Lonely Company is a new initiative by playwrights and dramaturges Fleur Kilpatrick, Bridget Mackey, and Morgan Rose. We aim to create a space where writers feel supported in their work in what can sometimes be an alienating industry. Lonely Company do not stage works, rather, we support playwrights throughout the first year of their writing process on a brand new project.
Lonely Company is founded on two core beliefs about playwriting:
1. That playwriting is lonelier than a collaborative art form should be.
2. That we trust playwrights to know what creative process works for them.
Here is the deal:
We take on three playwrights every six months. One works with Fleur Kilpatrick, one with Bridget Mackey and one with Morgan Rose and we support and meet with them over the course of a year.
Our playwrights set their goals and mode of working and we endeavour to make their process less lonely, more connected and to help find avenues for their script to continue to grow once their year with us is over.
Our next intake will be mid-year 2017. However, we host public events – forums, workshops and reading parties – every few months all with the goal of making playwriting less lonely and more connected to our community.
The three founders (Kilpatrick, Mackey, and Rose) all have extensive background in theatremaking, and believe in the ability of artists to assist and be creatively inspired each other. Bridget Mackey has worked as Literary Manager for five.point.one and written a number of works for the stage including Kindness (Theatre Works, 2015). Morgan Rose is an internationally produced playwright who has had work staged in Melbourne at MTC-NEON, Theatre Works, and La Mama. Fleur Kilpatrick is a multi-award winning playwright, an arts commentator, and dramaturge, who is currently the Artistic Coordinator of Monash Academy of Performing Arts.
Lonely Company are based at the beautiful Boyd School Studios in Southbank, Melbourne with the support of Creative Spaces.
Lonely Company acknowledge the Kulin nation and the traditional custodians of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to local Elders and to the Elders, past and present, of all communities and cultures across Victoria. We acknowledge that these lands have been stolen, that sovereignty has never been ceded and that this always was, always will be, Aboriginal land.
who we are
I am a playwright, director and arts commentator. I hold a postgraduate diploma of directing and a Masters in Performance Writing from the Victorian College of the Arts and last year completed my dramaturgy internship at MTC under the guidance of Chris Mead. I am currently the Artistic Coordinator of the Monash Academy of Performing Arts and a well-respected arts commentator on School For Birds, 3RRR’s Smart Arts, the Audio Stage Podcast and Dancehouse Diaries.
My playwriting credits include: The City They Burned, Yours the Face and Insomnia Cat Came to Stay.
My directing credits include: Exit Everything, Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, Phedre (assistant directing for Bell Shakespeare) and Midsummer (assistant directing for Red Stitch).
I have dramaturged on: Exit Everything and Trolls along with countless other dramaturgical consults, readings and script assessments for companies such as Playwriting Australia, MKA and Dance House.
My favourite playwrights today include Roslyn Oades, Patricia Cornelius, Caryl Churchill and Martin Crimp.
I’m particularly interested in: verbatim theatre; rough, poetic, urban Australian language; dance theatre and stripped back, sparse dialogue. Above all I believe there is nothing like a good story. If your story is excellent and urgent, I will be there for it, whatever the form.
I love theatre that embraces its liveness. That, for me, can be about form – work that forgoes traditional maker-audience relationships – or language. I love words that feel lived in and of their linguistic moment.
For me, scripts that feel too polished and perfected on the page often feel irrelevant on stage; disconnected from their theatricality, as if they do not need the audience to be there and could exist comfortably on paper. I aim to empower writers to utilise live-ness and coax their work away from the realms of literary passivity and into the urgent world of live, lived in, responsive, awake theatre.
I am a Melbourne based freelance playwright and dramaturge with a background in acting. I hold a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Acting) from Flinders University and a Master of Writing for Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts. In 2014 I completed a dramaturgy internship at MTC facilitated by Chris Mead.
My writing credits include: The Exact Dimensions of Hell (Reading at MTC's Cybec Electric 2016) Exit Everything (Little Sister Projects, 2015), Kindness (dir. Alice Darling & Kate Shearman, 2015), Hose (MKA: Theatre of New Writing, 2012) and More Intimate Than (Honeycreepers, 2012).
As a dramaturge I have worked on a number of projects including Blessed by Fleur Kilpatrick (five.point.one, 2015) and The Lake by Ben Brooker (five.point.one, 2013). I have assessed scripts for five.point.one, Playwriting Australia, Melbourne Theatre Company, MKA: Theatre of New Writing and five.point.one.
I am one third of noise horror collective The Hunt. The Hunt combine industrial noise, live performance and lights to create a shifting landscape that deliberately disrupts the comforts of the human realm. Our performances invite the audience to move through emotional and sensory overload.
I’m interested in making good theatre. But I know that good theatre is ambiguous and subject to personal opinion, with (perhaps) some universal truths thrown into the mix. I know for certain that good theatre involves a lot of trial and error and room for failure. I think this search for the “good” is a life long quest.
My favourite playwright is Samuel Beckett. I like Chekhov more than I like Ibsen. I’m also a huge fan of more visual performance makers such as Romeo Castelucci and Pina Bausch. Closer to home, I continue to be inspired by the works of Daniel Schlusser Ensemble, Ranters Theatre and Fraught Outfit. I like theatre that is both intimate and a spectacle. I do not shy away from contradictions.
I’m interested in the way theatre intersects with other art forms. I spend a lot of time watching, thinking about and listening to music. I recently read the biography Clothes, Music, Boys by Viv Albertine, guitarist of 80s punk band The Slits. In her book Viv Albertine says:
'I don’t understand why time-keeping is considered such an attribute in western music… It’s like being told to keep the same rhythm during sex.'
I sometimes feel this way about some of the rules often thrust upon playwriting. Sometimes the rules are my friend, sometimes they need to get the hell out of my way.
I don’t think the role of the dramaturg is to know everything. I don’t know everything, Through working with writers I draw on my knowledge of the theatrical cannon and my practical experience. I allow space for arguing, exploration, collaboration and spontaneity. I want to help writers tell their story the way that they want to tell it.
I am a theatremaker originally from New Orleans in the United States, but I live in Melbourne now. I have acted, directed, produced, taught, dramaturged, and written for performance. I have a Masters of Writing for Performance from the VCA and have studied with Anne Bogart and SITI Company, Pacific Performance Project, Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre and the Butoh Dance Company Dairakudakan. I have done a Dramaturgy Internship with Playwriting Australia under the direction of Chris Mead, the Besen Writers Programme at Malthouse under Mark Pritchard, and am currently the resident playwright with Melbourne youth theatre company Riot Stage.
Playwriting credits include: Virgins and Cowboys (Theatre Works - Flight Festival), Lord Willing and the Creek Don't Rise (MKA - Melbourne Theatre Company-NEON), and Forever City (Riot Stage - La Mama).
Dramaturgy credits include: Or Forever Hold Your Peace (Motherboard - La Boite Indie), Twin (Red Moon Rising), Catching Him in Pieces (Mondo Bizarro in New Orleans), as well as a more research-based approach to productions of published works like The Importance of Being Earnest and Doubt (both for Taproot Theatre in Seattle).
I am interested in theatre that knows it's theatre. I am interested in the visually arresting. I am interested in theatrical epiphany. I am interested in work that challenges form and that is of the moment. I believe in the deep seated need for collective experience. I believe in theatre that won't be relevant next year. My favorite show I've ever seen was a dance show (Hofesh Schector's Sun). My second favorite show I've ever seen also did not have a playwright attached (Life and Times by Nature Theatre of Oklahoma). I don't believe in the phrase 'you've got to know the rules in order to break them'. I am not interested in rules. I don't care too much about theory. I don't really care too much about Shakespeare either. I believe a dramaturg should ask more questions and have less ideas. I believe that uncertainty is just as valuable as certainty. I unabashedly love reality tv, and your shaming won't work on me. Favorite writers: Charlie Kaufman, Nicky Silver, Annie Baker.
Yuki is a Melbourne-based person(?) who sometimes likes to write plays, short stories, and unfinished novels. Their work is feminist focused, exploring gender, sexuality, and race. They is especially interested in trans* issues and the representation of race in the arts. Their experience in theatre include writing and directing plays that have been performed at La Mama Theatre, Mudfest, and Melbourne Fringe Festival. They was also a participant in ATYP's National Studio, mentored by Lachlan Philpott. They has recently worked as a creative director for RMIT's 2016 production of Snatches as part of Melbourne Fringe Festival and, most recently, they has spoken at the National Young Writers' Festival. They is currently writing and directing their upcoming play, Mercury Boy/F*ggot Girl which is planned to open later this year.
Liv is a writer, director and dramaturg trained at the VCA (Directing) and the University of Sydney. Her practice focuses on community development for emerging artists and producing new work through her company the voice in my hands. In 2013, she co-founded new writing development company Somersault Theatre in Sydney. She is the co-founder of Melbourne monthly performance program Small and Loud with Georgia Symons. Established in January 2016 at The Workers Club, Small and Loud provides a controlled development space for emerging artists to test short sections of full works-in-development in front of an audience. It has recently partnered with Arts Centre Melbourne to present its second year of work in The Channel. Her plays include My Name is Truda Vitz (Somersault Theatre, Tap Gallery) and I sat and waited but you were gone too long (La Mama Explorations). I sat and waited was showcased at Playwriting Australia’s National Play Festival at Malthouse Theatre in July and shortlisted for the Silver Gull Play Award and the Philip Parsons Fellowship.
Natesha Somasundaram is a great friend with a spicy personality. She started playwriting 18 months ago accidentally, but now she writes plays on purpose because it stops her brain from imploding. She likes writing about weird things and sad things and funny things and things that she loves. She has a bachelor of performing arts and half a bachelor of law. She's written for the National Play Festival, Melbourne Comedy Festival, the Melbourne Fringe Festival and has also been the mastermind behind her mum's passive aggressive email to online clothing stores. She is currently part of the Lotus development program with Playwriting Australia and her favourite youtube channel is the one where the guy cuts stuff up with a molten hot knife.
Dale concerns himself with the intensity of a performer’s attention to their movement. The interface between brain and body, what that communication system is and what dynamics it can produce, provides him with the textiles to give form to thought. In his work he aims to elicit various textures and qualities from the performer’s volitions as a way to generate material. He is discovering a quality of oscillation in his process, an irreconcilable nexus of philosophies, between a need to redress story in performance and exposing a piece’s artifice. His skill and attention to physicality has seen him as a frequent collaborator in theatre and dance productions. He grew up in Brisbane, where he served as a principal artist with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre (2008-2013) and Artslink Queensland (2011-2013). In 2014 he relocated to Melbourne to complete a post-graduate diploma in performance creation (choreography) from the Victorian College of the Arts. He was awarded the choreographic development award from the faculty after his short study: No Children in this Neighborhood. He has worked professionally as an actor, dancer, director, movement director, dramaturg, devisor, consultant, teacher, improviser and choreographer. Dale’s looking forward to being a little less lonely in the coming months with the help of Lonely Company.
Jamaica is a Melbourne based writer and performer. She first started performing at the National Theatre Ballet School where she studied dance for ten years. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree majoring in Creative Writing and French from the University of Melbourne. She is a graduate of the National Theatre Drama School. Her acting credits include The Visit, The Country, Picnic at Hanging Rock (The National Theatre Drama School), Big Maggie and Yes, Yes, Yes! (Bloomsday in Melbourne), More Intimate Than (Honeycreepers; Melbourne Fringe Festival), The Tragedy of Lucrece (Globe Productions; Melbourne Fringe Festival), Season to Taste (New Blood; Kingston Arts Centre/Adelaide Fringe Festival), Shakespeare and the Dark Lady (Globe Productions) and music video The Lake you Love (Linus Wilson). In 2015, she graduated with a Master of Writing for Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts, where she was the recipient of the Cassidy Bequest Scholarship.
Georgie is a Melbourne-based writer specialising in screen and theatre. Originally from Albury (not Wodonga), she moved to Melbourne in 2013 to undertake a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Screenwriting) at the Victorian College of the Arts. During her time at VCA Georgie majored in satire and developed a very disturbed idea of comedy. Since graduating she has interned at La Mama and has production managed a “puppet poetry slam” for Black Hole Theatre entitled Captured Whispers. In 2016 her work was featured in Red Stitch’s annual showcase Playlist. Being fairly new to theatre writing, Georgie hopes to use her year with Lonely Company to unlearn most of film school.
Eric is a playwright and performer from The Glorious Republic of Melbourne's Inner North. After co-writing several plays at The University of Melbourne, his first full length work, Bounty, premiered at the 2015 Melbourne Fringe, presented by Darebin Arts Speakeasy and MKA and directed by Tom Gutteridge. Last year Eric was longlisted for the Scribe Nonfiction Prize, awarded to the best writers of nonfiction under 30 in Australia, and received first class honours from The University of Melbourne for his thesis on Australian adaptation theatre in practice. Previously Eric worked as a Creative Producer at The Emerging Writers Festival and Creative Associate at MKA, and has assisted in producing theatre and literature events in collaboration with companies including the Melbourne Festival, Darebin Arts Speakeasy, Monash University, The Victorian College of the Arts, Union House Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company. In 2013 Eric was the co-Artistic Director of Mudfest, working with Josiah Lulham to lead The University of Melbourne’s student arts festival, the largest of its kind in Australia. Eric is currently producing The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, presented by Phil Rouse and Theatre Works, and performing in an independent production of Lally Katz's The Apocalypse Bear Trilogy, directed by Brendan McDougall.
PAST PLAYWRIGHTS IN RESIDENCE
SEANNA VAN HELTEN (2016)
Seanna is a writer, researcher, dramaturg and co-Artistic Director of independent theatre company She Said Theatre. Works for She Said Theatre include the award-winning HART (co-written with performer Ian Michael), which premiered at Melbourne Fringe 2015, and is currently touring to New Zealand and South Australia; Laika and Wills (Melbourne Fringe 2013); Breaking (co-authored and co-directed with Penny Harpham, Melbourne Fringe 2012); and she is currently developing Salt and Fallen for the company. Since the founding of She Said in 2006, Seanna has also produced Noelle Janaczewska’s Historia at Brisbane’s Metro Arts and worked as dramaturg on Adam J. A. Cass’s Bock Kills Her Father (La Mama 2015). She has contributed as an arts writer to Milk Bar Mag, is the former Arts Editor of Brisbane’s Rave Magazine and has published writing in Griffith REVIEW and Voiceworks. She is a graduate of the University of Queensland and of the University of Melbourne, where she received the Percival Serle Prize for her MA thesis. In 2014, Seanna completed the Master of Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts, under Raimondo Cortese. She is a recent recipient of the Australia Council’s ArtStart development grant.
Georgia Symons (2016)
Georgia is a theatre maker and game designer, often working in youth and community contexts. Originally from Sydney, she moved to Melbourne in 2014 to undertake her Masters in Writing for Performance at the VCA. Since graduating, Georgia has been the recipient of an Australia Council ArtStart grant; an ‘Inside 130’ Residency at Arena Theatre Company, and a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk fellowship. She has worked as a lead artist with Western Edge Youth Arts and with Platform Youth Arts, and her work has been showcased in the Melbourne Fringe keynote program Uncommon Places II, and in Metanoia’s selected Live Works season. Her theatre & game works from 2015 include: Three Legged Race Around the World (game, Digital Writers Festival); A Puppet Show for All Ages (theatre, ASYLUM Series by Apocalypse Theatre); Alien Meteorites (game, Fresh Air Festival/Federation Square); Iago (theatre, Western Edge/Coopers Malthouse); Wash Your Hands (interactive theatre, MUDFest); TurboDetective 3000 (game, National Young Writers Festival). Georgia is looking forward to a year of art-making, milkshake-drinking, and fun-having with Lonely Company.
Allee is a playwright from Melbourne where she’s had two plays produced by Theatre 451. Her most recent play, Beers & Trees, was performed at La Mama as a part of the 2015 Explorations Season. An earlier draft of Beers & Trees was read at the Five Point One Reading Sessions in Adelaide. Last year Allee was a part of the Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Studio where she was mentored by playwright Lachlan Philpott. She also writes short fiction and has been published in Voiceworks and Visible Ink.
We take on new writers every six months.
The most important things for us to know are who you are and what your process looks like. We want to know if we can support it and you for a year.
We don’t want this to be a long and difficult process for you – to be honest, we would rather you were writing a play than spending time writing about writing plays – so please keep your applications to two or three pages.
Please write to us addressing some or all of the following points.
- Introduce yourself.
- What is your ideal process as a playwright? (Note: If you are still figuring this out, that is fine. You can tell us a bit about what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past.)
- What would be your desired outcome from a year of working with us?
- What art gets you excited?
- What is on your mind? (Note: This could be a pitch for something you might like to write about or it could just be what you’ve been obsessing over lately.)
The deadline for the next round of applications is mid-2017. Please stay tuned or contact us in advance to express your interest.
Email us at email@example.com.