About Areté

Extending on our Ancient Greek origins, allow us to introduce Areté. The word Areté originates in ancient Greece and has many interpretations.  While difficult to accurately translate, it is generally understood to mean striving for excellence, being the best that you can be and is also wound up in the notion of moral virtue. For Dionysus Theatre, Areté is a festival of short plays written specifically to the theme. This is a company initiative eventually to become an annual event.

Each year a new theme will be released and writers can submit their short scripts for consideration. Anyone is welcome to submit. Writers can be published, previously performed or virgin wielders of the theatrical pen. Local writers are encouraged. Submissions will also be invited from interested directors and artists who wish to respond to the theme in their own mediums with work to be exhibited at and/or used within the performance itself. Dionysus also welcomes alternate interpretations on the theme. For example, in Areté’s inaugural year (Areté Alpha– 2014) the program included a self-devised, one-woman performance in a series of interludes.


Dionysus aims to present a theme each year that not only sparks reflection of our society and its morals but also to provide a platform for artists of all theatrical natures to hone their craft, providing support for excellence and an audience for feedback.



Areté Alpha


Areté Beta


Areté Gamma


Areté Epsilon 2019 Submissions


Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind

                                                                      MARCEL PROUST

Marcel Proust (1897 – 1922) is a French novelist, best known for his 3000 page masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time), a pseudo-autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream-of-consciousness style.

Born in the first year of the Third Republic, the young Marcel, like his narrator, was a delicate child from a bourgeois family. He was active in Parisian high society during the 80s and 90s, welcomed in the most fashionable and exclusive salons of his day. However, his position there was also one of an outsider, due to his Jewishness and homosexuality.

Towards the end of 1890s Proust began to withdraw more and more from society, and although he was never entirely reclusive, as is sometimes made out, he lapsed more completely into his lifelong tendency to sleep during the day and work at night. He was also plagued with severe asthma, which had troubled him intermittently since childhood, and a terror of his own death, especially in case it should come before his novel had been completed. The first volume, after some difficulty finding a publisher, came out in 1913, and Proust continued to work with an almost inhuman dedication on his masterpiece right up until his death in 1922, at the age of 51.
Today he is widely recognised as one of the greatest authors of the 20th Century, and À la recherche du temps perdu as one of the most dazzling and significant works of literature to be written in modern times.

FINAL DUE DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS – Sunday 20th January 2019

Submissions can be (but are not limited to):

  • Completed one-act scripts
  • Expression of interest to be a Director
  • Proposal for alternate performance interpretations
  • Applications to be an Artist-in-Residence:
    • Artist exhibiting visual work in the foyer
    • Performance artist for the ‘Episodes’ that divide the plays
  • Expression of interest for any other role/s within the project

CONTACT MELANIE THOMAS with any further questions at: melanie@dionysustheatre.com.au


PLAY LENGTH:        maximum of ten pages or 12 minutes length

CAST:                          maximum of four

SET:                              maximum of three small manageable items


Each playwright needs to allow for a minimalist set; performed in a black box style theatre.  Each year we specify a particular set item that is artistic in nature and open to interpretation within the theme. The design and specifications of the Areté Epsilon can be viewed in the document at the end of this brief.

(Please contact Melanie if you wish to see further images)

 *NOTE – The set piece does not have to be interacted with or moved during your script (This choice can be left to directors’ discretion if you wish.)

 In your submission please include:

  • A current resume – with contact details
  • A 150 word biography (maximum)







In your submission please include:


  • A current resume – with contact details
  • A 150 word biography (maximum)
  • A brief statement that includes the following information:
  • Why you would like to work on Areté Epsilon
  • Why a company like Dionysus Theatre is of interest to you
  • What you hope to gain from the process

–       Prior experience relating to skills required for Areté Epsilon

*Please ensure this statement is no longer than one page in length.


*NOTE– If you are submitting a proposal for an alternative performance interpretation, an application to be VISUAL or PERFORMANCE artist-in-residence or any other role (existing or proposed by you), be sure to include within your statement a clear vision and/or design for what you’re proposing.

* Images can be additional to the one page limit.


All submissions must go through the company website:



Proposed Season dates at CUBE 37– First Thursday-Saturday MAY, 2019

1 Step 1

Artist in Residence – SET PIECE – ARETÉ EPSILON 2019

Visual Artist – Sally Curry

Victorian Drama League Scenographic award winner 2018

 Collage of Paint on Canvas and Photography

 The size of the finished artwork will be around 150cmx200cm

I’m honoured to be asked to paint something for next years Areté Delta. I worked with Dionysus Theatre for the first time this year in a whirl wind start from chatting with Emma at Spotlight to being awarded the 2018 Victorian Drama League Scenographic Award.

 I completed a Diploma of Fine Art after high school but haven’t painted much since then, apart from the massive backdrop for “Women of Troy”. It’s wonderful to be given the chance to be creative again.

 The theme/quote from Marcel Proust really got me thinking, as it is so close to my heart. I lost my husband of 26 years to suicide 6 years ago and it’s amazing how strong you become mentally and emotionally after such grief. I’m not sure if I can truly represent my journey from absolute shock and grief to now being in a pretty positive happy place, but I’m going to give it a go.