Industry Overview 13: Ray Mooney

Holmesglen TAFE:    Industry Overview

Writing for the Theatre - Week Thirteen Journal

Speaker: Ray Mooney


Ray Mooney (hereinafter referred to as Ray) said that anything you have written can be transformed into a play. Ray will tonight take us through theatre in Victoria.

Theatre is anything performed for a live audience – perform for the stage.

Theatre in Melbourne

Melbourne Theatre Company and Playbox (two biggest subsidised theatres in Melbourne)

Entrepreneurial Theatres

Her Majesty’s
Princess Theatre
Melbourne Theatre Company

            Professional – Not Amateur
Sometimes get subsidised
La Mama
Workers’ Theatre
Store Room
Gas Works

Tertiary: Universities and TAFE
Deakin – Phoenix Theatre
Monash – Alexander Theatre

School System – VCE and HSC level. Teach a subject: Drama and Theatre. Theatre made its way into school system. Drama, dancing and choreography lessons. With T.V. parents pushed their children into professions of theatre, ie, Times have changed.

Thirty years ago 3% of population had been to the theatre

At present 90-95% of people or students in school systems have been to the theatre.

Theatre in Australia has moved towards the Comedy format.

Melbourne has a big Network of Amateur and Youth Theatre, and Children’s Theatre.

Street Theatre
Kids doing stuff in open

1960s – Anti Vietnam Movement
Theatre here on the street

Styles of Theatre:

Pantomime – over the top
Melodrama – Villain was black, hero dressed in white – beautiful women tied to train lines
Classical Theatre – Bell Shakespeare Company
Tragic/Tragedy Theatre – hero meet a tragic end

Writing for Theatre:

Not always about talking
eg. Mime or Puppetry, Magic illusion, Choreography, sound and lighting effects

            Off Stage – characters, Props are used.

            Theatre is visual –you see it

Even lighting is another character.
Costumes are important and some people are covered in tattoos – what jewellery do people wear?

Secondly when writing for theatre.

(i)     You must read scripts for plays that work.

(ii)   Get involved in some way – very hard to write closed in a room

            Today in theatre you must network your work.

            Get involved, meet and work with theatre people.

            Co-operative Basis – get together, learn with others new skills and writing and learn to love what you do. All writing is judged on its weak moments. Including yours – Evan!