts NSW Aboriginal Arts Fellowship to write a play about Wiradjuri tennis player, Evonne Goolagong.  Andrea performed in and co-wrote Bright World with Elise Hearst by Arthur Productions at Theatreworks April 2015 and directed her play Winyanboga Yurringa at Carriageworks and Geelong Performing Arts Centre in August 2016.  Her short play, Blacktown Angels premiered at Sydney Festival 2016 for Urban Theatre Project’s Home Country.  She was a collaborator in Moogahlin Performing Arts Broken Glass which she performed in at the Sydney Festival in 2017. In 2018 she wrote and directed a play entitled Bukal for JUTE Theatre that tells the inspirational story of Yidinji woman Henrietta Fourmile Marrie.  Her play Winyanboga Yurringa was remounted by Belvoir in May 2019 and her latest play Sunshine Super Girl will receive its world premiere in 2020.

Artwork for Phillip Kavanagh

Phillip Kavanagh


Phillip Kavanagh is a playwright, originally from Adelaide. He completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours) and a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at Flinders University, as well as a Graduate Diploma of Dramatic Art (Playwriting) at NIDA. He is currently a PhD candidate at Flinders University. Phillip has been awarded the Patrick White Playwrights' Award, Jill Blewett Playwright's Award, and the Colin Thiele Creative Writing Scholarship. His plays include Jesikah (STCSA), Deluge (Tiny Bricks/Brink/Adelaide Festival), Replay (Griffin) and a new adaptation of Moliére’s Tartuffe (Brink/STCSA). Phillip is one-half of the independent theatre company Tiny Bricks, a creative partnership with director Nescha Jelk. From 2019-2020, Phillip was an MTC resident writer as part of the NEXT STAGE Writers' Program.


Heidi Arena


Artwork for Cheryl Ho

Cheryl Ho


Artwork for Kurt Pimblett

Kurt Pimblett


Artwork for Maurial Spearim

Maurial Spearim


Nikki Viveca

Nikki Viveca


Artwork for Gareth Yuen

Gareth Yuen


The Lawler

140 Southbank Boulevard

Southbank, Victoria 3006