UHT’s Virtual Writer in Residence Program

N.B applications for the Writer in Residence Program have now closed

Presented in collaboration with La Mama Theatre

Love the idea of writing for theatre? Always wanted to try your hand at playwrighting? Or maybe you have got loads of creative ideas bubbling away, that just need a bit of help…

The Writer-in-Residence program at UHT is an opportunity for students to work closely with an industry professional as they develop a piece of theatre or performance.

Open to anyone, regardless of your prior experience, this virtual version of our Writer-in-Residence program is a chance to work on your own sense of style as a playwright. You’ll receive the benefit of all-important input from a mentor, as you begin to explore your ideas and develop your passion writing for any kind of performance.

The format of the program includes small group Zoom sessions, provocations or writing tasks, reading and sharing your work and one-on-one consultations with your writing mentor. In an exciting development, this year we collaborate with La Mama Theatre, to bring you four playwright mentors.

They include:

Mari Lourey

Mari Lourey is a theatremaker, award winning playwright, dramaturg and educator with 25 years experience.  She was UHT’s 2018 Writer-in-Residence, seeing several works developed there go on to successful productions. She loves sharing the rigours of craft and begins from the premise that each new work is a prototype that requires its own unique approach. 

Declan Ferber Gillick

Declan Furber Gillick is an independent Arrernte playwright, dramaturg, theatre-maker and author of prose and poetry. He has been a resident in MTC’s Next Stage writers’ program since 2018 where his work ‘Jacky’ was commissioned. His plays ‘Bighouse Dreaming’ and ‘Scar Trees’ have toured Victoria and interstate. He also practices as a rapper, musician, teacher, mentor and arts facilitator.

Samah Sabawi

Samah is a Palestinian playwright, author and poet, also recognised for her activism for human rights and social justice. Her plays include ‘Cries from the Land’, ‘Three Wishes’, ‘Tales of a City by the Sea’, and the Green Room Award Winning ‘Them’. ‘Them’ was selected in 2018 for MTC’s Cybec Electric reading series and premiered in May 2019 at the La Mama Courthouse. 

Olivia Satchell

Liv Satchell is a theatre-maker, writer and dramaturg who trained at the VCA (Directing) and co-runs indie company VIMH (the voice in my hands). She is interested in how loss and grief are embodied, in feminine dramaturgies that seek value outside of traditional narrative paradigms, and the possibilities of liveness in performance.


Students will work with one writer only.

Future opportunities for writers might include presenting at the Creative Art’s Office Tastings season, 2021 Mudfest, and presentations at La Mama’s Explorations season.

For more information email Xanthe – artistic@union.unimelb.edu.au