Besen Family Artist Program

Image: Pia Johnson


The Besen Family Artist Program offers annual placements for artists to experience professional development at Malthouse Theatre. Now in its 19th year, this program has cultivated a new generation of ambitious theatre-makers.   

In 2024, four placements will be offered across the following disciplines:   

  • Sound Design and Composition   
  • Set and Costume Design   
  • Lighting Design   
  • Directing   
  • Dramaturgy  
  • Creative Producing  

Recipients of a Besen Family Artist Program placement are offered opportunities to work across multiple projects, a broad experience of the company’s operations, and connections with a range of practitioners, all under the guidance of a dedicated mentor.   

Additionally, a bespoke program of workshops is programmed, tailored to the cohort, to assist in your professional development goals, and a series of conversations with members of our team to share insight into the operations of a professional theatre company.


  • A stipend of $4,500 for the equivalent of four weeks’ full-time employment;  
  • Senior artist mentors across 2 projects;  
  • A bespoke workshop series designed to support the development of leadership skills.  

Additional funding and/or support is available for those who have access needs that must be met to undertake the placement. Please let us know about your individual needs in your application. 

The duration of the placement on each production, as well as your overall role and responsibilities, are negotiable with your mentors and will respond to requirements of your discipline. We’ll work with the successful applicants to negotiate a suitable schedule for their placement, to a total of four weeks full time equivalent.   

Dramaturgy and Creative Producing placements can take place at any time throughout the year, as there is opportunity to work on projects not listed below, including productions in development and other activities run by Malthouse.  
Other placements are arranged around periods when a show is in rehearsal. 

The list below is designed to give applicants in Directing, Set and Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Sound Design and Composition an idea of when productions relevant to your placement are in rehearsal.  

Applicants for Set & Costume Design will be asked to nominate two productions to work on. 

  • The Hate Race(22 Jan-29 Feb):  Set & Costume Design 
  • Yentl (12 Feb – 3 March): Lighting Design 
  • Homo Pentecostus(8 April - 16 May): Directing 
  • Macbeth: An Undoing(3 Jun – 11 Jul): Directing Set & Costume Design, Sound Design 
  • Under the Skin(9 Sept - 17 Oct): Set & Costume Design, Lighting Design, Sound Design 
  • You must be an Australian resident or be a permanent resident of Australia or have a valid visa that provides work rights;  
  • You must be based in Victoria;  
  • You will have industry experience, and/or relevant university or TAFE qualifications; 
  • You have not been engaged or employed by the Malthouse Theatre as an artist in the creation of a work on our mainstage, or received a placement with us previously;  
  • Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) demonstrates at least two years of theatre-making practice beyond your tertiary or vocational studies (if applicable).  

The physical requirements of this role are consistent with that of a designer/director/dramaturg or producer in a theatre company. The Malthouse Theatre administration office and rehearsal rooms are located on Level 3 of the Malthouse venue, and is accessible by stairs. Additional funding and/or support is available for those who have access needs that must be met to undertake the placement.   

Applicants with access requirements are encouraged to contact us for more information about the flexible working arrangements and support available (contact: Bernadette Fam More information about access in our venue can be found on the website here:   

Malthouse Theatre is committed to the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) in both its employment practices and the general working environment it provides to its employees.  

People from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people with disabilities.  

Malthouse Theatre will review the Expressions of Interest received by the due date. The Assessment of applicants will take into account:  

  • Applicants that reflect both regional and cultural diversity and are based in Victoria;  
  • The applicants’ identified professional development vision and the value they will gain from the opportunity;  
  • Demonstrated commitment and sustained theatre-making practice of the applicant.  

The panel reviewing applications will include Malthouse Theatre’s Artistic Director, Production Manager, and key creative staff.  

Friday 13 Oct Applications open  

Friday 10 Nov Applications close  

Fri 8 Dec All applicants notified of the outcome  

Applications are now closed.  

For more information about this program please contact Bernadette Fam at    

The Besen Family Artist Program is proudly supported by the Besen Family Foundation and Debbie Dadon AM.