Living Now

In 2018 Malthouse Theatre and Footscray Community Arts Centre continue their partnership through the LIVING NOW program. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body, and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation. This program supports visionary storytellers to bring culturally contemporary stories to the stage. Now in its second year, the program provides a residency and development opportunity for two writers from diverse backgrounds with an interest in theatre.

About the Program

The program comprises a flexible residency based at Malthouse Theatre in 2018/19, where writers will develop their ideas in preparation to pitch for a mainstage commission.

Expressions of interest are invited from writers, storytellers or playwrights from diverse cultural backgrounds with an interest in developing a new work.

Two writers will receive:

  • Eight-month residency at Malthouse Theatre, including a writing workspace, invitation to opening nights and regular meetings with a dramaturg to further develop ideas for a new theatrical work
  • Opportunities to observe Malthouse Theatre’s productions in rehearsal
  • Residency Fee ($2,500)

How to Apply

As part of your application, please submit an EOI Form including your bio and an artistic statement, and optional supporting materical including examples of writing or current work (10 pages max) to Khalid Warsame at

Applications close 5pm, Monday 30 July 2018.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a panel interview with representatives from FCAC and Malthouse Theatre to discuss the ideas and stories they would like to explore throughout the residency.

Applicants are not required to pitch an idea at this stage, but are welcome to include any supporting material that will provide insight into past work or concepts for exploration during the residency.

For more information, please feel free to contact Mark Pritchard, Resident Dramaturg at Malthouse Theatre at

 Important Dates

  • Applications Open: Monday 9 July 2018
  • Program Info Session: 6pm, Monday 23 July 2018 
  • Applications Close: 5pm, Monday 30 July 2018
  • Panel Interviews: 8 – 15 August 2018
  • Residency Period: From September 2018

Information Session

Interested artists are invited to attend a briefing session hosted by Footscray Community Arts Centre and Malthouse Theatre to hear more about the program.

WHEN / 6pm, Monday 23 July 2018
WHERE / Jack Kennedy Meeting Room, Footscray Community Arts Centre

2017 Living Now Resident Writers

Tania Cañas and Rajith Savanadasa 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. 

Tania Cañas

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 Savanadasa

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.

Living Now was made possible through the support of the Malcolm Robertson Foundation and the Australia Council for the Arts.