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Lecturer in Theatre, Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne

Robert Reid is a freelance playwright, director and academic. He is Artistic Director of the experience design company, Pop Up Playground.

With Pop Up Playground he currently directs the Fresh Air International Games festival at Federation Square and has created games for the White Night Festival, the State Library of Victoria, The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Bell Shakespeare.

Prior to this Robert was Artistic Director and a founding member of the independent theatre company, Theatre in Decay. He also co-founded the experimental puppet and visual theatre company, Terrible Comfort. Robert’s works produced by Theatre in Decay included “The New Scum”, “Screaming in America: The Bill Hicks Project”, “All of Which are American Dreams”, “A Mile in Her Shadow”, “Sweet Staccato Rising” and “Empire”.

His plays, “The Joy of Text” and “On The Production of Monsters”, were produced by Melbourne Theatre Company in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Robert published “Hello World! Promoting the Arts on the Net”, a Platform Paper for Currency House. He also published “Making the Improbable Inevitable” a history of the Malthouse Theatre Company and “A City this Size Should have So Many Theatres” a history of The Church Theatre, in the Australian Drama Studies Journal and “The Theatre of Rehearsing for Life” on the emergence of New Games as performance in Real Time. He has been the editor of Australian Puppeteer, the national puppetry magazine for UNIMA Australia.

His play “The New Black” was shortlisted for the Kit Denton Award in 2009, presented at the PWA National Play Festival in 2010 and work shopped by the High Tide Festival in the UK in 2011. His play “Portraits of Modern Evil” was shortlisted for both the Wal Cherry Award and the Griffin Award and was performed by Black Swan Theatre Company BSX in Perth. His play “Eating Alone” was shortlisted for the Griffin Award in 2013. He was given the R.E. Ross Trust Playwright Development Award for his play “A Mile in her Shadow” in 2005. His play “Sad Bird Boy and the Scalpel Fingered Girl” won both the Best Independent Theatre Company Prize and the Best Overall Performance Prize at Short and Sweet Melbourne 2005. His play, “Empire”, was given a special commendation by Melbourne Fringe in 2004.

He currently teaches theatre history, dramaturgy and playwriting at the Victorian College of the Arts.


  • –present
    Lecturer in Theatre, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne