MTC announces 2017 Women in Theatre Program Participants

MTC Julie Smith in rehearsal for Born YesterdayMelbourne Theatre Company has announced the thirteen theatre professionals selected for its 2017 Women in Theatre Program.

The successful applicants for this year’s program are Gorkem Acaroglu (director), Mary Rachel Brown (playwright), Fiona Bruce (set and costume designer), Samantha Butterworth (producer), Tania Canas (early career director), Angelica Clunes (artistic director), Suzanne Cranny (technical manager/venue operations) Kellie-Anne Kimber (sound design & composition), Clare McKenzie (executive director/general manager), Dans Marie Sheehan (lighting designer), Erin Taylor (dramaturg), Emily Tomlins (cross discipline practitioner) and Victoria Woolley (production manager).

“It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2017 intake of our Women in Theatre Program,” said MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy. “The thirteen successful applicants represent the high calibre of women building their careers in the theatre sector and we are delighted to have them as part of this year’s program and to be contributing to their professional development.”

Established in 2014 as the Women Directors Program and later expanded in 2016 to the Women in Theatre Program to include a broader range of disciplines, this MTC initiative has supported 32 theatre professionals in their career development to date.

MTC is committed to supporting artists and industry practitioners and this program is one of the many ways in which we do that,” continued Mr Sheehy. “Now in its fourth year, this initiative continues to demonstrate its necessity and importance with a raft of positive outcomes, while the large number of applications we receive each year indicates the demand for these sorts of programs and opportunities.”

This sought after career development program, curated by MTC Producer Martina Murray, runs for 12 months and sees each participants paired with a mentor in their chosen field as well as a calendar of networking opportunities, leadership training, and workshops covering a range of topics to provide a rounded understanding of how a state theatre company operates.

“Our Women in Theatre Program is tailored to providing meaningful support and guidance to women working in the industry,” said Ms Murray. “The evidence of this is in the program’s flexibility to evolve in sync with the needs of the sector and of those who apply in any given year, making it a truly unique and important industry initiative.”

“This year it is great to see a number of technical roles represented within the group alongside the creative disciplines, and I look forward to working will all the participants throughout the year.”

For more information about MTC’s Women in Theatre Program and the 2017 participants, visit: for details.

Image: Julie Smith in rehearsal for Born Yesterday (supplied)