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La Mama Pathways Writing Intensive 2024

La Mama Pathways Writing Intensive is a professionally tailored skills development initiative for emerging and mid-career playwrights and theatre-makers based in Melbourne. Designed with our experiential knowledge of making contemporary theatre, and with generous assistance from John T Reid Charitable Trusts, the 2024 program represents an evolution of, and is informed by, our thrillingly successful 2023 Pilot program.

Continuing La Mama’s partnership with Australian Plays Transform (APT), entry is via APT’s Submittable application process. Applications will open 12 December 2023 and close 3 March 2024.  

Participants will be chosen by an external diverse, theatre based advisory panel. Due to the unprecedented number of applications for last year’s program, final selection will be subject to interview, which will occur during late March 2024. Successful applicants will be notified by 1 April 2024.

During La Mama’s Winter Season, 15 tailored sessions will be delivered to 12 participants on the nuts and bolts of theatre writing and craft. Session will be delivered weekly each Monday evenings and monthly on Sundays from 1 July to 15 September. Timely and regular in-person attendance is a pre-requisite of the program. The sessions will culminate with works in progress being shared and pitched at La Mama between 23-29 September.

Coordination will be shared between playwright/dramaturg Mari Lourey and Development & Pathways Manager Myf Powell, with First Nations Producer actor/playwright Glenn Shea playing a key facilitation role. Renowned and deeply respected theatre teacher, RMIT’s Dr Peta Murray, will return to lead core sessions, in tandem with some of Melbourne’s leading contemporary theatre artists.

The 3.5 hour sessions will include script workshopping, the study of play texts and composition, theatre performances and writing exercises. The focus will be primarily, but not entirely, text based with topics including: the mechanics of theatrical storytelling, the specifics of ‘liveness’; story types and structures; character; plot and premise; dialogue writing; devising practices; post-dramatic theatre; dramaturgies; composition and design; poetics and verse in performative writing.

Participants will also be allocated up to 18 hours of professional dramaturgical mentorship, with leading artist/s of their choice in a bespoke arrangement.   

This timely initiative is designed to cultivate and sustain Melbourne’s independent theatre culture, by supporting a diverse group of early and mid-career theatre artists to advance their practice and further develop the tools of their craft. The writers will be nurtured in a collegiate, supportive space where creativity and learning can flourish, with confidentiality prized.  Theatre visits will be subsidized and be part of the informal ‘curriculum’.

Successful applicants will be expected to attend all sessions (illness notwithstanding); participate in as many of the theatre going activities as possible; and fully utilise the dramaturgy/mentoring sessions made available to them.

Accessibility is a priority for La Mama, should participants face barriers to accessing this program, please contact Pathways and Development Manager Myf Powell at myf@lamama.com.au to discuss.


KEY DATES

Applications Open12th December 2023
Applications Close3rd March 2024
Selection process/interviews3rd to 31st March 2024
Successful Applicants notified1st April 2024
Program Commences1st July 2024
Weekly program concludes15th September 2024
Pitch/Sharing Week23rd to 29th September 2024
Mentorship/Dramaturgy Completed by31st October 2024

Key Criteria Questions

In the application you will be asked to cover the following:

  • Your background and experience as a playwright/theatre maker to date. Be specific, not declamatory!
  • The reasons you want to participate in this program and why you’ll benefit.
  • The stage of career – early career playwright, mid-career theatre maker – that you feel you are at.
  • A play or performance work you would like to work on if you are accepted into the Program? If so, what is it about? Where are you up to in the writing, if at all?
  • A short sample of any work (max 5 pages), or a link to a piece of your work, if it is not text based.
  • The nature of any assistance you may need. 

To download Selection Criteria:

To apply via APT Submittable:


We are grateful to John T Reid Charitable Trusts and the Australian Government and Creative Australia, its arts funding and advisory body, for their valuable assistance in making this project possible.