MTC Women in Theatre Program Participants Announced

MTC WomenMelbourne Theatre Company has announced the eleven theatre professionals selected for its 2016 Women in Theatre Program.

The new initiative, which builds on the success of MTC’s Women Directors Program and expands the scope to include other disciplines such as sound and lighting design, producing and playwriting, consists of nine mentorships and two assistant director positions.

“The eleven individuals selected for our 2016 program represent a group of exceptional women, already doing great things in their respective disciplines, who will benefit immensely from the support and guidance these sorts of opportunities provide,” said MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy. “With great pleasure, I welcome them to MTC and look forward to seeing their professional development throughout the year.”

The successful applicants for the mentoring component of the program are Prue Clark (Director, mentor: Leticia Cáceres), Emily Collett (Set & Costume Designer, mentor: Christina Smith), Emilie Collyer (Playwright, mentor: Hannie Rayson), Mish Grigor (Artistic Director, mentor: Brett Sheehy), Kate Hancock (Executive Director, mentor: Virginia Lovett), Jess Keeffe (Sound Designer, mentor: Russell Goldsmith), Amelia Lever-Davidson (Lighting Designer, mentor: Paul Jackson), Jennifer Medway (Dramatrug, mentor: Chris Mead), and Natasha Phillips (Producer, mentor: Martina Murray).

The two assistant director positions, available to alumni of the 2015 Women Directors Program, are to be filled by Justine Campbell and Kat Henry who will work on MTC’s productions of Jasper Jones (directed by Sam Strong) and The Odd Couple (directed by Peter Houghton), respectively.

“The high calibre of applicants we received for this program is testament to the incredible pool of talented female theatre professionals carving out careers in Melbourne’s creative industries,” says MTC Executive Director Virginia Lovett. “Evidence that there is real hunger for programs like this within the theatre sector.”

MTC’s Women in Theatre Program, curated by Martina Murray, is one of the Company’s core artist access initiatives. In addition to one-on-one meetings with assigned mentors, participants in this part of the program will receive access to all facets of the Company, leadership training, practical career advice and coaching across a wide range of business and commercial aspects of the theatre industry.

“The relationships I have formed with both official and unofficial mentors throughout my career have been an undeniably important support and resource,” says MTC Producer Martina Murray. “The insights I was fortunate to gain into the operations of companies such as MTC so early on were invaluable to shaping my practice, and I am thrilled to be in a position to share similar access and experiences with other women as they shape their careers in theatre.”

The two assistant directors, both alumni of the Women Directors Program, are provided with a valuable opportunity to build on their existing relationship with the Company and gain practical experience working on a large scale mainstage production alongside an award-winning director.

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Image: courtesy of Melbourne Theatre Company