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Andrew Upton at the VCA: 'The blank page is humiliating, shaming, disgraceful, terrifying'
Last week, VCA Master of Theatre (Writing) Coordinator Raimondo Cortese spoke with Australian playwright, screenwriter and director Andrew Upton about his career, training, personal perspectives and insights into the arts industry, followed by a Q&A session. Upton was the Co-Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the Sydney Theatre Company from 2008 to 2012 and Artistic Director from 2013 to 2015. Watch the interview, or read an edited excerpt on Upton's preferred five act structure below.
Meet Raimondo Cortese, course coordinator of the Master of Theatre (Writing) at the University of Melbourne
Writer and playwright Raimondo Cortese has written more than 30 plays which have been performed in more than a dozen countries, including Features of Blown Youth, Roulette, St Kilda Tales, The Wall and The Silence. Raimondo has also written for film (The Boy Castaways), television and radio, as well as visual and experimental texts. In this interview, Raimondo talks about what makes a writer from his perspective as course coordinator of the Master of Theatre (Writing) at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Meet Alyson Campbell, Associate Professor in Theatre at the University of Melbourne
Associate Professor in Theatre Alyson Campbell is a freelance director and dramaturg with an astounding 30-year career, and teaching credits that feature the School of Creative Arts, the University of Melbourne, Queen's University Belfast and Brunel University, London. She's also a self-confessed "hack nutritionist" and proponent of saying "I don't know". We talk to Alyson about what makes a dramaturg.
Meet Jane Schon, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre) student at the University of Melbourne
"Risk-takers are so much more interesting to watch," says Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre) student Jane Schon. With journalism and marketing skills, Jane is looking to create a sustainable career as a performing artist with multiple income streams. Read more about Jane's experience and her plans for a creative career.
Meet Noemie Huttner-Koros, Master of Theatre (Dramaturgy) student at the University of Melbourne
"Whether it’s chatting with a playwright or a set designer, it’s wonderful listening to people’s ideas and perspectives and dream up new projects together." Meet Noemie Huttner-Koros, Master of Theatre (Dramaturgy) student at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Meet Steph Kehoe, Course Coordinator of the BFA (Theatre) at the University of Melbourne
Steph Kehoe has worked as a teacher, director and performer in Australia, Europe, the Americas and Asia. She trained under Jacques Lecoq at Ecole International de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq and completed her teacher training in the Lecoq pedagogy under Thomas Prattki at the London International School of Performing Arts. Here, she generously shares some insights into her performance and teaching practice, and the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre).
Meet Henry Kelly, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre) graduate at the University of Melbourne
Henry Kelly graduated from the first cohort of the re-imagined Bachelor of Fine Art (Theatre) course at the Victorian College of the Arts. Life has presented many highs and lows since graduating, including a trip to Taipei and a broken wrist – but that hasn't stopped him creating. He tells Mireille Stahle about his most recent projects during COVID-19.
Meet Morgan Rose, graduate of the Master of Theatre (Writing) at the University of Melbourne
Morgan Rose is a graduate of the Master of Theatre (Writing) (formerly Master of Writing for Performance) program at the Victorian College of the Arts. She works with teens through various youth theatre organisations and recently took part in the Dear Australia – Postcards to Our Nation project. She gives Mireille Stahle an insight into her practice ... and what shows she's been bingeing on in lockdown.
Dear Australia – new Australian performance writing
Playwriting Australia’s (PWA) Dear Australia offers bite-sized monologues that give voice to the hopes and fears of Australians facing the persistent threat of COVID-19. The Victorian College of the Arts was delighted to be represented as part of the Dear Australia line-up through a number of current and former staff, and alumni including Morgan Rose, James Majoos, Tariro Mavondo, Carly Sheppard, Richard Frankland, Kevin Hofbauer, Diane Stubbings, Eric Gardiner and Ross Mueller.
Protect your voice on Zoom, with vocal coach Amy Hume
For the latest in our How To series, voice coach and VCA Theatre (Voice) lecturer Amy Hume gives some clear tips on protecting your voice while working and playing online.
Alumni collaborate on Asia TOPA's The Seen and Unseen
Eugyeene Teh and Adena Jacobs met at the VCA in 2007. 13 Years later, they’re collaborating with fellow Australian theatremaker Jenny Hector, Indonesian artist Kamila Andini and Choreographer Ida Ayu Wayan Satyani on The Seen and Unseen, for Asia TOPA 2020. They speak about their experience of being back on campus after all these years.
Robert Walton on Child of Now and bringing your heart to work
A creative trailblazer, Victorian College of the Arts Theatre lecturer Robert Walton has been credited with creating the world’s first piece of iPad theatre and has toured his work in the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. So where does "radical empathy" fit in to his work as an artist and creator?
Chris Kohn, VCA lecturer: putting diversity centre stage
Since 2016, Chris Kohn has been working on a PhD looking at theatre made by people with intellectual disabilities and those identifying as neurodiverse. Right now, though, he's excited about a completely different kind of diversity project.
Richard Frankland says 2002 play about deaths in custody is sadly still relevant
Richard Frankland is not surprised his 2002 play about deaths in custody, Conversations with the Dead, is being restaged or that the story is still topical.
Five Questions for Caitlin Overton, Master of Theatre (Directing) student
Having grown up in rural NSW, VCA Theatre student Caitlin Overton is looking for ways to bridge the gap between rural and metropolitan creatives.
Meet Claire Bird, Theatre student at the University of Melbourne
Claire Bird is studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Theatre). She talks about the moments of discovery while studying and the importance of failing gloriously.
What's a girl? Just ask Ellen Grimshaw
Ellen Grimshaw graduated in 2018 from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Master in Writing for Performance. Here she discusses her new show, inspired by her work for the University’s First Commissions project, to be performed at the Melbourne Fringe this month.
New graduate-level voice training for stage and screen at the University of Melbourne
A new masters course has been launched to provide students with industry-leading knowledge and skills to work as a professional voice coach in the performing arts, film and television, media and business.
Meet Kliment Poposki, Master of Dramaturgy, University of Melbourne
It was a long journey for Kliment Poposki from science to Dramaturgy, but now he can’t imagine doing anything else.
Capital D Disability in Theatre with Julie McNamara at the University of Melbourne
Julie ‘Mack’ McNamara, an Honorary Fellow at VCA Theatre and the Artistic Director of Vital Xposure, one of UK’s leading disability led touring theatre companies. As a Visiting Fellow of the University of Melbourne’s Miegunyah Foundation, she talks to Mireille Stahle about making theatre that puts disability first.By Mireille Stahle