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Mitch Mathews cut her theatrical teeth in Melbourne in the 1940s, working with companies such as The Melbourne Little Theatre and the New Theatre in Sydney. An actor on stage, film, television and radio, writer, director, TV host, drama teacher, journalist and casting agent, her career spanned half a century.

From playing opposite Peter Finch in THE BROKEN PITCHER with the Mercury Theatre in the 1940s to playing the lesbian Gran in THE SUM OF US opposite Russell Crowe and Jack Thompson, Mitch had done it all.

Her vision for the collaborative creative process spurred her to establish her own casting agency where her influence on young emerging professionals is still felt by many of us.

A passionate believer in supporting new writers and their work, she became Parnassus' Den's chairman in 1997 until she lost her battle with cancer in 2001.

The Mitch Mathews Award

At the conclusion of each year, Parnassus’ Den selects the best play (as judged by its committee) that was read at the Monday night readings. This play is awarded the Mitch Mathews Award or “Mitch”. The winner of the Mitch is guaranteed a production of the play, produced by Parnassus’ Den.

In 2006, nearly 100 scripts were submitted to Parnassus' Den to be considered for public readings. Parnassus' Den conducted 30 readings of new work during the year. RIO SAKI & OTHER FALLING DEBRIS by Shaun Charles was unanimously voted the best play script read in 2006, and was Awarded the 2006 "Mitch".

In November 2005, Parnassus’ Den produced the inaugural winner of the “Mitch” THE DEPARTMENT STORE by nationally and internationally renowned writer Justin Fleming. The production, directed by Chris Hurrell enjoyed major critical and public success with a four week sell-out season at The Old Fitzroy Theatre.

Previous winners of the Mitch Mathews Award (the “Mitch”)
2004 – The Department Store by Justin Fleming
2005 – Renaissance by Ron Elisha
2006 – Rio Saki & Other Falling Debris by Shaun Charles
2007 – Men, Love & The Monkey Boy by Caleb Lewis

Parnassus’ Den awarded the 2005 “Mitch” to RENAISSANCE by Ron Elisha, and was proud to produce a four week season at the Old Fitzroy Theatre In November 2006.

The winner of the 2007 “Mitch” was MEN, LOVE & THE MONKEY BOY by Caleb Lewis. This play was produced by Darlinghurst Theatre & Parramatta Riverside Theatres in April 2008

Shaun Charles receiving the 2006 "Mitch" with director Dave Letch


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