Malthouse Theatre and Footscray Community Arts Centre are thrilled to welcome two writers who have officially taken up residency through the Living Now program. Made possible by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, Living Now supports visionary storytellers from diverse backgrounds to bring culturally contemporary stories to the stage.
The two resident writers for 2017 are Tania Cañas and Rajith Savanadasa!
Tania and Rajith were chosen from an incredible pool of applicants, selected by a joint panel of FCAC and Malthouse staff – Lydia Fairhall, Sapidah Kian, Matthew Lutton, Mark Pritchard and Khalid Warsame. Tania and Rajith are spending six months in residence at Malthouse Theatre, connecting with our resident artists, observing rehearsals, gaining insights into processes across the company. The residency is also time and space for these two talented writers to each develop their own new project concepts for commission. We’re thrilled to have Rajith and Tania on board.
Tania is Melbourne-based theatre maker and researcher.
Her one-scene monologue script Untouchable was published through Currency Press Australia in 2013. She performed this script at ACMI as part of the RISE REFUGEE festival later toured this in the USA as part of the Mixed Roots Conference in Chicago, DePaul University and Performing the World Conference in NYC. She has workshopped further scenes with PWA and FCAC since.
Her scene Three Angry Australians was produced as part of Apocalypse Theatre Company’s ASYLUM season in Sydney. Most recently she was commissioned as part of Vessel Theatre and the Arts Centre to write a 600 word script for the Play for Australia program, presented as part of the Fringe Festival 2016.
For the last three years Tania has been working with RISE and NMIT to develop a series of theatre workshops with students who are recent migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Tania was a participant in Melbourne Theatre’s Company’s Women in Theatre program and an MTC Connect Ambassador. She is also an alumni of Malthouse Theatre’s Besen writers program.
Rajith was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in Melbourne. His first novel Ruins was published in 2016. Ruins was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction in 2016 and longlisted for the ALS Gold Medal and the Indie Book Awards in 2017. Rajith also runs Open City Stories, an oral history project documenting the lives of a group of asylum seekers in Melbourne.
He’s currently working on his sophomore novel, Another Name for Gold, slated for publication with Hachette Australia in 2018, and the next phase of Open City Stories.