Malthouse Theatre today announced that it has commissioned playwrights Jean Tong, Jane Harrison and Tom Holloway to create a series of monologues based around life in the current pandemic.
Made possible by a grant from the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the three writers will research and interview Melburnians from all walks of life who have uncanny, humorous, strange, personal and political stories to share—creating a time capsule of these six months in Melbourne.
Malthouse Theatre’s Director in Residence, Bridget Balodis will direct the project, with Mark Pritchard as dramaturg.
Artistic Director, Matthew Lutton said:
We are enormously appreciative of the support of the Malcolm Robertson Foundation. The foundation has allowed us to commission two emerging playwrights every year since 2004 and it has now, in a time of great need, offered us additional support to work with even more playwrights. The support of the Foundation allows Malthouse Theatre to employ three playwrights and nine actors over the coming months. We could not afford the creation of The Lockdown Monologues without it.
Once each playwright has written three 5-minute monologues, Malthouse Theatre will begin casting local actors to perform in the nine monologues.
The performances, staged as three monologues per episode, will be live streamed on 3 June, 17 June and 3 July. The monologues will be free to watch, but audiences will need to register via malthousetheatre.com.au to receive the streaming link to watch.
Director Bridget Balodis said:
The writers are uncovering a range of experiences, from people who have had direct, frontline contact with the virus to those who are feeling the unexpected ripples. It’s a combination of voices—those you might expect to hear from and those who audiences may not have considered yet. People are hungry to connect at the moment and we hope that The Lockdown Monologues will give audiences the sense of community that we’re all lacking right now. We also think it’s essential that we capture this moment in time—how people are feeling and what they’re thinking—as a record for our future selves.
The Director in Residence program is supported with the generous assistance of Craig Reeves.