Meet our Artists – Raimondo Cortese

We sat down with Raimondo Cortese ahead of the Masterclass Series 

to talk all things writing:

How does writing for theatre differ from other platforms?

The main difference for theatre writing as opposed to other forms of writing is that the text is designed to be spoken by live actors. As Peter Brook says, ‘the words form part of a giant unseen formation.’ A theatre writer needs to understand that their words activate an actor to do something, the actor embodies the words as speech in order to create an encounter. Speech imparts meaning through a complex and often contradictory relationship to behaviour, psychology, energy, expressivity etc, which is very different to reading words on a page.

Ranters Theatre base a lot of their work on the idea that every individual has a story to tell. What do you think makes a story worth telling?

The main thing that makes a story worth telling is the teller’s capacity to be honest, to show themselves unmasked, be vulnerable, to reveal things they wouldn’t normally reveal in day-to-day life.

What do you think are the key ingredients to powerful physical improvisation?

The key ingredients are to put your full attention on the person you are speaking to in order to observe and hear them without prejudice. It’s important to relax, to not try and be interesting, and let go of the fear of being vulnerable.

What do you feel is the future of new writing in Australia?

The future of new theatre writing in Australia is looking very rosy! More and more people are doing it, seeing it, participating in it, so all that exposure makes everyone work harder.

What can participants hope to gain from the Masterclass Series with Ranters Theatre?

The participants will discover and improve the way their writing and dialogues function in a scene, their ability to write economic and believable dialogue while conveying a story, their understanding of structure in a play or performance text, their skills in improv, their ability to write action, as well as their ability to critique and dramaturg their own plays and the plays of others.

RAIMONDO CORTESE graduated from the VCA School of Drama in 1993 and is a founding member of Ranters Theatre. Raimondo was the Artistic Director of Ranters from 1994 to 2000. He has written over forty plays, as well as fiction, film, and radio and runs the Master of Writing for Performance course at VCA, Melbourne University.

Ranters Theatre creates innovative and thought provoking theatre, that is pared-back, raw, and immediate, that garners critical acclaim, both locally and overseas. Ranters is one of only a few companies worldwide that works in a minimalist, non-representational style, creating finely crafted work through rigorous rehearsal processes.

This masterclass focuses on performance writing for theatre. It will guide you through the process of developing new performance work using techniques that allow you to focus on physical action and become emotionally connected with what you ‘speak’ from the point of view of character author.

There will be two main ways of generating dialogues:

Texts written in isolation

Texts devised using the basic tools of physical improvisation.


Dates: Saturdays, 10am – 1pm

May 6th Saturday June 3rd



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