michele lying down

Photo: Victoria Scott

Me 

I am a Hmong-Australian writer working across theatre, live art, audio and screen. My works explore otherness, Asian identity and found families, usually through contemporary narratives that privilege the experiences of women and people of colour. I am a 2021 Sidney Myer Fellowship recipient.

I work and live on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. I was born on Ngunnawal country.

Land was never ceded.

Current work

Upcoming work

2021: Rice, (full-length play, stage), Orange Tree Theatre and Actors Touring Company, UK premiere

2022: Blacklab Productions Tik Tok series

2022: Security (full-length play, stage), Darebin Speakeasy (postponed from a 2021 season due to COVID-19)

In development

Next Big Thing (TV comedy, half hour)

Sweet AF/My Paedophile Mother (full-length play, stage)

How do I let you die? (live art, theatre), Arts House

How do I let you die? podcast (podcast), Audiocraft

Cloud 9 (TV comedy, half hour)

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

Past work

Produced work

2021: Squishy Taylor and the City-wide Ghost Plague (interactive children’s adventure played at home), Melbourne Fringe Festival. Created by Brienna Macnish, Clare McCracken, Michele Lee and Simon Bedford with Ailsa Wild and Rebecca Etchell. My role is also as performance text writer. Finalist for Best Work in Festival

2021: Single ladies (full-length play, stage), Red Stitch Theatre

2020-21: Broth Bitch (full-length play told as 7 x fictional podcasts), online and wherever you get your podcasts

2020-21: Single ladies now (3 x audio monologues), in collaboration with Red Stitch Theatre

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

Developments

2018-2020: 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

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

Dramaturgy and story consultancy

2021: Story consultancy in writers’ rooms for Seven Studios/Amazon Prime, Katherine Fry, Fremantle/Echo Lake, Lara Kose, Hatch Films

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

2020: Story consultancy in writers’ rooms for Werner Film Productions and Unless Pictures

2019: Dramaturg session 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

Awards

2021: Squishy Taylor and the City-wide Ghost Plague, finalist, Best Work in Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival

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.

Residencies, fellowships and programs

2021: Sidney Myer Fellowship recipient for 2022 and 2023

2021: ORIGINATE program (Stage One, Writers Seminar), Film Victoria/SBS/Arena Media, selected participant

2021: Shortlisted, Jesse Cox Audio Fellowship

2021: Shortlisted, ABC Me Kaleidoscope program, for the project Ella Seng: Alien Hunter

2020: On Air Audible/Australian Writers’ Guild funding recipient

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

Mentoring, script assessment and teaching

2021: Guest speaker, The Royal Central School Of Speech & Drama, UK

2021: Script assessment, Melbourne Theatre Company

2021: Judge, Australian Writers’ Guild, TV (4 hrs+)

2021: Mentor, guest speaker, Radical Acts Festival, Theatre Works

2021: Guest presenter, Masterclasses, To The Front, Static Drive Co

2021: Guest lecturer, VCA

2021: Assessor, New Voices Commission, Melbourne Fringe Festival

2020-1: Mentor, Linda Chen, Arts Lab, Shopfront Theatre

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

2020: Guest presenter, Masterclasses, Australian Theatre for Young People

2020: Judge, Griffin Award

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

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

2020: Guest lecturer, VCA

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 Centre

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.

I am a PhD creative practice research candidate with RMIT through the School of Media and Communication.

Memberships

Australian Writers’ Guild

Community and Public Sector Union