La Mama Pathways Writing Intensive 2024 Participants 

Run in partnership with Australian Plays Transform (APT). 

Following the successful 2023 pilot program, we had another overwhelming response with over 100 applications received from early, mid career and established theatre makers. The range and experience of these applications was genuinely wonderful to read – we just wish that we had more places available.  

Thanks again to our external advisory panel for generously providing their time and expertise in this very difficult selection process. 

In spite of recently announcing a one year hiatus to reconsider and shift organisational structures as we move into the future, La Mama continues to create and provide much-needed space for the professional development of theatre artists, many of whom will go on to feed into Australia’s major theatre companies and artistic institutions. 

In the meantime… here are our twelve La Mama Pathways Writing Intensive participants for 2024! 

They are: Beth Paterson, Eliza Dune Daiza, Ellen Marning, Flick, Jem Lai, Joel Te Teira, Jorja Bentley, Lyall Brooks, Michel Tuomy, Myfanwy Hocking, Taku Mbudzi and Zachary Sheridan. 

Beth Paterson 

Beth Paterson (she/her) is an award-winning Naarm/Melbourne-based emerging queer, Jewish theatre maker. A young artist experienced in operetta and cabaret, this new phase in her career sees her practice expanding, with a strong focus on writing, clown, and solo performance. Recent performance and writing credits include NIUSIA (2023 Fringe Festival Market Ready Award Winner), Private Parts (Pink Flappy Bits), The Human Voice (Periscope Productions), Storytelling in Brunswick (Melbourne Digital Fringe), and The Pirates of Penzance (BK Opera/MICF). Beth also presented a sold-out, development showing of NIUSIA as a part of La Mama Theatre’s 2023 Winter Explorations season. 

Eliza Dune Daiza 

Eliza Dune Daiza is a Burmese-Australian scriptwriter, poet and children’s author. She holds a Master of Screenwriting from the VCA, and has been awarded twice by the Australian Writers’ Guild with both projects featuring on their Pathways showcase. Her scripts have been optioned, and she has received short film commissions. Eliza has had short plays read and staged at La Mama Courthouse, Performance Space and Gasworks Arts Park; while her poems have appeared in literary journals and anthologies. Her debut poetry collection Haibun Nation & Other States will be published this year. 

Ellen Marning 

Ellen Marning (she/her) is an actor, writer, and theatre-maker based in Naarm. Graduating from the VCA in 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting), she has worked across multiple disciplines as an actor, as well as creating her own work for stage and screen. Her most recent written work for stage includes satirical sketch show Shticky Business for MICF, solo work Nu-Disco set inside the confines of the club scene and ensemble piece Strange Locutions presented at La Mama Explorations 2023. 


Flick is a creative artist most well known for creating the staged lesbian sci-fi series SLUNTIK™. They have a Master of Theater (Dramaturgy) from the Victorian College of the Arts and their work has been published by humana obscura and YDAS. They are a panellist for the Green Room Awards Association and a proud member of the MEAA. Flick is based in Naarm/Melbourne, and can be found on Instagram @flickflickcity or online flickflickcity.net.        

Jem Lai 

Jem is a Queer, Chinese Australian theatre maker based in Naarm. In 2023, her first written play HEART (previously titled SUCKLINGS) was programmed in KXT on Broadway’s Storytellers Festival. From 2020 to 2023, Jem developed HEART and studied a Graduate Diploma in Creative Writing (University of Melbourne). In 2018 she worked as a deviser on several developments with companies such as Arts House and Burning House Theatre. In 2017 she co-devised NEVER for Melbourne Fringe and shortly afterwards, she graduated from the VCA’s BFA in Acting and Theatre Making. Between 2018 and 2021 Jem also worked as an actor with companies such as Melbourne Theatre Company and Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre.  

Joel Te Teira

Joel Te Teira is a playwright, musician and producer of European and Māori descent (Ngāti Maniapoto). He currently works for Ilbijerri Theatre Company and is the producer of their BlackWrights program. As a writer Joel was shortlisted for the prestigious Queensland Premier’s Drama Award for his first play Sedentary. 

Jorja Bentley 

Jorja Bentley (she/her) is an actor, writer, producer, and youth sector trainer and facilitator, based in Naarm (Melbourne). Having initially completed her Psychology Honours Degree, she then moved into the artistic space where she graduated the Howard Fine Acting Studio’s Full-Time Program and her Master of Theatre (Writing) at the Victorian College of the Arts. Her play, Blood in the Water, was shortlisted for Best New Play at the 2022 Australian Theatre Festival in NYC and is making its international debut at La Mama Theatre as part of the Autumn 2024 season. 

Lyall Brooks 

Lyall is a regionally based queer theatremaker with a background in new text-based work – as writer, devisor, collaborator and dramaturg. With over 25 years professional experience in the industry, he is also an award-winning actor, theatre director, producer, teaching artist, industry advocate, and is the founding Artistic Director of new Australian writing theatre company, Lab Kelpie. Lyall’s practice is frequently drawn to the exploration of masculinity: gender roles and the intersection of cis-het and queer male identities; father-son relationships; and new paradigms that facilitate how boys might best find themselves and grow into their place in contemporary society as men. 

Michel Tuomy 

Michel Paul Tuomy is a writer based in Naarm/Melbourne. A graduate of RMIT with a Bachelor of Media Studies, Michel has developed a body of work consisting of drafts of novels, screenplays and theatre plays, including ‘Little Brother, Big Sister’ detailing his lived experience of schizophrenia that had a production at La Mama in 2023. Michel is Vice Chair of the Committee and an active member of the Schizy Inc team. His latest work ‘Football Evangelism’ is part of La Mama Explorations in 2024. 

Myfanwy Hocking 

Myfanwy is a non-binary artist living and working in Narrm. As an actor, writer, poet, theatre maker, and teacher, they are most interested in queer, feminist works that interrogate and challenge society as it exists under patriarchy and capitalism. Seeking to queer traditional dramatic formats, Myf is fascinated by how we can alter the current theatrical climate in Narrm. 

Myfanwy has worked as a performer with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Theatre Works, Butterfly Club, and NORPA Lismore. Their plays have travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe and done Melbourne theatre circuits. Myf is also a professional voice actor, narrating numerous audiobooks.

Myf is a double graduate of the VCA, attaining their BFA in Acting (2019) and their Masters in Writing for Theatre (2021). From this institution, they were awarded the George Fairfax Memorial Award (2022) and the Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch Travelling Scholarship (2023). Myf loves performances that make the audience hysterically laugh and then uncontrollably cry, as well as a messy make-out and dance sequence.

Taku Mbudzi 

Taku Mbudzi is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and podcaster based in Melbourne. Her debut film, ‘Gugu naGogo’, won an Audience Award at the 2023 New York International Children’s Festival and is streaming on ABC iview. As an accomplished audio storyteller, she has produced several podcasts, hosted ‘Earshot’ on ABC Radio National, and teaches radio playwriting and public speaking to children. Recently, Taku debuted her solo comedy show ‘Shine My Light’ at La Mama Theatre in the week of International Women’s Day 2024. When Taku’s not teaching or performing, she discusses writing on her podcast ‘Two Words with Taku’ which has been running since 2017. 

Zachary Sheridan 

Zachary Sheridan is a theatre-maker who has been writing and making plays since he was about five years old. Zach’s first play was about pirates and the stage was a coffee table. Zach’s most recent script was mostly questions people type into Google. A graduate of WAAPA and VCA, Zach is interested in what it is to make theatre in an age of growing ecological awareness. 

We’re so excited by their voices, experience and ideas, and we welcome them to La Mama for the Winter Season, and we know you’ll all join us in congratulating them.  

La Mama CEO and Director Caitlin Dullard: “The 2024 Pathways cohort again brings great delight and hope for the future of theatre in this town. I’m invigorated to invite these very impressive individuals into La Mama for more rigour, discussion and collective learning and growth. The relationships and outcomes grown from the 2023 cohort are truly wonderful, and I have every faith that 2024 will bring just as much and more. I am deeply grateful to staff Myf, Mari and Glenn for their commitment and care and to all at John T Reid for their leadership in supporting the entire Pathways program. I look forward to seeing the positive rippling effects of this Writing Intensive in the years and decades to come.” 

La Mama Pathways Writing Intensive 2024

La Mama Pathways

La Mama Pathways Writing Intensive Program is funded by John T Reid Charitable Trusts and the Australian Government through Creative Australia, its arts funding and advisory body.