Australia’s oldest professional theatre company, the 59 year-old Melbourne Theatre Company, has just announced its 2013 season of plays. It will mark Brett Sheehy’s first year as the new MTC artistic director.
Among the list include a couple of money-spinners, Arthur Miller’s modern classic The Crucible (starring David Wenham) and Anton Chekhov’s beauty The Cherry Orchard, with a twist by Simon Stone (Baal) who makes his MTC directing debut.
Also in the MTC 2013 season is American playwright Katori Hall’s hugely successful story of Martin Luther King Jnr and the civil rights movement, The Mountaintop, which played on both Broadway and then the West End where Samuel L Jackson performed the role of King Jnr. Talented actress Zahra Newman (Random) will appear in the MTC production.
Melbourne audiences will also witness David Williamson’s new drama, Rupert, a tale of the rise and fall of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose recent career chapter is perhaps the most enthralling (and dramatic for a stage play). Also notable is the world premiere of True Minds, the latest work by one of Australia’s most successful playwright’s, Joanna Murray-Smith.
The MTC has a habit of acquiring prize-winning dramas from across the oceans and its 2013 season will see one that was nominated for several awards. Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and five Tony Awards (including Best Play) on Broadway earlier this year. Judith Light won the Tony for her role in Desert Cities (Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play). The MTC production will star the doyenne of Australian theatre, Robyn Nevin.