From Broome to a murder mystery, simulated war games and the sex-lives of Asian Australians, MTC’s Cybec Electric returns to Southbank Theatre, The Lawler in February 2015 with four new works from a selection of Australia’s most promising playwrights.

The plays by Dan Lee, Tobias Manderson-Galvin, Melissa Reeves and Michele Lee will each have public, semi-staged readings by professional actors, with the assistance of directors and dramaturgs.

Frogs Cry Wolf
By Dan Lee
12 February at 7.30pm and 14 February at 2pm
Southbank Theatre, The Lawler
Wet season is coming and the tree frogs are at fever pitch, mad keen for rain, mad keen for change. Claudia runs Broome’s Sober-Up Centre and the barking frogs are driving her mad – not to mention the local drunks who are always promising to change, but never do. Will is up in Broome to help. He has a plan for Broome to dry up, in the wet. But in Broome, where 10% of the population are homeless, and alcohol and drug abuse are chronic, one needs more than just a plan.

Dan Lee is a graduate of performance studies at Victoria University. He played live music for several years, while also performing at, and hosting, a range of music, comedy and spoken word nights around Melbourne including the weekly event, Northcote Storytellers. In 2009 Dan moved to Broome where he started writing for theatre and further developed his skills through Playwriting Australia’s outreach program. Frogs Cry Wolf is his first play. It won the R E Ross Trust award in 2014 and was selected for Playwriting Australia’s National Script Workshop. Dan is currently working on several other plays and projects with Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre and Malthouse Theatre.

Developed with Red Stitch Actors Theatre and Playwriting Australia

The Unknown Man on Somerton Beach
by Tobias Manderson-Galvin
13 February at 7.30pm Southbank Theatre, The Lawler
14 February at 6pm VCA Art Courtyard (via Dodds St, Southbank)

A dead man leans against a sea wall. It’s December 1948 and the death is not just suspicious, it’s murder. The only clues are The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, some scrawled code, a local nurse’s phone number and US cigarettes. Is he American? Is he Russian? With chilly lines being drawn between the free world and the red terror could this be one of the cold war’s first antipodean casualties? Two cops, both ex-army intelligence, discover more than they bargain for as they set out to crack this case wide open.

Tobias Manderson-Galvin is co-founder and Co-Creative Director of MKA: Theatre of New Writing. His current projects include Jolly Good Radio, a fortnightly podcast on live performance in Melbourne; The Blatant Joke, a punk rock/performance art boy band; and The Filth, a 70s cop show sitcom set in Canberra. He is best known for his controversial work The Economist about the 2011 Utoya mass murder.

Archimedes’ War
By Melissa Reeves
19 February at 7.30pm and 21 February at 2pm
Southbank Theatre, The Lawler
Arki loves playing war games online. He’s also just beat up his English teacher. A psychologist diagnoses something very serious. Soon Arki’s hanging out with Aaron, a disturbed returned soldier, and both start hanging out with Baseer, who runs the best Afghan restaurant in Dandenong. All have been immersed in war. Everyone around them is desperate to cure their terrible affliction. In our world of DIY psychology, is the cure worse than the condition? Is there a cure for war?

Melissa Reeves is a Melbourne playwright. Her work includes: Happy Ending, Furious Mattress, The Spook, Sweetown, In Cahoots, Storming Heaven, Great Day, Road Movie, and Salt Creek Murders. She has co-written a number of plays including: Magpie, with Richard Frankland; and Who’s Afraid Of The Working Class and Fever, both with Andrew Bovell, Patricia Cornelius, Christos Tsiolkas and composer Irine Vela. Melissa also co-wrote the screenplay for Blessed. She was recently awarded a two year fellowship by the Theatre Board of the Australia Council. Her other awards include Best Play at the Queensland Literary Awards and two Best New Play AWGIES for Who’s Afraid Of The Working Class; and the Jill Blewitt Playwrights Award, the Louis Esson Prize for Drama, Victorian Premier’s Awards, and two Best New Play AWGIES for The Spook.

Presented in partnership with Playwriting Australia

By Michele Lee
Friday 20 February at 7.30pm, Southbank Theatre, The Lawler
Saturday 21 February at 6pm, VCA Art Courtyard (via Dodds St, Southbank)

Using the transcripts of over twenty-five interviews as her starting point, Michele Lee’s Moths gives audiences unfettered access to the sex lives of Asian Australian twenty-somethings. Six actors present a side of Melbourne you may well never have thought of  – particular rituals, surprising discoveries, bold choices, and always a new dating app – in all its complexity, contradictions and vulnerability. As all these young beings journey, foolishly, inevitably, desperately towards the light, will they find illumination or self-destruction?

Michele Lee is a playwright and author. Moths was programmed in Playwriting Australia’s National Play Festival in 2014, commended for the Griffin Award in 2013 and developed with support from Melbourne Workers’ Theatre, Arts Victoria and the Australia Council. She is also the inaugural recipient of the Playwriting Australia Betty Burstall Commission for Moths. In 2013, Michele won an AWGIE award for Best Original Radio Play for See How The Leaf People Run and published her memoir Banana Girl. Her audio theatre work Talon Salon premiered in the 2012 Next Wave Festival, and was remounted for the 2013 You Are Here Festival and Darwin Festival. Michele is currently working on a digital theatre piece for the 2016 Arts House Festival of Live Arts. She writes about identity, race and otherness.

Presented in partnership with Griffin Theatre Company

Venues Southbank Theatre, The Lawler and VCA Art Courtyard (Via Dodds St, Southbank)
Season dates 9 to 21 February 2015
Tickets $10 each ($30 for a 4-play pass), Under 30s $5 each ($15 for a 4-play pass)
Bookings Southbank Theatre Box Office on 03 8688 0800 or
#mtcCybec @MelbTheatreCo