Jean Tong is a Melbourne-based writer, dramaturg and director.
Jean recently wrote Ep 2 on SAFE HOME with Kindling Pictures for SBS (one hour of drama – airing soon) and is currently writing another one hour of drama for television for Fremantle Media. They wrote two episodes for 100% WOLF S2 for Flying Bark/ABC; co-wrote Ep 2 (with the creator) and script edited the television series SICK TO DEATH with Rhapsody Films. In addition, they wrote 2 episodes of the online series VAG OF HONOUR; and have worked in numerous writers’ rooms, and as the script co-ordinator for NEW GOLD MOUNTAIN with Goalpost Pictures and SBS.
Jean is currently directing the play CAUGHT by Christopher Chen at Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre. They are also writing new musical FLAT EARTHERS: THE MUSICAL (with Lou Wall and James Gales) commissioned by Griffin Theatre Company. The work had a staged reading (directed by Jean) at Arts Centre Melbourne for Midsumma. The new musical was shortlisted for ATYP’s Rebel Wilson Scholarship, and was accepted into Homegrown Australia’s Grassroots Initiative.
Their play HUNGRY GHOSTS premiered at Melbourne Theatre Company in 2019. Their musical ROMEO IS NOT THE ONLY FRUIT (which they also directed) after a smash hit premiere was remounted at Malthouse for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and then toured to Brisbane Festival and regionally. ROMEO IS NOT THE ONLY FRUIT was nominated for both Best Writing and Best Ensemble at the 2019 Green Room Awards. In 2020, Jean was a Philip Parson’s Writing Fellow at Belvoir Theatre. They were Development Assistant at Goalpost Pictures from 2019 to 2021.
Jean was selected for Film Vic’s Plot Twist programme and by Screen Australia to be part of their Developing the Developer initiative, which aims to increase the pool of experts in the field of story development. In 2020, Jean was supported by Film Vic to undertake a 10-week industry placement on NEW GOLD MOUNTAIN with SBS and Goalpost Pictures.
In 2019, Jean directed the premiere of new Australian work OH NO! SATAN STOLE MY PINEAL GLAND! by Kirby Medway for Melbourne Fringe Festival; and was dramaturge for LOTUS by Chi Nguyen. In the same year, Jean was commissioned by the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre to write the podcast, APODCALYPSE which was released in 2020.
Melbourne Theatre Company granted Jean the Robert Macdonald Professional Development Award. They have also received the Murray Sutherland Award and the University of Melbourne Global Scholar’s Award.
Jean has published in Peril Magazine and Meanjin (Spike) and presented at the Emerging Writers' Festival. They hold a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne with a double major in English and Theatre Studies, and Criminology. During their second year, they studied at King’s College London. They have completed a Masters in Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts.