Whilst our Chapel Street venue was abuzz with a season of full stage productions featuring new writing from around Australia and the world, we didn’t stop creating for a second. June-July 2011 MK-Alpha spent a month making and developing new work, upstairs, in that big black and white building that also has that mainstage, state theatre company in it (the MTC Theatre). What is delightful is what went on inside. Whilst we were there we workshopped four entirely new works from four exciting young not-male Melbourne playwrights.

MKA Workshop

Kerith Manderson-Galvin, Elise Hearst, Izzy Roberts-Orr, & Louris van de Geer | 2011

Four New Works by Four New Writers

Thanks to Melbourne Theatre Company, in 2011, each week, for four weeks, a playwright, with the support of an MK-Alpha artistic team, will workshop a play by day; and then by night we’ll open the doors to you the public.

You can watch the work of making a play in progress.
This can be a very private act but we’d like you to share in it.
Some nights it’ll be a play. Some nights it’ll be interactive. Some nights perhaps even we won’t know what will happen.
Come. Be an observer. Be a participant. Be our guest.
Each play is created with entirely different processes; to honour the story being told; as an experiment; as a game; as a way of getting the best new writing. You can see it happen.

MKA Workshop | 2011 featured:

Rockefeller by Kerith Manderson-Galvin
Public Showings: June 27-29

The Sun Room by Elise Hearst
Public Showings: July 4-6

Twins by Izzy Roberts-Orr
Public Showings: July 11-13

Cut Snake by Dan Giovannoni & Amelia Evans
Public Showings: July 18-20

Jun-Jul 2011

Southbank Theatre’s
VIP Room

An hour each night?
Let’s play it by ear.

In January 2010, multi-millionare Hermin Rockefeller was brutally murdered after attending what was described by the press as a swingers party.
This is not his story.
Gin Martini please! Another drink. The keys go in the bowl.
Was that a knock at the door?

A single man attends a very middle class swingers party only to have his night abruptly cut short after not bringing a date. What occurs after his death is an exploration of the other guests own unexplored sexualities, and how they deal with their identities and that of a bloodied man on the lounge room floor.


Co-founder of independent Melbourne theatre company ‘Family of Strangers’ Kerith Manderson-Galvin is primarily a playwright, progressively an actor and when the moon is in the right alignment, a poet. Her plays “Sunny Side Up” (2008, Adelaide Fringe, Glitch Bar+Cinema Melbourne) and “The Hat Box” (2009, Recipient of St Martin’s Threshold Grant, Melbourne Fringe) recieved critical and audience acclaim and sold out shows. More recently her newest play “The Keep” was featured as a reading for Melbourne’s Playwright Theatre MKA’s Open Season. Her poetry has been published in online journal Verb-ate-him and she appeared in Midsumma 2011 spoken word event “Dangerous Curves Ahead”. Her short play ‘Nymphs’ was recently produced for the Emerging Writers’ Festival’s 48-Hr Play Generator.

MKA Workshop

by Kerith Manderson-Galvin

Rob Reid

Francesca Bianchi, Kaitlyn Clare, Tegan Crowley, Matthew Hickey, Conor Gallacher and
MKA Company Heads:
Tobias Manderson-Galvin & Glyn Roberts
On a stage! Yes! No! YES! YES! YES! OH GOD YESSSSSSSS!


The Sun Room began as a short piece written for the 2010 EWF 48 Hour Play Generator, directed by Jessica Murphy. The piece has since evolved and speaks to themes of grief and absence, ghosts and echoes. In the workshop Hearst, Murphy and an exciting cast, will be exploring the ways in which such themes manifest, through durational and installation style performance methods.


Elise Hearst is a Melbourne based playwright. She attended World Interplay 2005 and in 2006 relocated to London. From 2006-07 she attended the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers’ Programme. Readings and performances of her work were shown at Trafalgar Studios, The Soho Theatre, The Hampstead Theatre and Theatre503. Upon returning to Melbourne Dirtyland was included in the 2009 National Play Festival, and premiered with a full production at the New Theatre in April 2011. Other credits include award-winning play Apple, The Sea Project (MTC Cybec Readings) and Delight (Griffin Theatre). Elise held a 2010 residency with the Griffin Theatre.

MKA Workshop

The Sun Room
by Elise Hearst

Jessica Murphy

Emma Beech, Kevin Kiernan-Molloy, Michael Wahr and Terry Yeboah.


Join together!
Become one!
Patti and Sam are everything to each other, fulfilling every necessary aspect of each other’s social interactions.
They have created a world of their own; a dark, satisfying fantasy.
Jealous of each other’s affections when directed elsewhere to the point where they cannot function without them, they torture each other with kisses on the hand and romance.
But the outside world begins to interfere. Unwilling to leave the cage they have made for themselves so enters Tai. A person they adopt. The seemingly innocuous Tai soon threatens to contaminate and destroy their perfect, insular paradise.
Rely on each other! Depend on one another!


Izzy Roberts-Orr is a 20 year old poet/playwright who originally hails from Footscray but has recently moved to the dangerous, botoxed depths of the inner east in order to attend Monash University, where she studies politics, philosophy and law. Izzy was a finalist in the Overload Poetry slam last year and a Muddy River Slam winner and is currently working on a collection of poems entitled “portraits of people on fire.”
Earlier this year, her play ‘NightMinds,’ a fusion of poetry and performance text garnered excellent reviews at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. She is currently working on a new play called ‘Twins’ which is going on for further development as part of the MKA workshop season at MTC Theatre.

MKA Workshop

by Izzy Roberts-Orr

Mark Wilson

Emma Hall, Oliver Coleman, Sarah Walker


A suburban supermarket. You have been here before. In the car park, mothers are vying for parking spots behind the wheels of their spotless four-wheel drives. Inside, the trolleys are battered, their advertising faded and the last packet of cinnamon was just taken from its carefully alphabetised place in the spice section.

TUESDAY is an intricate satire of suburban banality and social alienation and waits in line for you at the shop. You get left alone. Alone. And you explode.


Louris is currently under commission from St Martins where she is writing Hello there, we’ve been waiting for you to premiere in 2012. In 2010 she wrote, directed and designed Hunny-Bun & Baby Doll (Melbourne Fringe Festival) and was invited to be part of the Emerging Writers Studio at St Martins, where she wrote Fried Cutlets (directed by Susie Dee). In 2008 she wrote and directed They’re All In Their Little Boxes (Hatched08, St Martins). Louris directed Practically Frozen Chicken by Leone White (Threshold, St Martins, 2010) and assistant directed 22 Short Plays by David Finnigan (MKA Season 1, 2011)

MKA Workshop

by Louris van de Geer

Brienna Macnish

Aaron Walton, et al.