Eleven of Australia’s most promising new playwrights will present their latest work to the public at Melbourne Theatre Company’s annual play-reading series, Cybec Electric.
Running from March 28 to 30 at Southbank Theatre, this year’s program involves a team of talented actors, directors and dramaturgs presenting semi-staged readings of two full-length plays, and three sessions of 15-minute play excerpts.
The program gives audiences a preview of some of the most exciting upcoming works while providing the playwrights with the all-important experience of developing their work with actors and directors in front of an audience.
Cybec Scenes 1 on March 28 features three play excerpts, beginning with Mama Alto’s The Bathroom, which explores community and gender identity during a small town’s first Pride Festival. Mararo Wangai’s Accra Hips and All is a heart-warming story of family and belonging between Australia and Ghana. Keziah Warner’s Help Yourself is about what follows when you bring your imaginary boyfriend home to meet your parents.
March 29 is a performance of Rachel Perks’s End of Life, a darkly comic vision of a not-too-distant future where a water crisis means people are encouraged to give up their body’s water – and by extension, their life – for the greater good. There’s also Next (on) Stage, where the MTC’s Next Stage writers-in-residence Declan Furber Gillick, Melissa Reeves and Chris Summers will discuss what they’ve been working on with literary director Chris Mead.
On March 30 Cybec Scenes 2 features the second series of play excerpts, starting with Elias Jamieson Brown's story of sex, online dating and power across generations in Green Park. Then there’s Phillip Kavanagh's take on neighbours finding connection on a raft in the middle of the ocean in As One, while in Cycle Broken Eva Grace Mullaley tells a tale of three misfits trying to make a home under the long shadow cast by generations of stolen children.
March 30 also offers a performance of Australian Open by Angus Cameron. It’s Felix’s 28th birthday, but all his parents care about is that his boyfriend lost to Roger Federer in the Australian Open final – until Felix reveals that they’re in an open relationship.
Chris Mead says “Cybec Electric is MTC’s polestar, a glimmering guide setting the course for our theatre’s future. It is the home of contemporary conversations about theatre, its possibilities, fury and joy.”
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