Bringing together 40 participating directors, 36 guest directors and over 32 actors and creatives for an intensive creative laboratory, spanning nine days, the inaugural Directors Lab: Melbourne as part of Melbourne Festival is currently underway at The University of Melbourne.
Presented by Theatre Works, the Directors Lab was open to applications from industry professionals from across the world. Over 70 directors applied and in August a group of 40 participating directors was selected from Australia, Greece and the USA.
The directors will be inspired by masterclasses from the likes of celebrated American director Peter Sellars (Director of Desdemona, Melbourne Festival) and visionary playwright and director Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project). They will also partake in sessions with leading national directors such as Bruce Gladwin (Back to Back Theatre), Rosemary Myers (Windmill Theatre), Matthew Lutton (The Malthouse) and Marion Potts (Director of Theatre, Australia Council).
In addition to this, directors will facilitate their own sessions for peers, exploring the theme of Source Material as a Catalyst for Creation. Dr Simon Longstaff AO (Executive Director, The Ethics Centre Australia) will also join the Lab, exploring the responsibilities involved in telling other people’s stories on stage.
Theatre Works CEO/ Creative Producer, Dan Clarke was inspired to create the program after visiting the Lincoln Centre’s Directors Lab in June 2015.
“Since coming on board at Theatre Works, I’ve wanted to create a program that facilitates an exchange between directors from across Australia and the world,” said Clarke. “Directors rarely have the opportunity to meet together, explore ideas and methodologies towards really honing their craft.”I
“I’m so excited, that with the support of our partners, we have been able to create this incredible program. I hope that it fosters not only skills development but also creative collaboration beyond the Lab.”
The Directors Lab has been supported by partners, The University of Melbourne and Melbourne Festival, as well as The Ian Potter Foundation, Besen Family Foundation and the US Consulate General Melbourne.
Image: Participants at Directors Lab: Melbourne (photo kindly supplied by Daniel Clarke)