Malthouse Theatre has today announced a new Writer/Director Initiative designed to provide valuable experience for independent artists.

This new initiative, which begins in August, will feature four pairs of writers and directors working collaboratively with company and industry mentors to produce treatments for programming consideration.

In addition to supporting director and writer collaborations, Malthouse Theatre also continues to champion emerging writers through commissions, with the recent example of Melbourne playwright Michele Lee (pictured).

Lee is this year’s recipient of the Malcolm Robertson Prize for emerging writers, which sees her commissioned to work with Malthouse Theatre in developing her new play Going Down – a subversive and contemporary take on HBO’s Sex and the City.

‘The success of playwrights like Michele – and previous winners Zoe Coombs Marr and Nakkiah Lui – demonstrates the breadth of writing talent and theatrical imagination we have in Australia,’ said Matthew Lutton, Malthouse Theatre’s Acting Artistic Director.

‘There are many ways to create new work, and in response to a spectrum of artists and ideas in the independent sector, we felt it was important to encourage collaborations between writers and directors in addition to fostering emerging playwrights through commissions.’

The Writer/Director Initiative is the latest in a long line of development and commissioning offerings from Malthouse Theatre, including the Tower Residencies, the Female Director in Residence, Besen Family Artist Placements and the 2015 Independent Artist in Residence program.

Lutton said; ‘These programs form part of Malthouse’s ongoing commitment to supporting independent artists. With that in mind, we are hoping to build even more avenues and programs for independent artists to develop new works into the future.

Malthouse Theatre is now accepting expressions of interest for the Writer/Director Initiative.

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