Besen Family Artist Program

Image: Pia Johnson

*Applications are now open for the 2021 Besen Family Artist Program* 


Are you an early to mid-career artist seeking the chance to observe theatre-making, engage in ongoing artistic work, and be mentored and supported within a mainstage theatre company? 

The Besen Family Artist Program offers four placements per year for artists to experience professional development at Malthouse Theatre. Now in its 17th year, this program has cultivated a new generation of ambitious theatre-makers.  

In 2021, placements will be offered in the following disciplines: 

  • Sound Design and Composition
  • Set and Costume Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Directing  

As a recipient of a Besen Family Artist Program placement, you will be provided with 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.  

You will also be offered a bespoke program of workshops to assist in your professional development goals, and a series of conversations with members of our team to give insight into the operations of a professional theatre company. 

What you’ll receive:  

  • A stipend of $4,000 for the equivalent of four weeks’ full-time employment;  
  • Senior artist mentors across at least two projects;  
  • A bespoke workshop series designed to support the development of leadership skills.  

The duration of the placement on each production, as well as your overall role and responsibilities, are negotiable with your mentor and will respond to requirements of your discipline. The dates provided below are indicative of when you should have maximum availability, but your placement may vary from these dates. We’ll work with the successful applicants to negotiate a suitable schedule for their placement.  

Recipients with a disability may be offered additional support to undertake the placement—let us know your access needs in your application. 


Lighting Design 

Sound Design & Composition 

Set & Costume Design 

































  • You must be an Australian resident or be a permanent resident of Australia or have a valid visa that provides work rights; 
  • You will have relevant university or TAFE qualifications, and/or equivalent industry experience; 
  • You have not been engaged or employed by 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). 


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 with Victorian artists as a priority; 
  • 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. 


The physical requirements of your position are consistent with those of a designer or director at a theatre company. You agree to advise the company of any pre-existing injuries or conditions that may arise that might inhibit you in the physical requirements of the position.  


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. 


Applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 28 May 2021. Please submit your application here.

For more information about this program please contact Annie Bourke on 03 9685 5150 or

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