Led by Mari Lourey with Angus Cerini, Bernadette Fam, Margaret Harvey, Petra Kalive and Jenni Medway, Melbourne’s leading theatre practitioners discuss different approaches to, and their experiences of dramaturgy.

Presenters: Mari Lourey (chair), Angus Cerini, Bernadette Fam, Margaret Harvey, Petra Kalive & Jenni Medway

Angus Cerini 

Angus Cerini is a multi-award-winning writer, performer and theatre maker. 

Angus’ plays have been produced by companies including Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Arena Theatre Company, Theatre de Béthune and Mann Haast (France), and widely within the independent sector both locally and internationally. Angus creates theatre projects through his company Doubletap and has toured this work throughout Australia and in Ireland, England, Hong Kong, and Germany. 

In 2020, Angus’ play WONNANGATTA premiered at Sydney Theatre Company starring Wayne Blair and Hugo Weaving.  WONNANGATTA won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama and was nominated for an AWGIE Award for Best Play. 

His play, THE BLEEDING TREE, won an AWGIE Award for Best Play, a Helpmann Award for Best Play, multiple Green Room Awards including Best Play, a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Play, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Drama, as well as the Griffin Award and the David Williamson Prize. The world premiere production of THE BLEEDING TREE by Griffin Theatre Company was remounted by Sydney Theatre Company and then toured to Canberra and Melbourne to critical acclaim. THE BLEEDING TREE is published by Currency Press. It has had seasons throughout Australia and internationally. 

SAVE FOR CRYING, which Angus wrote and directed at La Mama Theatre, won multiple Green Room Awards including Best New Writing for the Australian Stage. His play, RESPLENDENCE was presented at NEON Festival for Melbourne Theatre Company, was nominated for multiple Green Room Awards and won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Drama. His play, WRETCH was co-winner of the Patrick White Playwright’s Award and Green Room Awards. 

In 2024 his play, INTO THE SHIMMERING WORLD premieres with Sydney Theatre Company. 

Bernadette Fam 

Bernadette Fam is an interdisciplinary dramaturg, director and theatre-maker. She is currently New Work Manager at Malthouse Theatre Company. As Dramaturg Bernadette has worked with a range of companies including but not limited to: Playwriting Australia, PYT Fairfield, Western Edge, Sydney Chamber Opera, Poetry in Action, Critical Stages Touring, Green Door Theatre Company, Rogues Projects and Antipodes Theatre. Bernadette has worked as a script assessor for Sydney Theatre Company and Griffin Theatre Company. She has directed new work developments for Green Door Theatre Company, Poetry in Action, Critical Stages Touring, Malthouse Theatre and Griffin Theatre Company. In 2022 she was a Literary Associate for Belvoir Theatre Company, a Griffin Studio artist and is also Creative Producer at Green Door Theatre Company. 

Margaret Harvey  

Margaret Harvey amplifies Melanesian voices with her roots in Saibai Island. By exploring narratives of migratory expressions, she unveils the intricate interplay of ancestral pathways spanning the past, present, and future across live performance and film. As a multifaceted storyteller, Margaret traverses research, performance, writing, directing, and producing on stage and screen. Currently embarking on a postdoctoral journey at the University of Melbourne, Margaret explores Indigenous Pasifika eco-womanist perspectives and mythology.  

Petra Kalive 

Petra is a theatre director who has worked across a diversity of projects on independent, community, education, and main stages. Her fluidity in navigating these sectors has enabled her to bring fresh insights and innovative approaches to each project she undertakes. As Associate Director of Melbourne Theatre Company, Petra directed and workshopped a number of works that specifically emphasised marginalised perspectives, successfully attracting new audiences. Prior to MTC, Petra was the Artistic Director of Union House Theatre. There she played a pivotal role in mentoring, supporting and presenting theatre works crafted by students, many of whom have since flourished in their careers. As co-Artistic Director of Melbourne Playback Theatre Company, Petra worked with various communities using their personal stories as a means to foster connection and social cohesion. 

Petra is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts MFA by research (Directorial Practice), Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (Acting), Victoria University (Solo Performance) and has a BSc (Biomedical) from Melbourne University. Petra is a Churchill Fellowship Recipient. She traveled to the United States, United Kingdom and Chile in 2024 where she researched community engaged/led theatre in professional theatre company settings. 

Mari Lourey 

Mari is an award winning playwright, dramaturg and creative producer.  As freelance dramaturg she has worked for numerous individuals and companies including: PWA/APT; La Mama Theatre, Ilbijerri and Yirra Yaakin Theatre Companies, Melbourne University’s Union House Theatre, Outer Urban Projects, and Goolarri Media in Broome WA. 

She has long had an interest in the skills and professional development of theatre makers in relation to performance writing.  Based between Naarm and Rubibi (Broome) WA, she currently co-coordinates La Mama’s Pathways Program, which she initiated after identifying a gap in the nuts and bolts training available to Melbourne based emerging and developing theatre writers.  Since 2014 she has coordinated Goolarri Media’s Indigenous Writers Program, assisting the development of plays, screen works and cross art projects. In 2018/’20 she was Writer in Residence with Melbourne University’s Union House Theatre. Between 2009 – 2012 she co-facilitated Ilbijerri Theatre’s inaugural Blak Writers Labs 

Acclaimed plays include: Dirty Angels (La Mama and Regional Victorian tour); The Bridge, (Torch Project), dir Rachael Maza; Bare Witness (fortyfivedownstairs/La Mama), dir by Nadja Kostich; national tour with Performing Lines. Her most recent play Dirt Cloud received Seaborn, Ross Trust and Brennan (2022 runner up, Youth Category) awards.  She has several projects in development. 

Jennifer Medway 

Jennifer Medway is a dramaturg with over a decade of professional experience in the development of new Australian work. She is currently Melbourne Theatre Company’s Head of New Work where she runs one of the largest play development programmes in the country. Prior to this she was Melbourne Theatre Company’s Literary Associate from 2017-2021. Past roles include: Resident Dramaturg at the Australian Theatre for Young People, Studio Artist at Griffin Theatre Company, Associate Artist-Dramatugy and Literary Assistant at Belvoir, script assessor and dramaturg for Australian Plays Transform/Playwriting Australia, Chair of the Nick Enright Playwriting Prize (NSW Premiers Literary Awards) and a regular guest lecturer at the Victorian College of the Arts within their Masters of Directing, Playwriting and Dramaturgy programmes. 

Access Information:

Livestream: Book livestream tickets HERE. Livestream playback will be available until Sunday Jul 14.

Auslan Interpreted: All evening sessions (Session 1, Session 4, Session 7, Session 10, Session 13).