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 2022-23 Sidney Myer Creative Fellow.

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

May 2024: The Word, (text-based work, stage), St Martins Youth Arts Centre, story collaborator and dramaturg

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

In development

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: 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, story consultancy and script assessment/coverage

2024: Story consultancy and script assessment for Australian Writers’ Guild, Australian Plays Transform

2023: Story consultancy and script assessment for Thumper Pictures, Antipodes Theatre Company, Hatch Films, Australian Writers’ Guild

2023: Dramaturg for Centaurs, by Alan Nguyen, Arts House Culture Lab

2022: Story consultancy and script assessment for Unruly Productions, Australian Writers’ Guild, Script to Screen, New Sparta (UK), Unless Pictures/Audiocraft

2021: Story consultancy and script assessment for Seven Studios/Amazon Prime, Unruly Productions, Fremantle/Echo Lake (USA), Lara Kose, Hatch Films, Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre and Melbourne Theatre Company

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

2020: Story consultancy 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

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

2022: Single Ladies, 2021 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: 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

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