Melbourne Theatre Company announces 2016 Season

MTC Ladies in Black 2016Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) has revealed Artistic Director Brett Sheehy’s 2016 Season, in a year of remarkable theatre, entertainment and activity at Victoria’s home of live storytelling.

“2016 marks the fourth Melbourne Theatre Company Season I’ve had the great privilege to curate,” said Brett Sheehy. “Navigating a theatre company through this second decade of the 21st Century is both a joy and a challenge as we strive to achieve the right balance of stories and art which excites our loyal, intrepid subscribers and also speaks to new audiences about their lives in an arresting and compelling way.”

MTC’s 2016 Season features 11 mainstage plays, a family production, NEON NEXT, an extensive Education Program, the Cybec Electric play reading series, a Women in Theatre program, regional and interstate touring, MTC CONNECT and a range of other artist development initiatives.

Gracing MTC’s stages in 2016 are a host of celebrated actors including Kat Stewart, Shaun Micallef, Colin Friels, Kate Atkinson, Bert LaBonté, Mark Leonard Winter, Sarah Peirse, Christen O’Leary, Bobby Fox, and Ash Flanders; and award-winning directors including Kip Williams, Nadia Tass, Simon Phillips, Clare Watson, Peter Houghton, Sarah Goodes, MTC’s Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong and Associate Director Leticia Cáceres.

These artists will be bringing to life works by some of the finest writers from Australia and abroad including Joanna Murray-Smith, Kate Mulvany, Tom Holloway, Carolyn Burns, Young Jean Lee, Duncan Macmillan, Deborah Bruce, Ayad Akhtar, David Hare, Neil Simon and August Strindberg.

Highlights of the 2016 Season include: Ladies in Black – a new musical which features music and lyrics by Tim Finn and sees the return of the creative masterminds behind North by Northwest, Simon Phillips and Carolyn Burns. Kate Atkinson and Bert LaBonté star in the Australian premiere of Lungs – a funny, tender and profound two-hander by British writer Duncan Macmillan, directed by Clare Watson.

MTC Associate Director Leticia Cáceres leads the Australian premiere of The Distance – a smash-hit from London with big laughs and moral dilemmas that examine the emotional fallout when a woman walks out on her husband and children. 2015 Helpmann award-winning director Kip Williams brings the theatrical masterpiece Miss Julie to MTC for a modern revival, starring the inimitable Mark Leonard Winter, fresh from his acclaimed performance in Birdland.

Straight White Men, the razor-edged new comedy from one of American theatre’s most acute observers of race and identity, Young Jean Lee is taken on by MTC Associate Director Leticia Caceres. One of the greatest crime novels of our times, Double Indemnity is given a brilliant stage adaptation by Tom Holloway with direction by MTC Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong.

Led by award-winning director Dean Bryant, David Hare’s contemporary classic, Skylight returns to MTC starring Colin Friels and Anna Samson as the estranged lovers who reunite and old passion sparks. The critically-acclaimed novel, Jasper Jones is lovingly transformed into a rich and poignant stage production, adapted by Kate Mulvany and directed by MTC’s Associate Artistic Director Sam Strong.

Kat Stewart and Mitchell Butel star in Disgraced – the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama that proves politics and dinner parties are never a good mix, directed by Nadia Tass. Joanna Murray-Smith’s acclaimed two-hander, Switzerland comes to MTC with the stunning original Sydney Theatre Company team of actors Sarah Peirse and Eamon Farren, and director Sarah Goodes.

And MTC’s 2016 mainstage season closes with Shaun Micallef and Francis Greenslade playing the famous mismatched duo in comedy classic, The Odd Couple directed by Peter Houghton.

“There’s no shortage of remarkable theatrical experiences, activities and learning opportunities at MTC in 2016,” says Sheehy. “In addition to presenting a program of exceptional theatre we continue to nurture the individuals who make up the creative industry we are so lucky to have in this country.”

“I invite you to join me on the theatrical journeys which our dozens of extraordinary artists – writers, directors, actors, designers and other creatives – are passionate about taking us on.”

Subscription Packages for MTC’s 2016 Season are now on sale. Single tickets for Ladies in Black, Lungs and The Distance go on sale on Tuesday 1 December 2015. Single tickets for all remaining shows go on sale on Tuesday 8 March 2016. For more information, visit: www.mtc.com.au for details.

Image: Christen O’Leary stars Magda in Ladies in Black – photo courtesy of MTC

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