Master of Theatre (Writing)
- CRICOS Code: 075502B
Meet Kim Ho
Having majored in English and Theatre studies and having already written two full-length plays, Kim Ho decided to apply for the Master of Threatre (Writing) to gain more control over his writing craft – and found himself in the surprising company of acrobats, musicians, and mining company employees.
What’s the cohort like?
I’ve really enjoyed the course so far, and I think our cohort this year is excellent. We come from diverse backgrounds – and I don’t mean that culturally (although that too) – but we have actors, an acrobat, a musician, people who have worked for mining companies writing plays for their outreach programs, people who have worked in remote communities, people who are fresh out of uni, and published novelists. It’s really stretching the boundaries of who’s “allowed” to write a play, or who identifies as a playwright.
What have been the highlights of the course?
As a group, our favourite times are when we get to put our work in front of others, and just get to see what’s going on in their minds and in their processes. Over the past few months, we’ve seen people’s writing change dramatically.
We’ve also had people come in to teach us different writing methodologies – screenwriting, musical theatre, and visual writing. Visual writing subordinates the text – performing really is a visual medium, so in visual writing you start from the image instead, kind of flipping the writing process on its head. All of these sessions have been super useful in broadening the definition of what writing means.
It’s also been great getting to work with the directors and dramaturgs from the other VCA courses [Master of Theatre - Directing and Master of Theatre - Dramaturgy]. The fact that the parallel degrees dip in and out with each other is really exciting.
Kim Ho was the 2017 recipient of the prestigious Patrick White Playwrights’ Award for his play Mirror’s Edge, which explores the interplay of Anglo-European, Chinese, and Indigenous cultures in Australia across three centuries.
Faculty of Fine Arts and Music
The course is taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, the proud home of the Victorian College of the Arts and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Much of the teaching, research and performance takes place in our purpose-built facilities on the University of Melbourne’s Southbank campus at the heart of the Melbourne Arts Precinct.
Recently, the Faculty’s Southbank campus has undergone large-scale capital works transforming our facilities and creating an industry-ready, world-class experience for our students and staff.
While studying at the Faculty, you will have the chance to benefit from a range of partnerships and engagement activities at major arts companies in Melbourne's Arts Precinct, local and national festivals and sister institutions around the world.
Situated in the heart of Melbourne's Arts Precinct, the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development provides exposure to contemporary Indigenous arts practices and supports the recruitment of Indigenous artists, academics and students.
As well being the course coordinator of the Master of Theatre (Writing), Writer and playwright Raimondo Cortese has written more than 30 plays which have been performed in more than a dozen countries, including Features of Blown Youth, Roulette, St Kilda Tales, The Wall and The Silence. Raimondo has also written for film (The Boy Castaways), television and radio, as well as visual and experimental texts. Here he shares what he enjoys most about working at the Victorian College of the Arts.
"The best thing about working at the VCA is helping people develop their writing skills, to get them to understand they have something to say, or they wouldn't be there. With ample practice, developing self-confidence and the ability to train their eye to see the wood from the trees, people can turn something incoherent and dull into something profound that will impact others in a meaningful way.
It's always great to see students transform into confident agents in their creative life, willing to develop and share their vision with the world around them. If I wasn't working at the VCA I'd probably be a fishmonger."
Learn from the best
Your teachers are practising artists who are well-connected to industry, and there are course-integrated opportunities to collaborate with students from other creative disciplines.