michele lying down

Photo: Victoria Scott


I am an Asian-Australian writer working across theatre, live art, audio and screen. My works explore otherness, identity and found families, usually through contemporary narratives that privilege the experiences of women and people of colour.

Current work

Upcoming work

2021: Security (full-length play, stage), Darebin Speakeasy

2020: Broth Bitch (7 x fictional podcasts), Melbourne Fringe Festival

2020: Single ladies now (3 x audio monologues), in collaboration with Red Stitch Theatre

In development

How do I let you die? (live art), Arts House & (non-fiction podcast), Audible

Squishy Taylor and The Shrub That Went (interactive children’s adventure), directed by Brienna Macnish, designed by Clare McCracken, produced by Simon Bedford, adapted from the novels by Ailsa Wild. My role is as performance text writer

Cloud 9 (TV comedy, half hour), concept by Trudy Hellier and Michele Lee, writer Michele Lee, producer Eyvonne Carfora, funding from Film Victoria

The Healing Party (full-length play, stage), adaptation of the novel by Micheline Lee, Malthouse Theatre

Going down (TV series, comedy), based on my stage play, writer Michele Lee, director Leticia Caceres, producers Stephanie Westwood and Amelia Ford, executive producer Amanda Higgs

Past work

2020: co-writer, episode 4, Hungry Ghosts (TV series, 4 x 1-hour drama), Matchbox Productions, broadcaster SBS

2020: co-writer, episodes 4 and 5, Retrograde, (TV series, 6 x 30-minute comedy), Unless Pictures and Orange Entertainment Inc, broadcaster ABC

2020: Single ladies (full-length play, stage), Red Stitch Theatre (postponed due to COVID-19)

2019: I’m With Her (short piece contribution to a full-length play, stage), Darlinghurst Theatre

2019: House Sisters (full-length play, stage), Monash University

2018: Refuge Hypothetical: What if? (live art), Arts House

2018 & 2016: The Naked Self (live art), Arts House

2018: Going down (full-length play, stage), Malthouse Theatre and Sydney Theatre Company

2017: Rice (full-length play, stage), Griffin Theatre, Queensland Theatre and Hothouse Theatre

2016: Power plays (short play ‘Off Centre’, stage), Sydney Theatre Company

2015: Going and going (short play, radio), ABC Radio National

2012, 2013 and 2014: Talon Salon (6 x short audio plays, live art), Next Wave Festival, You Are Here Festival, Darwin Festival and ABC Radio National

2012: See how the leaf people run (full-length play, radio), ABC Radio National

2009: Love (short play, stage), St Martins Youth Arts Centre


2018-19: Secret Threads (TV series, 6 x 1-hour drama), producer Rebecca Ingram, co-writers Mike Jones and Michele Lee

2012-15: Moths (full length play, stage)

2013: Chaste (four-part play, stage)

2010, 2012: Headshot (full length play, stage)

2010: Roundabout (full length play, stage)

2010: Apple (full length play, stage)

2009: Fall and The watering hole (2 x one-act plays, stage)

One-off pieces

2018: October – Jamal Khashoggi, The Show of the Year (short piece, stage), The Wheeler Centre

2015: Right one, PLAYlist (short piece, audio), Red Stitch Theatre fundraiser

2015: Asylum (short play, stage)Apocalypse Theatre

2008 & 2009: The Cellar Children (short play, stage), Short & Sweet

Consultant work

2020: Dramaturg for the musical Miss Saigon Wrong by Chi Nguyen

2019: Dramaturgy for the play Buried Kingdom by Kim Ho

2015: Concept development for the play Dan Choi by Daniel Han

2014: Script consultant for the live art work Home by Brienna Macnish

2012: Treatment and early draft for the play The Colour White by Gorkem Acaroglu

Residencies, fellowships and programs

2020: Vitalstatistix, Adhocracy digital residency, selected participant

2019: AFTRS Talent Camp, selected participant

2018-19: INK development program, Red Stitch Theatre, selected writer

2018: Malthouse Theatre, Tower Resident

2018: Footscray Community Arts Centre, Call to Create Resident

2017: Co-writer in residence, Union House Theatre, University of Melbourne

2016: Malthouse Theatre Co.Lab artist

2016: The Playwrights’ Center Resident, Minneapolis, USA

2016: WrICE Early Career Fellow, China and Melbourne

2014-15: Malthouse Theatre’s Besen Family Foundation’s writers’ workshop member

2014: Hothouse Theatre Guest Resident for the Home project

2012: Storylab participant

2012-13: Arts Start recipient through the Australia Council

2010: Ian Reed Foundation Resident, Radio National

2009: Asialink Literature Resident, based in Laos


2020: Security, finalist, Patrick White Playwrights’ Award

2019: Going down, finalist, Australian Writers’ Guild Best Original Stage Play

2019: Going down, finalist, New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award, Nick Enright Prize

2019: Going down, five nominations, 2018 Green Room Awards, Best Writing, Best Performer, Best Ensemble, Best Set/Costume/AV, Best Direction

2019: Going down, finalist, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Drama

2018: Rice, winner, Australian Writers’ Guild Best Original Stage Play

2018: Rice, finalist, NSW Premier’s Literary Award, Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting

2018: Rice, winner, Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, Drama

2016: Rice, winner, 2016-17 Queensland Premier’s Drama Award

2015: Going down, awarded the Malcolm Robertson Prize

2013: See how the leaf people run, winner, Australian Writers’ Guild Best Original Radio Play

2013: Moths, Highly Commended for the Griffin Theatre Award & recipient of inaugural Betty Burstall Commission through Playwriting Australia

2010: Headshot, special judges’ mention, R E Ross Trust Script Development Award

2008: The Cellar Children, nominated for Best Dramatic Writing, , Short + Sweet Melbourne

I have been awarded funding from the Australia Council, Creative Victoria and local councils.

Mentoring, script assessment and teaching

2020: Mentor, The Hatch Lab, musical theatre residency, Salty Theatre

2020: Judge, Griffin Award

2020: Judge, Australian Writers’ Guild, Best Original Radio Drama

2020: Judge, Australian Writers’ Guild, Best Youth Theatre

2020: Judge, NSW Premier’s Drama Award, Nick Enright Prize

2019: Script assessor, Queensland Premier’s Drama Award

2019: Consultant, Creative Victoria, theatre panel

2019: Judge, Australian Writers’ Guild, Best Original Radio Drama

2019: Mentor for Keziah Warner, dramaturg/playwright, Women in Theatre program, Melbourne Theatre Company

2018-19: Mentor for Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen on her manuscript as part of The Next Chapter, The Wheeler Certre

2018: Script mentor, Lotus by Chi Nguyen

2018: Judge, Patrick White Playwrights’ Award

2017: Script assessor, Queensland Premier’s Drama Award

2017: Script assessor, Playwriting Australia

2017: Judge, Australian Writers’ Guild, Best Original Radio Drama

2017: Mentor and tutor, Australian Theatre for Young People, National Studio

2016: Script mentor, The Ribcage Collective

2016: Script assessor, Lotus program, Playwriting Australia and Contemporary Asian Australian Performance

2015: Writing for audio workshop facilitator, Writers’ Centre Victoria

Books and other writing

I have written prose and other non-play forms for many years. This includes writing for Women of Letters, The Wheeler Centre, ABC Online, Griffith Review and, a long time ago, for that excellent youth literary publication, Voiceworks.

My creative non-fiction memoir, Banana Girlis published through Transit Lounge.


New Working Group

Australian Writers’ Guild

Community and Public Sector Union