Mulvany is worried about the future for playwrights. “In recent years”, she says, “the playwright seems to have been swept under the carpet in favour of auteur directors, ‘star vehicles’ and endless adaptations.”
“At a time where many theatre companies are relying on ‘sure hits’ to keep afloat, where are the new stories of our country? What theatrical canon will we be leaving behind for future playmakers? How do we take care of one another at a time when governmental support is at an all-time low? What is our responsibility to each other as artists?”
Mulvany has worked in the theatre industry for 20 years; she knows how it operates and understands its politics. She has some tough love for an industry that isn’t always as open and honourable as it claims to be.
The Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture is delivered annually by a prominent arts professional, and provides a vital platform for senior arts personnel to speak candidly about the industry and provoke debate among audiences and performing arts practitioners.
This year the Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture becomes part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival, while remaining a collaboration between Belvoir and Currency House. It’s only right that this move is marked with a lecture that delves deep into the role and status of the writer in theatre.
Mulvany is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. Most recently she played Mrs Bucktin in her stage adaption of Jasper Jones. Masquerade, her reimagining of the much-loved children’s book by Kit Williams, was performed at the 2015 Sydney Festival, the State Theatre Company of South Australia and the Melbourne Festival.
Mulvany worked with Anne-Louise Sarks to create Medea which was produced by Belvoir in 2012, it won a number of awards including an AWGIE and five Sydney Theatre Awards. It recently completed a hugely successful season at London’s Gate Theatre.
Mulvany is also an award-winning stage and screen actor, whose credits include The Seed, Buried Child (Belvoir); Blasted (B Sharp/Sheedy Productions); Tartuffe, Macbeth, Julius Caesar (Bell Shakespeare); The Crucible, Proof, A Man With Five Children, King Lear, Rabbit (Sydney Theatre Company); The Beast (Melbourne Theatre Company); Mr Bailey’s Minder (Griffin Theatre Company); and the recent feature films The Little Death and The Great Gatsby. Later this month she will star in The Literati for Bell Shakespeare and Griffin Theatre Company.
The Philip Parsons Memorial Lecture will be presented in Belvoir’s Upstairs Theatre on Monday 16 May 2016, commencing at 6.30pm. For more information, visit: www.belvoir.com.au for details.
Image: Kate Mulvany – photo by Lisa Tomasetti