Also known as Carnegie 18, this year three of the most compelling new works will be presented ‘in the raw’ as part of the Arts Centre Melbourne’s New Music Theatre Series during February 2012.

“I’m delighted Arts Centre Melbourne is continuing its tradition of providing a platform for creativity, through fostering and embracing new work,” said Judith Isherwood, Chief Executive, Arts Centre Melbourne. “These new works help expand the repertoire both for audiences and artists and enable us to bring a contemporary edge to our stages.”

With a mission to uncover and support bold, innovative thinking in contemporary music theatre across Australia, Arts Centre Melbourne in conjunction with the Australia Council called for new music theatre works in September 2011.  Designed to nurture and promote future musical theatre talent, Arts Centre Melbourne is the only performing arts centre in Australia to support such an initiative for independent artists and ensembles. 

The new works being presented this season include:

The New Black

1 – 4 Feb

A musical journey of justice, identity and winking ambition.

Meet Jim, a young indigenous lawyer cutting his own groove in the corporate world of law firm Kingsworth, Kerrigan and Klein. Jim has barbed-wire savvy and more than a few tricks up his crisp white shirt sleeve, but is $60 a minute really all his future’s worth?

Book written and developed by Stephen Helper in collaboration with Leeroy Bilney and members of the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts.  This is a story-based music theatre work boasting an entirely original score by Marcus Cowora.  Traversing country, pop, jazz, soul and sounds from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tradition, the verdict is clear on the layers of spirit in this work.

Cautionary Tales for Children, based on the verse by Hilaire Belloc

4 – 7 Feb

A lyrical satirical cabaret at which you may lose your head entirely.

Learning lessons about good behaviour has never been so absurd and amusing all at the same time. The wild imagination of comic writer Claudia O'Doherty brings to life Hilaire Belloc’s early 20th century satirical poems about wayward children and their just deserts.

Arena Theatre Company has created an ambitious, high quality work for kids and their families, this time in a cabaret format – a rarity in the world of children’s theatre.  Expertly poking tongues at authority figures and pompous types, this mock-moralistic show-within-a-show is told by a dysfunctional family troupe of four aided by their time machine.

With an aim to develop this work for audiences 8-15 years old and their families in the future, this showing highlights the musical genius of Mark Jones, Jonathon Oxlade’s prodigious design talent and a fantastic cast including Bert LaBonte, Christen O’Leary and Rosemarie Harris, all under the razor-sharp guidance of director Chris Kohn.


4 – 7 Feb

An irreverent musical satire of faith, fortune and the Mega-church.

America! The land of hope, opportunity, and DreamSong. Pastor Richard Sunday is in trouble. His Evangelical Megachurch, DreamSong, has lost millions in the Global Financial Crisis and the future is looking grim. To continue saving the souls of America, Pastor Richard hatches a plan to stage the second coming of Jesus and market him as a Centerfold Superstar.

Using traditional music theatre conventions, DreamSong invokes the heartfelt earnestness of Christian pop and American power ballads with a touch of gospel, Yiddish folk and the occasional Broadway-styled show tune.

Book and lyrics created by Hugo Chiarella with composition by long-time collaborator Robert Tripolino. Directed by one of Melbourne’s most prolific visionaries Michael Gurr, with musical direction by Andrew Patterson.

Artists will be available for Q & A sessions after each performance.


Arts Centre Melbourne presents

New Music Theatre Series

1 – 7 February 2012


The New Black

1 – 3 Feb at 6.30pm, 4 Feb at 3.00pm


Cautionary Tales for Children

4 Feb at 6.30pm, 5 Feb at 3.00pm, 6 & 7 Feb at 6.30pm



6 & 7 Feb at 8.00pm, 4 Feb at 8.00pm, 5 Feb at 4.30pm


Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio

All tickets $10

To book:*, 1300 182 183*or at Arts Centre Melbourne Box Office 

*transaction fee applies

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.




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