Joining MUST is a must!

Awakening – MUST 2017 Directed by Daniel Lammin. Photographer Theresa Harrison new

Monash University Student Theatre (MUST) is a theatre company that creates vibrant, innovative performances by and with Monash students, for all audiences. Our work is bold, diverse and of an excellent standard, attracting awards such as the Melbourne Fringe Live Art Award (2015) and great reviews: “they create the kind of theatre that blows me away every time…” Sometimes Melbourne (2016); “A radical and devastatingly effective adaptation…brilliant, deeply moving…” The Age (2017 of Awakening)

The MUST community is widespread and our graduates are making a significant impact throughout the national arts sector. Students are involved in every area at MUST: direction, marketing, stage management, design, musical composition, tech, acting and more. We pair new backstage people up with experienced student mentors. If you want to improve your leadership and communication skills, get some marketing experience on your CV or be trained in theatre lighting, let us know.

Auditions are open to ALL Monash students. You don’t need any experience, just dedication and enthusiasm. Our 2018 season is bursting with artistic expression. We’ve got new works, old favourites, interactive experiences, cabaret, workshops and unadulterated fun. Check out how you can get involved!

Where? The MUST Offices are located on the ground floor, western end of the Campus Centre, down the corridor to the left of the pharmacy. Info and audition sign-up sheets are there. The theatre entrance is on the other side, opposite the Menzies Building

Who? MUST Staff are Artistic Director Yvonne Virsik and Technical Manager Jason Lehane and hundreds of enterprising student volunteers!

Contacts?  (e)    (ph) 9905 8173

More Info via (w)   (f)

A low down of some opportunities at MUST right now


  • Say hi to students at the MUST Stall in the O Week Carnival
  • See The MUST 2018 O ShowBack to the First Year

Charge your portal guns, grab a sonic screwdriver and check your flux capacitor! This year’s O Show is taking us to a world of Interdimensional discovery! Created by Aleks Corke and Gina Dickson, Proudly Sponsored by Campus Community Division

O Week, every day 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm & 3pm (FREE)

  • A Casual General Welcome to MUST Session (O Week & Week 1)
  • Auditioning at MUST Workshops (Week 1)
  • The MUST 2018 Season Launch and Party! (Thurs March 15)


  • The MUST Phone-It-In Film Festival – Your chance to let your cinematic creativity shine using the magic of your own smartphone!
  • PRONTO – Performed Readings Of New Theatrical Offerings – Diverse new scripts; new directors; performed readings and discussion
  • Careful they might hear you – Spoken word workshops & performance


  • The MUST Beginners & International Students’ Performance Workshop Program – Fun, free weekly acting & performance workshops, culminating in public showings. All welcome!
  • The Bacchae workshops – in preparation for Rob Reid’s all-female-performed trilogy at La Mama in 2019.


  • MUSTBOP – MUST B-Grade Film Overdubbing Project – Created by Eamonn Johnson & Lachlan Liesfield, this year to a gloriously dreadful 80s Sci-Fi extravaganza!
  • Vinegar Tom by Caryl Churchill – A 17th Century witch hunt; an indictment against the treatment of marginalised women. Directed by Gina Dickson
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde – A trivial comedy, for serious people … with cucumber sandwiches. Directed by Bernd Faveere
  • The Monash Shakespeare Company’s Much Ado About Nothing


  • The MUST Cabaret Festival – A wonderful performance showcase for diverse artists. Evenings of varied genres including theatre, dance, drag, music, comedy and more! Curated by Emily Vitiello & Austen Keating
  • End Transmission – an Immersive Sci-Fi Performance Installation – Interact with performers and mysterious technologies as you move through an abandoned space ship. Created by Humphrey Cheung & Michelle Nguyen, Directed by Yvonne Virsik
  • Holloway – a new musical – A university community copes with the fallout of a traumatic event. Written by Fraser Mitchell & Earl Marrows, Directed by Kat Yates
  • Monash Shakespeare Co. present Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
  • Monash Shakespeare Co. present Antony and Cleopatra


  • Q – An existentialist maze, a bureaucratic ritual. Written and Directed by Aleks Corke
  • Detention – A new work exploring youth incarceration in Australia. Created by Edan Goodall
  • Alice – A new take on Lewis Carroll. Written by James Walker; Directed by Diane Pereira
  • We’re partnering with Women’s Circus to offer special mentorships for female theatre makers Diane Pereira, Georgia Bell and Georgie Wolfe.


  • 2018 Wrap Party and Awards Night
  • MUST Theatre Boot Camp

Come see us at MUST for more info on opportunities for you! We’re looking forward to seeing you in 2018 onstage, offstage, or in the audience.

Yvonne Virsik – Artistic Director MUST


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Review: Blue


Released earlier this week, Blue is an Australian-made documentary covering humanity’s impact on our big beautiful blue ocean. At only 113 minutes long, the production team got this documentary just right, combining stunning global seascapes with poignant narration from those who have witnessed first-hand the consequences of human consumerism on ocean ecosystems.

We are taken to various places around the globe, each location with a new narrator offering insight into another unexpected consequence of our modern lifestyle. Through these excursions to different places, the film manages to present the impacts of overfishing, plastic use, coal mining, greenhouse gas pollution, climate change and more on our ocean in a very clever, understated way. Instead of attacking each issue, Blue more so explores the relationship between human and animal life and the ocean – less explored than outer-space and yet the foundation of life on our planet. Blame is shifted from the very beginning as we witness Indonesian shark fishing trades that from one perspective fish exorbitant numbers of sharks just for their fins but also support entire villages – shark fishing is the economic foundation of the villagers lives without which they would live in poverty. This challenging dichotomy is presented again and again, asking us to consider how different populations rely on the ocean and the lack of global communication for the common goal of sustaining its health.

The narration is simple and unpretentious without too many hard-hitting facts, and at points is very effective at pre-empting our thoughts about each of the issues. Complementing this are the visuals and music, which are especially powerful in transition shots between stories, where each narrator is discussing their content in greater depth. This is where we see majestic sweeping shots of both natural beaches and industrial ports emphasising the scale of the issues presented, or a series of closer quicker shots on plastic production or just a soothing compilation of really pretty underwater visuals. This variety of visuals reflects the content of the film itself – it strikes a balance of exploring the ocean’s majesty and vulnerability to human exploitation. The skill in crafting Blue is evident – it is little surprise to find the film was produced as a passion project by some of Australia’s most experienced and talented writers, editors and filmmakers.

Instead of us against them, Blue presents humanity’s multifaceted impact on the ocean as a two-way street – the ocean has done so much for us, now it is time to return the favour. It is a simple call for action without the normal ton of guilt tripping. This is why I believe it is such a successful documentary – whether or not you care about overfishing or coral bleaching or the declining diversity of our marine life, Blue offers unseen perspectives that we all should be aware of. It may shock or surprise, but whatever action it inspires within each viewer, it removes some of our blindness to our global collective impact on the ocean, which should weigh on our conscience but hasn’t.

We have grown up in Australia with our culture entrenched in beach life and the sea, and in our generation, have experienced an abundance of fish species and populations that no human generation may ever see again. I had always considered the ocean as resilient, this enormous insurmountable mass capable of fixing itself and re-establishing equilibrium. This subconscious view only surfaced and was questioned upon watching the documentary. The ocean IS fundamentally changing – it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in it than fish.

Helping reduce humanity’s impact on the ocean is a collective and generational cause, needed to sustain human life in the long-term with economic implications on the horizon. If we don’t become aware of this reality now, it is difficult to comprehend what the climate and agricultural landscape of the planet will become for future generations.

I don’t want to give everything away, but I can say that it balances doom and gloom with a positive outlook in changing our mindsets and moving forwards. Highly HIGHLY recommend a watch.

If you want to know what sea birds and turtles could possibly have to do with overfishing and plastic, then check this out. Or if you are trying to adopt more sustainable habits but need some motivation, check this out. Or if you just want a really good example of how to successfully film, script and edit a documentary for a pleasant and thought-provoking cinema experience, then CHECK THIS OUT.

Blue the film is currently in selected cinemas.

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na zawsze solidarność

Rob_s Polish article (Joanne Fong)


At first glance, the late Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s acclaimed films, Man of Marble (Człowiek z marmuru, 1976) and Man of Iron (Człowiek z żelaza, 1981) may seem to be about Agnieszka, an endearingly stubborn filmmaker on her quest to discover the truth about a long-forgotten fictional Stakhanovite bricklayer, Mateusz Birkut.

As is often the case, there is more to what initially meets the eye. The production and release of both of the films come at crucial times to the development of the Solidarity (Solidarność) trade union movement in Poland. As evident in Człowiek z marmuru, the toleration of such a subversive film under the repressive Polish United Workers’ Party government, reflects the ostensibly liberal state of affairs in communist Poland that percolated the setting of the film. So too does the stunning reverberation of sombre 70s Polish funk, which features heavily in the opening sequence. Nevertheless, any references to the workers’ uprisings on the shipyards of Gdańsk in December 1970 (Grudzień 1970), which portrayed Birkut’s death, were subsequently censored by the government.

In the Wajda’s subsequent film, Człowiek z żelaza, he was freer to explore more provocative topics than previously allowed. Agnieszka’s journey to get to the bottom of the truth of Birkut’s rise and fall, leads her to marry Birkut’s son, Maciej Tomczyk. The production of the film closely traced the rise of the Solidarity movement, so much so that footage of real demonstrations by Solidarity were included in the final cut. Even reference to, and recreations of, the scenes of the clashes in 1970 that were previously censored were now permitted.

The Solidarity movement’s swift emergence in the early 1980 was a main factor in the government’s further liberalisation amidst an underlying economic crisis. Eventually, by December 1981, the Polish People’s Republic became subject to martial law. Despite receiving the Palme D’Or at Cannes and having been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, the authoritarian government had no sympathy for the film’s political message, banning it from local circulation after its initial release, not to be seen again until the establishment of the post-communist Third Polish Republic.

In spite of the renewed censorship, the Polish experience and the Eastern bloc nation’s domestic unrest were ever so clearly broadcast to the entire world. Eventually, this was the beginning of the death knell of the authoritarian government, leading the Solidarity movement to prevail over the communist regime, with Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa becoming the first democratically-elected Polish president.

Although it is important not to overlook the full history and development of the movement, however, the focus on the overall sentiments of the movement should suffice. Solidarity, as both one of the biggest workers movements in Europe since the aftermath of World War II, and the first independent labour union in the former Eastern bloc countries, was able to build a movement that represented the interests of its people, and the workers in the face of a national government that had a penchant for political repression and social oppression, using the state to further these ends.

It took building a broader progressive movement to affect change, to combat the crafting of false narratives as a means to serve the interests of, and to accumulate power for, those in advantageous positions in a given societal structure.

The Communist government in response to such a sustained movement that built momentum, compromised. They released political prisoners, reversing the tide of political repressions resulting in roundtable talks between the trade union leaders and government representatives, setting the foundations for a more democratic Poland.  

Despite the current state of affairs in Poland under the governance of the fervently anti-democratic social-conservative Law and Justice Party, the lessons from the Solidarity movement still ring true.

Often students can feel apathetic towards the political process and feel as if they can’t harness their political power and affect change. This is especially relevant when our next opportunity to participate in a democratic process is a postal survey, that was once described as a process that would “unfairly disenfranchise millions of [Australian] voters,” by Prime Minister Turnbull who ultimately implemented it.

Apathy does not sustain change, but rather allows hard earned progress to slowly erode. Those who are apathetic would do well to realise that by getting involved in activism and volunteering or working with a student union, for instance, a real difference can be made. Students can let their voices be heard and rise up against the failings of institutions and governments, who should be held to account.

If the postal vote survey is to be won, it will need the contribution of everyone possible to fight for the legislation of marriage equality. This is an objective that has its core support from students and young people, so how about we mobilise to achieve a common goal.

If there is one unifying and timeless message from Wajda’s films, it is this: people power works. All it needs is a little touch of solidarity.

One would hope this message is worth your consideration.

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