Melbourne Theatre Company is proud to launch the NEXT STAGE Writers’ Program.

The result of a $4.6 million investment in Australian writers funded by the visionary donors of MTC’s Playwrights Giving Circle and MTC, this innovative five-year program introduces the most rigorous playwright commissioning and development process ever undertaken by the Company.

MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy AO said, ‘Our intention for NEXT STAGE is quite simple – to better support Australian writers. However, the program is remarkable not simply for the significant increase in the annual number of commissions we will undertake, and the financial resources devoted to writers and their plays, but for the meaningful length of engagement between writers and MTC. NEXT STAGE allows us to provide more opportunities for more writers, with better funding and deeper relationships with the Company.’ 

NEXT STAGE will provide a total of 50 opportunities for Australian writers, consisting of residencies and commissions across the five years of the program. It will also see an increase in resources dedicated to workshopping and developing plays from drafts through to production. 

For more about the program and details on how to apply for residencies visit