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 and multi-cultural and multi-ethnic identity, usually through contemporary narratives that privilege the experiences of women and people of colour.

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.

CV

Current work

Coming up

2024: Playtime Pals (animated IG series) creator/director Guido Ponzini, producers Steven Arriagada and Stefan Delatovic, co-lead writer

In development

Dawn: Teenage Shaman (TV supernatural comedy, animated, Cinaxiom Studios, creator/writer

Chu’s Party (full-length play, stage), creator/writer

The Lookalike (full-length play, stage), creator/writer

Authentically (TV comedy, half hour), creator/writer

Stuck in Paradise (TV comedy, half hour), Unless Pictures, co-creator/writer

Past work

Produced work

2024: The Word, (text-based work, stage), St Martins Youth Arts Centre, co-writer and dramaturg

2024: White Fever (TV series), creator/writer Ra Chapman, story producer Katherine Fry, Unruly Productions, Orange Entertainment, Black Sheep, broadcaster ABC, writer episode 2

2023: How do I let you die? (live art, theatre), Arts House, creator/writer and lead artist

2023: Squishy Taylor and the City-wide Ghost Plague (interactive children’s adventure played at home), remount, Melbourne Fringe Festival, co-creator/performance text writer

2022: Town Choir, Theater Replacement (Canada) and Melbourne Fringe Festival, keynote live work, participating writer

2022: Blacklab Productions Tik Tok series, two 6 x 2-minute eps, ‘Orbit’ and ‘Soar’, writer

2022: Security (full-length play, stage), Darebin Speakeasy, Northcote Town Hall Arts Centre, creator/writer and lead artist

2022: Rice, (full-length play, stage), Orange Tree Theatre and Actors Touring Company, UK tour, creator/writer

2021: The Real Housewives of Coburg, a short monologue, Critical Stages, creator/writer

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

2021: Squishy Taylor and the City-wide Ghost Plague (interactive children’s adventure played at home), Melbourne Fringe Festival, co-creator/performance text writer

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

2020-21: Broth Bitch (full-length play told as 7 x fictional podcasts), online, creator/writer and lead artist

2020-21: Single ladies now (3 x audio monologues), Red Stitch Theatre, creator/writer

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

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

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

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

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

2018: Refuge Hypothetical: What if? (live art), Arts House, creator/writer and lead artist

2018 & 2016: The Naked Self (live art), Arts House, co-creator/text and lead artist

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

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

2016: Power plays (short play ‘Off Centre’, stage), Sydney Theatre Company, creator/writer of my short play

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

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, creator/writer and lead artist

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

2009: Love (short play, stage), St Martins Youth Arts Centre, creator/writer of my short play

Developments

2023: Caroline’s War (TV series, drama), showrunner Steven Arriagada, New Sparta, writer

2022: Silent Retreat (podcast and TV series) created by Meg O’Connell, Unless Pictures/Audiocraft, writer

2021-22: How do I let you die? (podcast), Audiocraft, creator/writer

2021-22: Sweet AF/My Paedophile Mother (full-length play, stage), creator/writer

2021-22: Flock, (feature, drama), developed through Stage 2 of Originate, creator/writer

2021-22: Next Big Thing, (TV series, comedy), creator/writer

2019-2022: The Healing Party (full-length play, stage), adaptation of the novel by Micheline Lee, Malthouse Theatre, writer

2018-2020: Going down (TV series, comedy), based on my stage play, co-creator/writer Michele Lee, co-creator/director Leticia Caceres, producers Stephanie Westwood and Amelia Ford, executive producer Amanda Higgs

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

2012-15: Moths (full length play, stage), creator/writer and lead artist

2013: Chaste (four-part play, stage), creator/writer

2010, 2012: Headshot (full length play, stage), creator/writer

2010: Roundabout (full length play, stage), creator/writer

2010: Apple (full length play, stage), creator/writer and lead artist

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

One-off pieces

2022: The Rest Is Up To You, (audio text for interactive exhibit), Melbourne Fringe Festival and State Library of Victoria exhibition. My role was to write the audio text

2022: Official Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Welcome Speech (short piece, speech), the GRAA co-presidents for the 2022 Green Room Awards Association (GRAA) ceremony, creator/writer

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

2015: Right one, PLAYlist (short piece, audio), Red Stitch Theatre, creator/writer

2015: Asylum (short play, stage)Apocalypse Theatre, creator/writer

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

Dramaturgy, script editing, story consultancy and script assessment/coverage

2024: Script editor for Top Rock Productions and Kea Productions (Life of Kea)

2024: Story consultancy or script assessment for Australian Writers’ Guild (various scripts), Australian Plays Transform (Untold Stories), Perpetual Entertainment and Ambidextrous Content (Majesty)

2023: Dramaturgy, story consultancy or script assessment for Alan Nguyen (Centaurs), Thumper Pictures (A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing), Antipodes Theatre Company (Winter Lab), Hatch Films (Bad Debt), Australian Writers’ Guild (various scripts)

2022: Story consultancy and script assessment for Unruly Productions (White Fever), Australian Writers’ Guild (various scripts), Script to Screen (various scripts), New Sparta (UK) (Caroline’s War), Unless Pictures/Audiocraft (Silent Retreat)

2021: Story consultancy and script assessment for Seven Studios/Amazon Prime (Back to the Rafters), Unruly Productions (White Fever), Fremantle/Echo Lake (USA) (The Voysey Inheritance), Lara Kose (Yaz Queens), Hatch Films (Eco Marines), Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre (script assessment) and Melbourne Theatre Company (script assessment)

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

2020: Story consultancy for Werner Film Productions (Sickos) and Unless Pictures (Apollo)

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

2024: Shoulder, Finalist, Griffin Award

2024: Squishy Taylor and the City-wide Ghost Plague, Honorable Mention, Freeplay Awards

2022: Single Ladies, Green Room Awards, finalist, Best Performer

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 numerous times from the Australia Council, Creative Victoria and local councils.

Residencies, fellowships and programs

2024: McGraith House residency, invited resident

2024: Leah Ryan Boost Fund commission, finalist

2023: Untold Stories, Australian Plays Transform, selected participant

2022: Writers Journey, Netflix ANZ, invited participant

2022: Digital Originals, SBS/NiTV/Screen Australia, selected recipient

2022: Duologues, Australian Plays Transform, selected recipient

2021: ORIGINATE program (Stage Two, Lab), Film Victoria/SBS/Arena Media, selected participant

2021: Sidney Myer Creative 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

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

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, judging and teaching

2024: Guest lecturer, RMIT

2024: Guest lecturer, VCA

2023: Mentor, Australian Plays Transform, Lutruwita/Tasmanian Voices

2023: Guest lecturer, 6-week Scriptwriting unit, RMIT

2023: Presenter, La Mama Pathways

2023: Mentor, Thea Jade, New Ideas Lab, Canberra Theatre Centre

2023: Assessor, Australian Plays Transform

2023: Guest workshop facilitator, week-long playwriting lab, VCA

2022: Workshop presenter, She Writes, Theatreworks

2022: Industry guest, Creative Project unit for Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing), RMIT

2022: Judge, Shane and Cathryn Brennan Prize, Youth category

2022: Guest lecturer, VCA

2022: Guest lecturer, Spark Youth Theatre

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

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, 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, Women in Theatre program, Melbourne Theatre Company

2018-19: Mentor, The Next Chapter, The Wheeler Centre

2018: Script mentor, City of Melbourne Signal program

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: Presenter, Writing for audio workshop, 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