Speakers and Facilitators

Donna Abela is a playwright and dramaturge. She has written over 30 original and adapted stage plays for youth, community, independent and mainstream theatre companies, and radio plays for the ABC and Eastside Radio. Recent work includes Mrs Macquarie’s Cello (2010 AWGIE Award for Radio Adaptation), Aurora’s Lament (2012 AWGIE Award for Radio Adaptation), Caylee’s Ukulele (nominated 2014 AWGIE Award for Children’s Theatre), Jump For Jordan (Griffin Playwriting Award 2013), and Monkey, Journey to the West (Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image, on tour 2014-15). Donna is a founding member of Powerhouse Youth Theatre and the playwrights’ alliance 7-ON, and is completing a doctorate at the University of Wollongong.

Roysten Abel was born in Kerala, South India. After graduating from the national school of drama in 1994, he was apprentice with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 1995, he returned to India and founded the Indian Shakespeare Company. In 1999 he devised and directed Othello a play in black and white, his first original work which went on to win the Scotsman fringe first award and has toured extensively around the world.He has worked with out-of-work street performers and was invited to conceive and direct a play on the Italian Film maker Federico Fellini in Rimini. Soon after this he went on to do his first feature film In Othello which was his first step into cinema.

Two of Roysten’s major productions, The Manganiyar Seduction and A Hundred Charmers are theatre collaborations with musicians. The Kitchen is a devised piece with 12 Mizhav drummers and two actors/cooks. This project was commissioned by Sydney Festival, Holland Festival and Auckland Festival. He recently premiered The Manganiyar Classroom and is also in the process of setting up A state of the art School for the Manganiyar Children which he hopes will be up and running by 2018.

Vernon Ah Kee is a member of the Kuku Yalandji, Waanji, Yidinji and Gugu Yimithirr peoples. Born in Far North Queensland, Vernon is a conceptual artist and a founding member of the Brisbane-based proppaNOW artists’ collective. He has a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons) at the Queensland College of Art, Brisbane. Vernon’s work critiques Australian popular culture, particularly the dichotomy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal societies and cultures. His art practice consists of video, 3D installation, photography, digital design, painting, printmaking and drawing. Vernon represented Australia at the 53rd Venice Biennale in the group exhibition Once Removed (2009). His work is included in public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.

Camilla Ah Kin is a graduate of WAAPA and has worked across the industry in theatre, film and TV as a performer. She has also taught, directed produced and dramaturged. In 1992 Camilla received a cultural scholarship from the government of France to study at L’ecole Internationale du Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She also completed an MA (Research) thesis on the metaphor of family in theatre (USYD), “A Chance Gathering of Strays: The Australian Theatre Family”. Camilla has appeared in productions for numerous companies including Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, WA Theatre Company (now Black Swan), Ensemble Theatre and Griffin. She appeared most recently as Azza in Jump for Jordan at Griffin, and has just completed filming Holding the Man for Goalpost Pictures. For independent theatre, she convened a group of small companies, which became Theatre Hydra at The Old Fitzroy Theatre, which were among the first groups to produce what we called “independent theatre” in Sydney. A proud member of Equity, Camilla is also Industrial Organizer for Live Performance at the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in Sydney.

Lesley Alway has been Director Asialink Arts, based at the University of Melbourne, Australia since 2010. Asialink Arts is a multidisciplinary arts organisation that operates nationally and internationally to generate new models and platforms for cultural exchange. It partners with organisations throughout Asia and Australia to undertake exhibitions, touring projects, residencies, symposia, research and publications. Lesley has worked with cultural organisations in the government, non-profit and private sectors. Her previous roles include Managing Director of Sotheby’s Australia, Director / CEO of Heide Museum of Modern Art, Director, Arts Victoria and Director, Artbank. Her academic qualifications include a BA (Hons) and BEd from the University of Melbourne and an MBA from Monash University.

Stephen Armstrong Stephen is Creative Producer of the Asian Arts Program at Arts Centre Melbourne. Previous executive roles have been with Malthouse Theatre, Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company and Chamber Made Opera, which he co-founded. Stephen’s primary focus in these roles has been the commissioning, creation and presentation of new performance; facilitating artistic exchange and collaboration; and devising artist development initiatives. He is currently Chair of Theatre for the Australia Council, a Trustee of the Victorian Actors Benevolent Fund, a Board Director of NIDA, and a member of The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund Arts & Culture Committee.

Sarah Austin graduated with Honours from the VCA with a Bachelor of Visual and Performing Arts in 2001 and completed her Masters in Theatre Studies at Melbourne University in 2005. She has worked for companies both in Australia and overseas as a Programmer, Director and Curator and recently was the Convenor of the Artistic Sub Committee at Melbourne venue Theatre Works.

She was one of the inaugural recipients of the City of Melbourne Young Artists Grants, an invited International Jury Member for the Festival of Youth Theatre in Germany. In 2010, she was an invited participant in the Contacting the World Symposium in Manchester. From 2008 until January 2014 she was the Artistic Director and CEO of St Martins Youth Arts Centre in Melbourne. She sits on the Board of Management of Theatre Network Victoria and is a peer assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts. Currently she is a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and PhD Candidate at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Van Badham is a theatre-maker and novelist, arts critic, activist, unionist, feminist and weekly political columnist for Guardian Australia. Van was Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre in London from 2009-2011, Artistic Associate at Malthouse Theatre from 2011 – 2013, and awards for her work as a playwright include the 2005 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Black Hands / Dead Section, the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Muff and the 2014 Western Australian premier’s Literary Award for The Bull, the Moon and the Coronet of Stars. her commentary has also appeared in publications The Drum, The Hoopla, Women’s Agenda, Australian Cosmopolitan and Daily Life.

Chris Bendall is an award-winning creative producer, director and dramaturg and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Critical Stages. He has worked on over 50 productions over the past 15 years, has been nominated for a Green Room Award for Outstanding Director, and won the WA Equity Awards for Best Director in both 2009 and 2011 and Best Production in 2011. He has been a member of the Theatre Nominating Panel for the Helpmann Awards since 2010, and is on the steering committee of Theatre Network NSW. Previous positions include: Guest Programmer for PlayWriting Australia’s National Play Festival (2013); Chair of Stages WA (2010-2013); WA State Representative of PlayWriting Australia (2009-2013); Artistic Director of Deckchair Theatre in Fremantle (2008-2012); Artistic Director and co-founder of Theatre @ Risk in Melbourne (2001-2007), Artistic Director and co-founder of Footlight Theatre (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide) (1996-2000), and Affiliate Director of Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) (2003-2004). As a director his most recent production was The Magic Hour, which toured nationally in 2014.Chris has been awarded the Queen’s Trust Australia & Foundation for Young Australians Centenary Grant (2001) and the George Fairfax Memorial Award for Theatre (2003). He was the Australian delegate to the International Forum of Theatre Practitioners in Berlin (2004), and received an Ian Potter Fellowship and a Playwriting Australia / Goethe Institut Dramaturgy Fellowship to research new writing theatres in Europe and the UK (2008).

Paschal Daantos Berry is performance maker, writer and dramaturg whose practice is focused on interdisciplinary, cross cultural and collaborative processes. He has worked for Urban Theatre Projects (UTP), Radio National (ABC), Griffin Theatre Company, the Australian Choreographic Centre and Quantum Leap Youth Choreographic Ensemble, Belvoir Asian Theatre Festival, Performance Space, Blacktown Arts Centre, ATYP, Canberra Youth Theatre and NORPA. He wrote the critically acclaimed The Folding Wife, a co-production between UTP, Anino Shadowplay Collective and Blacktown Arts Centre; which received a national Mobile States Tour through Performing Lines in 2010. He, with Deborah Pollard, created Within and Without, presented by Performance Space in partnership with Blacktown Arts Centre in 2011. His 10-year partnership with Manila-based company Anino Shadowplay Collective has yielded multiple projects including a current work Arkipelago:  Intima-sea for Pesta Boneka Biennale in Jogjakarta in December 2014. Paschal was an inaugural member of Australia Council’s Youth Panel. He is currently the Performance Curator at Blacktown Arts Centre.

Angela Betzien’s work has toured widely across Australia and internationally. She received the 2011 Sydney Theatre Award for Best New Australian work, the 2007 Richard Wherrett Award for Excellence in Playwriting, a 2007 Australian Writer’s Guild Award, the 2012 Kit Denton Disfellowship and a 2012 Queensland Literary Award for Drama. Her plays include Dog Wins Lotto, Playboy of the Working Class, The Orphanage Project (Queensland Theatre Company), Children of the Black Skirt, Hoods, War Crimes (RealTV), Girl Who Cried Wolf (Arena Theatre and Windmill Theatre), The Teenage Alchemist (ATYP and Camp Quality), The Dark Room (Belvoir) and Helicopter (Melbourne Theatre Company).Angela is currently the 2014 Patrick White Fellow at Sydney Theatre Company. Her new play Mortido will be presented by Belvoir and STCSA later this year.

 

Sally Blackwood was Director in Residence with Sasha Waltz & Guests in 2014. Previously Sally was Artistic Director Jigsaw Theatre Company; KidsPlay Glen Street Theatre; Associate Artistic Director Patch Theatre Company; Director/Tour Manager C!RCA. Prior, Sally was a Producer at Sydney Opera House. As an opera director Sally is a regular guest director at Opera Australia and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.Sally is an artistic director, director, creator, producer, programmer, writer, event manager, workshop facilitator & French interpreter. Production credits include: outdoor festival productions; events; community workshops; PD training workshops; children’s theatre/musicals; circus; opera; theatre; dance; cabaret; television commercials; series drama; & film. Sally has 18+ years experience in the performing arts as a director & producer: creating and managing annual programs, festivals and events; directing main-stage productions; and touring nationally & internationally. Sally is a graduate of NIDA post-grad Directing, and BA (Theatre/Film; French), UNSW. She is currently Artistic Director, Emerge Festival, Australian Institute of Music.

Jane Bodie’s plays include Music, Hinterland, This Years Ashes, A Single Act, Still and Ride. They’ve been performed all over the world, from London to Brazil. She won the Victorian Premier Literary Award in 2006 and aGreen Room Award in 2003. As a dramaturg she has worked on many productions, including Dona Abela’s Jump For Jordan (Griffin), Kathryn Marquet’s Pale Blue Dot (La Boite), Murakami – Through a Distant Lens (Performance 4a/Darwin Festival), Julia Rose Lewis’ Samson (Belvoir 2015) and with ATYP and Ilbijerri Theatre Company on ongoing projects.

Jane has also written extensively for TV and radio, including The Secret Life of Us, Tashi and Moving Wallpaper. She’s currently adapting This Years Ashes for the screen for Screen Australia. Jane worked with The Royal Court Theatre as a teacher in London, was Head of Playwriting at NIDA from 2010 – 2012, Associate Artist at Griffin in 2013 and was Artistic Associate at Playwriting Australia in 2014.

Lenine Bourke has just recently joined the Australia Council for the Arts as Director, Community Partnerships. She also maintains an arts practice and is the lead artists for The Walking Neighbourhood, a collaborative work with children. More recently she was the Artistic Director of Contact Inc an arts and cultural organisation committed to social change. Prior to this Lenine was the Executive Director of Young People and the Arts Australia, the national peak body for youth arts. She has a broad range of professional experiences in the arts and cultural sectors, nationally and internationally.

Danny Braverman has been working as a writer, director, teacher and performer in education and community settings for thirty years. He has worked in a variety of places including schools, prisons, day centres, parks, the street and often theatres too. He has worked for a range of companies including Theatre Royal Stratford East, Theatre Centre, London Bubble, National Theatre and Graeae. Until 2011, Danny was Director of The Orpheus Centre, a performing arts centre supporting young disabled adults into independence.  His book Playing a Part: Drama and Citizenship is widely used by teachers and other arts practitioners and was published by Trentham Books in 2002.  Danny’s solo show Wot? No Fish!! received critical acclaim as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme 2013 (The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner’s top 10 in 2014) and won Danny The Brian Way Playwriting Award 2013. Danny is also part-time Lecturer in Applied Theatre at Goldsmiths University of London.

Katharine Brisbane, AM, was co-founder in 1971, with her husband Dr Philip Parsons, of Currency Press, the performing arts publishers; and founder in 2001 of Currency House Inc. a non-profit association established to assert the value of the performing arts in public life. She was a theatre critic for 21 years, notably national critic of The Australian 1967–74; and has written widely on the history of Australian theatre. Her work has appeared in many books and journals. A collection of her writings, Not Wrong, Just Different: Observations on the rise of the contemporary theatre, was published in 2005.

Katharine holds two honorary doctorates and has received many awards, including a Special Award in 2008 from the NSW Premier for services to Australian literature and theatre. Most recently she was recipient of the 2013 J.C. Williamson Award for lifetime achievement. Her Platform Paper no.43, The Arts and the Common Good, will be published on 1 May.

 

Elena Carapetis was born in country South Australia to Greek migrants and expected to become something respectable, like an accountant. To their horror, she became an actor instead – after studying Drama at school, university and then NIDA. She has appeared in productions by State Theatre Company of SA, Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Malthouse Theatre, Q Theatre, Brink Productions, Flying Penguin, Windmill Theatre, Company B Belvoir, Sidetrack, Parallelo and the NIDA Professional Company. She recently won a Sydney Theatre Award for her work in Lachlan Philpott’s Truck Stop. Screen credits include Blue Heelers, Water Rats, All Saints, Murder Call, Children’s Hospital, Heartbreak High, Marking Time, Dead Europe, Look Both Ways, Burning Man and One Eyed Girl. Also a playwright, her play Helen Back was shortlisted for the Jill Blewett playwright’s award category of the 2012 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature. In 2014 Elena directed her own adaptation of Euripides’ The Bacchae at the Adelaide College of the Arts. Her play The Good Son will be directed by Corey McMahon in Adelaide in 2015.

Jenevieve Chang is a performer, writer and dancer who has worked in Australia, London and Shanghai.In Australia, she has worked with Sidetrack Performance Group, Urban Theatre Projects, State of Play and Legs on the Wall, as well as Chopped Logic, Yellow Earth Theatre and Benjamin Zephanaiah in the UK.Jenevieve spent 3 years living and working in Shanghai where she co-founded Fifth Wall – a hub of artists developing intercultural performance languages; and was Show Manager of China’s first Vaudeville-style Cabaret club.

After collaborating on Stories Then and Now with William Yang and Annette Shun Wah for the Sydney Writer’s Festival 2013, Jenevieve took part in  Australian Writer’s Week the following year- organized by the Australian Embassy in Beijing. Her upcoming memoir The Good Girl of Chinatown will be published by Penguin Books in 2015.Jenevieve was a participating artist in Griffin Theatre’s Emerging Cultural Leadership Program. She is currently the Senior Course Manager at NIDA Open and has been a committee member of Performance 4a since 2013.

Claudia Chidiac is a theatre maker and creative producer. Her work is informed by popular culture, cultural diversity and the politics of identity. She has worked extensively with young people, migrant and refugee communities over the past ten years.From 2010 – 2014 she was the Creative Producer of Performance and Music and Theatre Producer/Curator at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC). She was responsible for creating and producing the Way Out West Festival for Children, and in 2013 produced and directed Tough Beauty by Finegan Kruckemeyer. From 2005 – 2010 Claudia was Artistic Director and CEO of Powerhouse Youth Theatre (PYT), Western Sydney’s leading youth theatre company, where she was responsible for directing and producing the company’s artistic program and developing training opportunities for emerging artists in Western Sydney.

In 2006 Claudia was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts Community Cultural Development Young Leaders Award and in 2004 the Arts NSW Western Sydney Artist Fellowship. Claudia is a graduate of Theatre Nepean, Theatre Theory and Practice.

Felix, Ching Ching Ho is a Hong Kong born Melbourne based independent theatre director and performer. As a theatre director, she has directed shows for Melbourne Fringe, MKA, Chinese theatre groups at the University of Melbourne. She has worked with Tom Gutteridge, Yumi Umiumare, Susie Dee, Peter Wilson, Lech Mackiewicz and Meng Jing Hui as an assistant director with companies Union House Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Arts Centre Melbourne, Malthouse and National Theatre of China. Felix initiated TRANS COLLECTIVE in 2013 for which [TRANS] # Series has created and produced two hybrid multilingual performances for Mudfest and the Hong Kong People’s Fringe Festival; and a script reading series at La Mama Theatre. As a performing artist, she has trained in Viewpoint, Suzuki and Butoh respectively with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre (Australia); Tony Yap (Malaysia/Australia) and SITI Company (New York). She has performed in “Take Off Your Skin” (WELL Theatre/Melbourne Fringe); “Grave” (Dewey Dell/Next Wave); Walking in Words” (Light in Winter Festival); “1938: An Opera” (Union House Theatre/Melbourne Fringe) and “The Sovereign Wife” (Sisters Grimm/MTC NEON). She has recently collaborated with composer Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh on her first site-specific performance “MC.#01″ as part of the 6th Melaka Art and Performance Festival 2014; and composer Ashlee Clap on “M.#02″ as part of Mapping Melbourne.

Frederick Copperwaite is a Bunuba man from the Fitzroy Crossing region of the South-West Kimberley, WA.  He graduated as an actor from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and has extensive theatre, television and film acting experience. His most recent work was in Gods of Wheat Street for ABCTV. Frederick is a co-founder and Artistic Director of Moogahlin Performing Arts. For Moogahlin he has directed This Fella, My Memory (Carriageworks), Gathering Ground 2010, Lessons in Flight (2008 Dreaming Festival) and Yellamundie: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Playwriting Festival 2013, produced by Moogahlin, Carriageworks and Sydney Festival. In 2015, for Moogahlin, he will work as Artistic Director of Yellamundie: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Playwriting Festival 2015 and assist on Biaime’s Ngunnhu in Brewarrina. Frederick is currently Head of Theatre and Screen Performance Studies at Eora College of Aboriginal Studies: Centre for Visual and Performing Arts.

Fraser Corfield is a director, dramaturge and the Artistic Director of Australian Theatre for Young People. He has been the Artistic Director of Backbone Youth Arts (Qld, 2005-08) Riverland Youth Theatre (SA, 2001-03) and the Associate Director of Queensland’s second largest professional theatre company La Boite Theatre (1997-2000).

Fraser has directed over thirty productions for professional, independent and youth theatre companies around Australia and sat on advisory bodies at all levels of the industry including: peer assessor for Arts Queensland (2009 -), Regional Arts NSW ( 2012 -), the Theatre Board of the Australia Council for the Arts (2008 – 2011), Company Associate of Queensland Theatre Company (2006 – 2008), a board member for Young People in the Arts Australia (2007 – 2009), Chair of the selection committee for the Youth Arts Mentoring Program (YAMP) (2006 – 2008), and a board member of Metro Arts (2005 – 2008).

Jim Culleton is the artistic director of Fishamble: The New Play Company (Ireland) for which he has directed productions on tour throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada and the US. Recent productions include Spinning by Deirdre Kinahan, Little Thing, Big Thing by Donal O’Kelly, Tiny Plays for Ireland 1 & 2 by 50 writers,the multi award-winning The Pride of Parnell Street by Sebastian Barry and Silent by Pat Kinevane (winner of Fringe First, Herald Angel and Argus Angel awards) which was brought to Melbourne and Perth by Arts Projects Australia in 2013.

He has also directed productions for companies including the Abbey Theatre, 7:84 (Scotland), Project Arts Centre, RTE Radio, The Belgrade, Scotland’s Ensemble @ Dundee Rep and Origin (New York). Jim has taught at universities including NYU, NUIM/GSA, the Lir, TCD (where he is Adjunct Lecturer) and UCD (where Fishamble is theatre company-in-association).

Este Darin-Cooper is a Director of the Darin Cooper Foundation, which makes grants to arts organisations in Australia. Este has been a frequent theatre-goer since a young child, when her parents bought her subscriptions to several theatre companies. She has since developed a passion for attending Australian theatre productions and supporting Australian writing for the stage. Este’s professional life is quite separate from the arts – formerly a lawyer practising in intellectual property, e-commerce and consumer law at a major law firm, Este is now the Director of Regulation and Strategy at the Australian Privacy Commission.

Tim Cunniffe studied Classical Piano with Jean Roberts and Robert Curry at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Tim has built a reputation as one of Australia’s most versatile musical directors, working as a conductor, arranger and pianist across a wide  range of musical genres.

As a conductor his repertoire includes opera, classical concerti, musicals, and major choral works. He has written arrangements for choirs, orchestras, bands, and music theatre productions. For John Senczuk’s production of  Irene (2008) Tim provided new arrangements for all Debbie Reynolds’ numbers. Also a well-known cabaret performer, Tim has co-created more than 60 shows presented at Downstairs @ Maj, and enjoys an international schedule with performances in London, Singapore, Malaysia and China, and at Fringe Festivals in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Edinburgh.

His major compositions include African Queen (Chamber opera), Some Kind Of Beautiful (Musical), Gold-digger (Cabaret), The Soloists (Short Film Opera), and Between The Lines (musical in development for Black Swan).

Isaac Drandic is a father, actor, director, resident artist at Playwriting Australia and associate director of Australia’s leading and longest running Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Theatre Company: ILBIJERRI. Hailing from Perth, Isaac attended the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where he trained in the Aboriginal Theatre course in 1999. As an actor he has worked with Black Swan State Theatre Company, Ilbijerri, Playbox, Sydney Theatre Company, State Opera of South Australia, Melbourne Theatre Company and Yirra Yaakin. He has directed and assistant directed for Malthouse, Moogahlin Performing Arts, Yirra Yaakin and Ilbijerri, including Coranderrk (Belvoir/Ilbijerri) and Coranderrk We Will Show The Country (Ilbijerri). He co-directed Archie Roach’s Into The Bloodstream concert. Isaac is the recipient of the Uncle Jack Charles Award 2008 (VIPAA), recognising ‘Best achievement by a Victorian theatre practitioner’, and in 2012 was a participant in the British Council’ Accelerate Program. He is also a panelist of the Victorian Indigenous Performing Arts Awards.

Sopa Enari is a Samoan writer and actor based in Sydney. His writing credits include Who’s Poppin? (Tawata Productions), Who’s Poppin? the Prequel (Bats Theatre), Between You and Me, Brother (Radio Skid Row & Playwriting Australia). Who’s Poppin? won the Pick of the Fringe Award at the Wellington Fringe Festival 2009 and was acclaimed for its ‘truly innovative theatrical form’ incorporating physical theatre and live music. Sopa was artist-in-residence with Griffin Theatre Company in 2013-2014 under the inaugural Cultural Leadership Program and was a participant of Griffin’s Story Lab in 2012 and 2013. He is a regular drama workshop facilitator for Save the Children, Bankstown Youth Development Services and Playwriting Australia. In 2015, Sopa is Associate Artist with Rock Surfers Theatre in Sydney.Sopa studied acting at the New Zealand National Drama School.

James Evans is Associate Artist and Resident Artist in Education at Bell Shakespeare. He is a graduate of NIDA (Acting) and has an MA in English and Professional Communication from the University of Sydney. James has worked extensively as an actor, director and workshop facilitator.

James is Director of The Players, Bell Shakespeare’s full-time touring ensemble, and will direct Romeo and Juliet with them this year. In 2014 James directed Macbeth, and was dramaturge on Peter Evans’s production of The Dream. James wrote and presented the acclaimed iPad App Starting Shakespeare, named Best New App by Apple in 17 countries, including Australia and the US. He also recently produced and directed educational content for Google Australia.

James was performance director on Lah-Lah’s Adventures (ABC TV) and co-directed the Bell Shakespeare/ABC Splash online series Shakespeare Unbound. James has written, developed and run leadership and communication workshops for education and corporate sectors. He is the director of Bell Shakespeare’s Professional Actor Training, and a visiting teacher in the full-time Acting courses at NIDA and the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts, Brisbane.

Kate Fell is the Executive Producer at Circa. Prior to this Kate has worked in programming, arts policy, and producing for a variety of companies, venues, and festivals including Brisbane Festival, Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and Youth Arts Queensland. She was a consultant at Fieldworx, working with a range of arts, community and government clients. Kate has served on a number of boards including the Australia Council Theatre Board.

Mike Finch is Artistic Director of Circus Oz. Since 1990, Mike has studied
(and taught) Communications, Theatre/Media at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, directed some short films and video, busked with street performers, The Banana Brothers, and directed big cabarets for petrol-head festivals in the central west of New South Wales. His training includes acrobatics, juggling, cinematography and setting things on fire. In 1992 Mike did a couple of weeks making coffee as the Work-Experience Guy at Circus Oz. From there he went on to be a founder of Circus Monoxide, a group of friendly lunatics performing a mobile show off the side of a convoy of big buses. After a year on the road from Eden to Cairns performing in the show and living in a bunk, he accidentally applied to be Artistic Director and co-Chief Executive Officer of Circus Oz, a position he’s held since 1997. Not withstanding the chaotic ambiguity of the creative process, Mike reluctantly concedes that for him it’s probably the best job in the world.

Whitney Fitzsimmons is a well known TV news anchor, journalist and writer with over 15 years experience in the media industry. She spent more than a decade at the ABC and for eight years she was the host of Business Today the ABC’s premier daily business TV news program where she interviewed CEOs, politicians and international financial leaders. During her eleven years at the ABC Whitney presented a wide variety of programs including NSW 7pm News, Lateline Business, The Drum, Weekend Breakfast, The Midday Report and The World.

Whitney is featured in the current edition of Who’s Who of Australian Women and is the recipient of a 2009 Jefferson Fellowship from the East West Centre at the University of Hawaii and a 2008 Asia Pacific Journalism Centre Fellowship. Whitney holds a Master of Arts: Journalism from the University of Technology, Sydney and a Bachelor of Arts: Theatre & Performance from the University of Western Sydney.

Eamon Flack is currently Associate Director New Projects at Belvoir and has been appointed Artistic Director beginning 2016. He was born in Singapore and graduated from the acting course at WAAPA in 2003. He has since worked as a director, actor, writer and dramaturg for Belvoir, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Perth International Arts Festival, Darwin Festival and various other companies. For Belvoir, Eamon has directed The Glass MenagerieAngels in America, Once in Royal David’s City, Babyteeth, As You Like It and The End, co-adapted Ruby Langford Ginibi’s memoir Don’t Take Your Love to Town with Leah Purcell, and co-devised Beautiful One Day. His dramaturgy credits for Belvoir include The Wild Duck, Neighbourhood Watch, Brothers Wreck and The Book of Everything. Eamon’s productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (B Sharp/Bob Presents/Arts Radar) and Wulamanayuwi and the Seven Pamanui (Darwin Festival) have both toured nationally. He has adapted and directed Gorky’s Summerfolk (Bob Presents) and his adaptation of Antigone was produced at the Perth International Arts Festival and published by Currency Press. In 2014 he appeared in Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of Cock at La Boite.

Richard J. Frankland is one of Australia’s most experienced Aboriginal singer/songwriters, authors, poets and filmmakers. He is regarded by the various industries he works in as a polymath. His theatre works include Conversations with the Dead and, most recently, Walking into the Bigness, which premiered at Malthouse Theatre in August 2014. Richard has worked on the frontline of Indigenous issues for the past 25 years and his projects encompass community capacity building, ranging from organisation establishment, community capacity building, preventative violence workshops, healing circle establishment and cultural immersion programs. Richard’s aim has been to facilitate the voice of Indigenous Australians and bridge the gap between black and white.

Kate Gaul is a Freelance Theatre Director/Designer. She graduated from NIDA in 1996 (Directing Course). Kate’s directing credits include plays, opera, physical theatre, devised works and classics. She has worked with Anne Bogart SITI Company (2005), she was Associate Director of Ensemble Theatre (2004/5), Festival Director of World Interplay (2009/11), Festival Director of Short+Sweet (Theatre), Canberra (2013/2014/2015), and Short+Sweet (Cabaret) Sydney (2014).  She is Artistic Director of Siren Theatre Co (1997 – present) where her passion is for text based drama challenges artists and audiences to have bold imaginative experiences. In 2015 Siren Theatre Co will produce Enda Walsh’s “Mistermann” for a season at the Old Fitz Theatre. Kate’s play “Fat Boy” was performed originally as part of Bondi Feast and then a second production as part of the May Day plays 2013. Kate has also written and directed two short films “Embrace” and “Cake”. Kate is also an accomplished designer/maker. www.sirentheatreco.com

Bruce Gladwin is an Australian artist and performance maker. He has been the Artistic Director of Back to Back Theatre since 1999. The work Gladwin has created with the company is recognized for innovation and excellence, touring regularly to major international arts festivals and institutions.

Toni Glynn has been Production Manager with Queensland Theatre Company since June 2013. Toni has extensive experience in all aspects of live theatre production and event management and has been involved in the presentation of a diverse range and scale of live performance styles including drama, dance, circus, festivals and parades, concerts and corporate events, nationally and internationally. Toni began her career as a volunteer at La Boite Theatre Company, working in varied roles including props, costume making and stage management. She has a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Technical) from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), a Diploma of Business (Frontline Management), and a Diploma in Technical Theatre. Her professional experience includes Technical Manager roles with Company B Belvoir and Sydney Theatre Company and, more recently, Production Manager roles with Conrad Jupiter’s and Expressions Dance Company.

Duncan Graham graduated as an actor from AC Arts, Adelaide in 2003. His plays produced works include. Black Crow Lullabies; one long night in the land of Nod; Ollie and the Minotaur; Cut; The Love Play; No Exit from the Roof; Half-Real; The Highway Crossing; Dreams in White; Twin – The Myth Project; Google/Griffin Project. Awards: Adelaide Fringe Award, 2006; Jill Blewett Playwright’s Award, 2008; shortlist Griffin Award, 2011; shortlist Max Afford Award, 2012, 2006; nominated Sydney Theatre Awards, Best New Work, 2012; shortlisted NSW Premiers Award, 2014. Duncan was: Associate Artist STCSA, 2009; Griffin Theatre Company Studio, 2012; PWA Associate Playwright at STC, 2012. He is currently under commission from STCSA, STC, Madman Entertainment, Think + Do Tank; Flying Penguin/In Space, Adelaide Festival Centre. As a director is works include, The Homecoming, Google/Griffin Project, Cut; and as Assistant/Dramaturg – Measure for Measure & The City (Benedict Andrews), Hamlet & Uncle Vanya (STCSA), Our Town & Highway Crossing (Iain Sinclair).

Mish Grigor is an artist based in Sydney. She is one third of the performance group POST, whose work has been seen around Australia. Their shows include Oedipus SchmoedipusWho’s the Best?Shamelessly Glitzy Work, and Gifted and Talented. In 2014 POST toured to the UK and began development of The Post Internet with residencies at In Between Time Festival, Bristol and The Junction, Cambridge. Mish’s solo and other collaborative works have been presented at Next Wave, Perth Institute for Contemporary Arts and Lismore Regional Gallery, amongst others. In 2014 she presented Man O Man at Festival of Live Art, Melbourne, and at Vitalstatistix, Adelaide. In 2015 she will debut The Talk in Melbourne through Field Theory. Mish is working with UK/Belgian company Reckless Sleepers to devise their new piece EMPIRE.

Donna Ingram’s Aboriginal family connections are the Wiradjuri of Central West New South Wales. She is the Mother of four adult children and was born and raised in Sydney, where she has worked in Aboriginal affairs and community organisations for the past 30 years, mostly in education. She was also elected to represent her community as a Councillor on the former Sydney Regional Council of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council (ATSIC). Donna holds a Diploma in Aboriginal Community Development and is a Graduate of the Indigenous Women’s Leadership Development Program.  Donna is involved in several community consultation groups especially in regards to women’s issues and NAIDOC week in the Redfern/inner city area. Donna has presented Welcome to Country at many conferences and major events including Government House, Kirribilli House, Parliament House, The Entertainment Centre and Sydney Convention Centre.

Adena Jacobs is the Artistic Director of independent company Fraught Outfit and Resident Director at Belvoir. Adena graduated with a Bachelor of Creative Arts (honours) from Melbourne University (2004), and a Masters of Theatre Practice from VCA (2008). In 2011, she was awarded the Melbourne International Arts Festival’s Harold Mitchell Fellowship, and in 2012 was Female Director in Residence at the Malthouse. Directing credits include Oedipus Rex (Belvoir), Hedda Gabler (Belvoir), Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, (Theatre Works, Malthouse Theatre, Belvoir), On The Bodily Education of Young Girls (Neon/MTC), Elektra (The Dog Theatre), The City (Red Stitch), This Is For You (La Mama) and Cleansed (Studio45, VCA). In 2012 Persona received 5 Green Room Awards, including Best Direction and Best Independent Production. Adena has trained with the SITI Company in New York and is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Andrea James is a descendant of the Yorta Yorta and Kurnai Aboriginal nations. She graduated from La Trobe University in 1991 with a BA in Drama and has a Bachelor of Dramatic Arts from VCA in 1996. Andrea was Artistic Director of Melbourne Workers Theatre from 2001-2008. She is best-known for writing and directing Yanagai! Yanagai!, a co-production with Playbox in 2004 which toured to the UK in 2006. Since relocating to Sydney, Andrea has directed Bully Beef Stew at PACT Theatre and co-wrote Corranderk: We Will Show the Country and a re-worked version staged at Belvoir in December 2013. Her play Winyanboga Yurringa was presented at the Australian Playwriting Festival in 2013. Andrea is Artistic Associate at Carriageworks where she curates and produces exhibitions and events. She was a Director at the Yellamundie ATSI Playwriting Festival in 2013 and is currently a Board Director of Moogahlin Performing Arts and Urban Theatre Projects.

Nigel Jamieson is a theatre and event director, and has worked for the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, World Expo, the European City of Culture celebrations, Angkor Wat, the ABC Millennium Broadcast, numerous festival openings and most currently, the Pacific Games in PNG. He has worked extensively with Indigenous communities and was director of Sydney Festival First Night, The Australian Festival For Young People , the London International Workshop Festival and the London Festival of New Circus.

His theatre work has toured the world extensively, forging theatre, dance, puppetry, aerial work and projection, and often involving international collaboration. Works include multi award winning shows such as Honour Bound about David Hicks and Guantanamo, his Indonesian collaboration Theft of Sitaabout the overthrow of Suharto, In Our Name, about the Australian detention of children, a large arena show for Dreamworks and his epic aerial production As The World Tipped, reflecting his current pre-occupation with Climate Change and the threats it poses.

Nigel is a recipient of a Greater London Arts Award for contribution to London cultural life, an Australian Centenary medal for his contribution to Australian Culture, An Australia Council Theatre Fellowship, numerous Helpmann awards  and the 2007 Individual Sidney Myer Award.

Robert Jarman is a performer and director (and occasional designer, writer, teacher, committee member …) based in Hobart, Tasmania. He is Artistic Director of Blue Cow Theatre, and also maintains a busy independent practice. He has developed an extensive body of solo work, comprising self-generated pieces and pieces specially written for him by leading Australian playwrights.

Liz Jones graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1965 and obtained her Diploma of Education at Sydney University in 1966. She taught English, History, Drama and Politics for twenty years in NSW, Victoria, the United Kingdom and worked as a Volunteer Graduate in Indonesia. In 1973, Liz commenced working as both an artist and staff member at La Mama Theatre in Carlton. At the end of 1976 she became Artistic Director/ Administrator and has held this position ever since. Liz has performed at La Mama and other Melbourne venues consistently since 1973, with the experimental ensemble led by Lloyd Jones, and recently with Aphids, The Rabble, Ilbijerri Indigenous Theatre and in The Malthouse Helium Season. Liz was awarded the 1994 Kenneth Myer Medallion for the Performing Arts by the Victorian Arts Centre Trust. In 1996, she received a Doctorate of Laws honoris causa from the Australian National University, in 2000 she was awarded the Sidney Myer “Facilitator’s” Award, in 2001 the Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2002 her name was placed on the Victorian Women’s Honor Roll. In 2012 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). She is married to Lloyd Jones and has two children of her own, three step children and nine grandchildren.

Mayu Kanamori is a Sydney based storyteller working across mediums including theatre, performance, photography, installation, writing and documentary making. Her theatre works include The Heart of the Journey (Post Mainstream Performance Festival, Tokyo, Christchurch Arts Festival, Darwin Festival etc), CHIKA: A Documentary Performance(The CUB Malthouse; The Performance Space@Carriageworks; OzAsia Festival; Salihara Festival, Jakarta) and In Repose (OzAsia Festival; on site at Broome, Thursday Island, Townsville Japanese Cemeteries etc).Her most recent work for theatre Yasukichi Murakami – Through a Distant Lens (Darwin Festival, Shinju Festival, OzAsia Festival) will be part of Griffin Theatre Company’s 2015 season.

Phillip Keir worked in theatre and performance in New York, London and Cologne before returning to Australia to join Sydney Theatre Company as Associate Director. In 1987 he developed NextMedia out of the Australian licence to Rolling Stone Magazine, which became a company of over sixty staff producing over twelve monthly magazines.

In 2005 he established the Keir Foundation to provide grant support in the arts and human rights. The Foundation has been active in the areas of visual arts and dance, particularly with projects that involved new commissions with an international dimension. Recently he launched the inaugural Keir Choreographic Award to support contemporary Australian dance work. Phillip has served on the board of the London International Festival of Theatre, Aerowaves and the Power Institute of Sydney University. He is presently Chair of the Biennale of Sydney.

Dan Koop is an artist and producer based in Melbourne. He makes performance works in unusual and public spaces that engage audiences to become participants. He has worked for contemporary multi-artform venues and festivals, and holds a Masters of Public Art at RMIT University.

Creatively, Dan and collaborators recently developed 360° for the 2014 Going Nowhere arts and environmental festival for Arts House and Cambridge Junction (UK). At the 2012 Next Wave Festival Dan and collaborators created The Stream / The Boat / The Shore / The Bridge, a live public artwork along and across the Yarra River that was awarded a Melbourne Greenroom Award.

Professionally, Dan was the Producer of TheatreWorks’ ENCOUNTER(S) program of intimate performance that premiered during the inaugural 2014 Festival Of Live Art. Previously, Dan has variously worked as a Producer and Project Manager with Sydney Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse and BAC (UK).

Finegan Kruckemeyer has had 73 commissioned plays performed on five continents and translated into five languages. His work has enjoyed seasons in: over 70 international festivals; eight US national tours; six UK national tours; and at the Sydney Opera House (six works), New York’s New Victory Theater (three works), Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Shanghai’s Malan Flower Theatre, and DC’s Kennedy Center.

Finegan and his work have received at least one award each year for the past nine, including three Australian Writers Guild Awards for Best Australian TYA Play, and the inaugural Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship. He was Keynote Speaker at the 2013 One Theatre World USA conference, and has spoken at conferences in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Denmark, England, Scotland, Sweden and the US, with essays published and his work studied in several universities. He lives in Tasmania with his wife Essie and son Moe.

James Lawson is an actor; writer; director; and educator. In 2014, James launched independent regional start-up, Vessel. James has had two plays produced, one a commission Trade Off, and a second Nightmarkets independently produced in two separate seasons. Film acting credits include Healing with Hugo Weaving and Don Hany; and the thriller Lake Mungo. TV credits include Lowdown, Twenty Something, City Homicide, The Dr Blake Mysteries, and The Hollowmen. James is a Moosehead award and Best Improv award winner at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. In 2013, James trained with Richard Schechner (NY) at the World Theatre Festival Brisbane and at The National Academy of Dramatic Art, Dublin, (The Lir) working with directors and dramaturgs from the Abbey Theatre, Druid Theatre and Fishamble. In that year, he directed a reading of his play The Crossing as part of the Ranelagh Arts Festival, Dublin.

Andrew Leece is a founding member of the Creative Music Fund, supporting artistic adventures by funding Australian composers and other artists to create landmark works. Andrew has worked closely with the founder, Janne Ryan, to help develop partnerships and drive fundraising initiatives. The Creative Music Fund has now completed four original commissions and developed working relationships with the Sydney Youth Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra and most recently Bangarra Dance Theatre.

Professionally, Andrew has worked at Macquarie Bank for seven years in a variety of roles, currently financing commercial jets for airlines globally. He is a qualified pilot in his spare time.

Frie Leysen is a festival-maker and considered one of the most experienced personalities within the international theatre scene. Between 1980 to 1991, Frie was the founding director of deSingel in Antwerp, and in 1994 founded the bilingual Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. In the ten years that she headed this festival, it grew into an influential festival for both Belgian and international arts. In the following years, she expanded her area of work to extend into Europe and beyond. In 2007, Frie organised the multidisciplinary Meeting Points festival in nine Arab cities. In 2010 she was curator of Theater der Welt in the German Ruhr area and in 2012, held the position of artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele, and in 2014 was theatre director of the Vienna Festival in Austria. In 2003, Frie was awarded the Flemish Community Award for General Cultural Contributions and in 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Brussels. In November 2014, Frie was awarded the Erasmus Prize: an annual award for a person who has made an exceptional contribution to culture, of scholarship, in Europe and beyond, by the Board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation.  

Lee Lewis is the Artistic Director of Griffin Theatre Company, Australia’s new writing theatre. Her productions have included 8 Gigabytes of Hardcore Pornography, Emerald City, Silent Disco, The Bull the Moon and the Coronet of Stars, A Hoax, The Call, and The Nightwatchman for Griffin, Twelfth Night and The School for Wives for Bell Shakespeare, Honour, ZEBRA!, and Love Lies Bleeding for Sydney Theatre Company, This Heaven  and That Face for Belvoir, Battlegrounds and Citizenship for ATYP, and over twenty independent productions. Her recent work includes the Griffin/STCSA production of MASQUERADE for Sydney Festival at the Opera House which she co-directed with Sam Strong , the national tour of Highway of Lost Hearts for Darwin Festival, and The Serpent’s Table at Sydney Festival 2014. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and an MFA from NIDA. Currency House published her book Cross-Racial Casting: Changing the Face of Australian Theatre as part of their Platform Paper series.

Heidrun Löhr has photographed the productions of amultitude of theatre and dance companies in Australia over the past two decades. She also collaborates extensively with independent artists, dancers and performance artists. Her collaborative projects include Nigel Kellaway’s Brief Synopsis 2013, Julie-Anne Long’s Nun’s Picnic in Hill End, NSW 2003/04, and Long’s Invisibility Project in Bundanon 2008, Ochre and Dust, a collaboration with director Aku Kadogo and two Pitjantjajarra women, Nelli Patterson and Nura Ward), using slide projections and live performance, premiered at the Adelaide Festival in 2000. She was artist in residence in Hill End, NSW, 2006 and in Bundanon, NSW, in 2007, 2009, 2013 and took part in the initial Siteworks at Bundanon in 2010. Löhr’s animation Recapturing The Vertical, a collaboration with performer Nikki Heywood, screened at the SEAM Symposium, Critical Path 2009 and at the Festival of Dance Films in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2011 and is part of the ReelDance collection. In 2012, the Australian Centre of Photography Sydney curated the extensive exhibition of her performance photography Parallax: Performance Paradigm in Photography. She is currently collaborating with visual artist /animator Hans Bildstein on Quid Novis, an exhibition in motion projected onto a night screen window at the Australian Centre of Photography, opening in Sydney in November 2014. Löhr’s performance photography featured on the ABC, TV Arts Program in 2005 and is published nationally and internationally. In 2007-09 she was the recipient of an Australia Council Fellowship. During that time she catalogued her extensive archive in partnership with the Department of Performance Studies and the Fisher Library.

John McCallum is the NSW theatre critic for The Australian and Honorary Senior Lecturer in theatre at the University of NSW. His history of Australian playwriting in the 20th century, published by Currency Press, is called Belonging.

Peter Matheson has been a freelance dramaturg since 2002, and since then has assessed scripts and/or worked dramaturgically with most of the major mainstage (as well as many more smaller) theatre companies and all the assessment agencies in Australia. He has taught playwriting, handled residencies, facilitated development programs and tutored in organisations from tertiary institutions through to enthusiastic amateurs.

His latest credit is The AWG’s 2014 Hector Crawford Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Craft via a Body of Script Editing Work. “And while those outside the theatre industry may not understand the work of a dramaturg, writers most certainly do – and they know how writers, the industry and audiences are served by them.” He was recognized by the Guild for his generous and creative work with playwrights and theatre companies across Australia.

Patrick McIntyre is Executive Director of Sydney Theatre Company. His previous positions over a career of more than 20 years in the arts include Associate Executive Director of The Australian Ballet, General Manager of Sydney Festival, and Marketing Manager of Sydney Opera House Trust and Sydney Dance Company.

Associate Professor Ian Maxwell is a graduate of the Victorian College of Arts School of Drama, majoring in Directing, and completed his PhD: an ethnography of the Hip Hop scene of Sydney in the 1990s, published as “Phat Beats, Dope Rhymes”: Hip Hop Down Under Comin’ Up(per). Ian has written extensively on a range of topics, including work on the Performance Syndicate and the late Australian theatre director Rex Cramphorn, in 2009 publishing a collection of Cramphorn’s writing, A Raffish Experiment. Ian has also researched actor training in Australia, including the influence of Grotowski and Stanislavski. Ian teaches a range of subjects at the University of Sydney’s Department of Performance Studies, including Sociology of Theatre, Brecht’s lehrstucke, Ritual, Play and Performance, and, from 2015, a new subject, ‘Dangerous Performances’. He is co-investigator, along with Dr Mark Seton and Dr Marianna Szabo, on the Actors’ Wellbeing Study, in collaboration with the Equity Foundation.

Rachael Maza is one of Australia’s most recognisable faces of the Australian film, television and theatre industry with performance credits including the AFI award winning Radiance, Cosi and Lillian’s Story. A WAAPA graduate, Rachael’s outstanding performances have been acknowledged with a Green Room Award and a Sydney Theatre Critics Circle award. Rachael has also worked as a narrator for ABC Radio National and as Indigenous Liaison Advisor on films such as the multi-award winning Rabbit Proof Fence. Rachael’s first taste for direction was for directing STOLEN (1992) for ILBIJERRI Theatre Company; however, it wasn’t until 2009 that she rejoined the company as Artistic Director. Since then she has directed SISTERS OF GELAM (2009), JACK CHARLES V THE CROWN (2010), FOLEY (2011) and BEAUTIFUL ONE DAY (2012).

 

Chris Mead is Literary Director of Melbourne Theatre Company. Previous positions have included: inaugural artistic director of PlayWriting Australia; Literary Manager of Company B Belvoir; curator of the Australian National Playwrights’ Conference; Festival Director of the International Festival for Young Playwrights; and Literary Manager, and Wharf 2LOUD Producer, of Sydney Theatre Company. Recent directing credits include: Richard Frankland’s Walking into the Bigness (co-director with Wayne Blair, Malthouse Theatre 2014), which won Best Show, VCE Theatre Studies; Ian Wilding’s Rare Earth (NIDA 2011) and Quack (Griffin 2010); and Damien Millar’s The Modern International Dead (Griffin 2008), which won Best New Play, Sydney Theatre Critics’ Awards and the WA Premier’s Literary Award. Chris has a PhD from Sydney University, was awarded an inaugural Dramaturgy Fellowship by the Australia Council for the Arts in 2004 and was selected to attend New Visions New Voices at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center in 2008. His monograph on institutional racism and outreach strategies was published by Currency House in June, 2008; and he has recently written introductions to Currency Press volumes by Lachlan Philpott and Lally Katz. Chris sat on the steering committee for the 2011 Australian Theatre Forum, on the Board of Arena Theatre Company (2008-13), the artistic directorate of Hothouse Theatre (2011-2014) and is on the Board of Theatre Network Victoria.

Anna Messariti was a Senior Producer for ABC Radio National for 11 years, during which time she made many complex, built, radio programs, across Performance and Features. She has also worked in independent film production. Notably on The Projectionist, winning 11 international awards and featuring as part of the Australian Embassy Roadshow program for a decade. Anna’s work as a theatre professional spanned more than a decade and her artistic director roles were for Playworks, St Martins Youth Arts Centre and PACT.  She has also been a project officer for the Australia Council for the Arts (1991-1994) and in 2012 produced The Rough Guide to the Arts End of the World, for ABC Radio National around the ‘proposed’ National Cultural Policy.

Goenawan Mohamad is an Indonesian poet, playwright, librettist and public intellectual. His works consist of several books of poetry, the most recent being Gandari (The Blindfolded Mother); plays and libretto, including Letters of Karna; and essays, including Marxisme, Seni, dan Pembebasan(Marxism, the Arts and Emancipation),Tuhan dan Hal-hal yang Tak Selesai (God and Other Unfinished Things). The tenth volume of his collected opinion-pieces, Catatan Pinggir (Sidelines), has just been released. He was the founder and chief editor of weekly news magazine Tempo, until 2000. Tempo was twice forcibly closed by Suharto’s New Order administration because of its criticism of the authoritarian regime. In 1999, Goenawan was named International Editor of the Year by World Press Review magazine. Currently with other writers and artists he runs a small cultural centre in Jakarta, known as Komunitas Salihara.

Luke Mullins trained at the VCA and has worked as an actor, theatre-maker, director and dramaturge.He has worked extensively as an actor for Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre and Belvoir. He has created work with a number of independent companies including Stuck Pigs Squealing, Sisters Grimm, Fragment 31, Uncle Semolina and Friends, Liminal, Uninvited Guests, Wrecked all Prods and Arts Radar. As a core member of Stuck Pigs Squealing he recently directed Night Maybe and has been a creator and performer on numerous works for the company including The Eisteddfod, Lally Katz and the Terrible Mysteries of the Volcano, Nine Days Falling, Back at the Dojo and co-directed and performed in The Apocalypse Bear Trilogy (Melbourne Festival/MTC). Luke created and performed the solo work Autobiography of Red (Malthouse Theatre), and was a creator/performer of Irony is not Enough: Essay on my Life as Catherine Deneuve (Fragment31/Arts House). Luke was a member of Sydney Theatre Company’s Actors Company 07-09. Awards include the George Fairfax Memorial Award for excellence in Theatre Practice, a Green Room Award for The Season at Sarsaparilla and a Sydney Theatre Award and Helpmann Award for Waiting for Godot.

Tommy Murphy is currently writing a play for Black Swan as winner of the Richard Burton Prize and another play for Belvoir through the support of PWA. Murphy’s adaptation of Lorca’s Blood Wedding formed part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Other plays include Troy’s HouseStrangers in Between (NSW Premier’s Literary Award Winner) and Gwen in Purgatory (WA Premier’s Award for Best Play, The Richard Burton Prize).

Holding the Man (AWGIE, Philip Parsons Award, AussieTheatre.com People’s Choice, NSW Premier’s Award, ACON Arts and Media Community Award) has had productions every year since its premiere, including Adelaide (STCSA), Melbourne (MTC), Sydney (Griffin, Belvoir, Sydney Opera House), Brisbane (La Boite), New Zealand, San Francisco, Los Angeles and London’s West End.
Murphy is a graduate of NIDA (Director’s Course) and has been writer-in-residence at Griffin and Belvoir where he adapted Peter Pan, which transferred to Broadway in 2013.His screen credits last year’s acclaimed mini-series Devil’s Playground and Holding the Man which is currently in post-production at Goalpost Pictures with Murphy as Associate Producer.

Martina Murray is Melbourne Theatre Company’s Producer, where she works across the main stage subscription season and tours, as well as the company’s ancillary activities such as NEON, MTC’s Festival of Independent Theatre and the Cybec Electric playreading series.Having studied at the VCA School of Production, Martina began her career in Stage Management, and has worked within the Stage Management and Production Management teams for various companies including MTC, STC, Malthouse Theatre (Playbox), Not Yet It’s Difficult and The Victorian Opera. After completing a number of short-term administration contracts, Martina left Stage Management in 2009 to take up the position of MTC’s Artistic Administrator, beginning her transition into producing. For a three-year period Martina balanced her duties as Artistic Administrator with assisting director Simon Phillips on multiple commercial musicals nationally and internationally, including Love Never Dies and Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical. In 2012, with the appointment of Brett Sheehy, Martina joined the MTC Artistic Team as Associate Producer, which led to her current role. In addition, Martina was previously the Executive Producer of The Hayloft Project and has been an active member of several independent theatre companies over the past 12 years.

Alice Nash has been working with Back to Back Theatre off and on since 2000 and continuously since 2003. She is also Deputy Chair of Theatre Network Victoria. She has been acting General Manager and Associate Producer of Theatre at Next Wave Festival and General Manager of Big West Festival. In Melbourne she has also worked for the Melbourne Fringe Festival, Moomba and in independent theatre in production and design. Alice hails from Canada where she has worked with Edmonton’s First Night Festival, Catalyst Theatre and Northern Light Theatre and in Quebec City at L’estival juniart. Alice has an Honours degree in Russian and French Language and Literature for which she received a Canadian Governor General’s Medal.

Caitlin Newton-Broad is a director, producer and writer with an ongoing commitment to community cultural development, artistic practice and access to the arts by and for the whole community. Caitlin has worked across Australia, Europe and Asia supporting artwork that engages communities and innovates in the public realm. She has just completed work as Co-Artistic Director/CEO with partner, Howard Matthew at Shopfront Youth Arts, anarts co-operative owned by young people in suburban Sydney.

Garin Nugroho is one of Indonesia’s most respected contemporary filmmakers and is considered a pioneer of the new generation of avant-garde Indonesian cinema post 1990s. Working across disciplines from film to the stage, installation works, painting and writing, Nugroho has received international acclaim and widespread screenings that includes Cannes, Venice and Berlin Film Festival. His acclaimed stage trilogy Opera Jawa has been staged in Zurch, Paris, Amsterdam and Indonesia. He has also held numerous exhibitions including a large scale installation works for the Louis Vuitton Gallery, Paris, Haus der Kunst, Munich and National Parismaupun Gallery in Jakarta.

Currently Nugroho is the founder and director of JAFF (Jogya Asia Netpac Film Festival), now in it’s 8th year, and has repeatedly served on the jury board of Tokyo International Film Festival. He also acts as the consultant for Indonesia’s international cultural diplomacy program, the Indonesian House of Culture, and works closely with major international NGOs designing disaster relief and reconstruction strategies. He is also a published author and contributes a regular column to Indonesia’s largest newspaper, KOMPAS.

Nugroho’s work is steeped in magic realism and balances a powerful relationship between the screen, storytelling, social commentary and philosophy. His immense knowledge of the rich cultural traditions of Indonesia is combined with acute contemporary storytelling and close professional partnerships with Indonesia’s leading choreographers, dancers, composers, visual artists and intellectuals.

Angela O’Donnell’s experience in the arts spans Education, CCD practice, Arts Administration, Touring and Producing. She has worked extensively in remote and regional settings in Australia to produce theatre, dance, multimedia and cultural maintenance projects.  During 2014 she was awarded a Churchill Fellowship and explored isolation in relation to performance making.  In 2015 she will return to Istanbul on an Asialink program working with the Istanbul Theatre Festival.  2015 will also see her move to Arts NT as a Senior Arts Broker where she will continue to advocate and create opportunities for artists and audiences in her favourite part of Australia – the Northern Territory.

Roslyn Oades is a Melbourne-based theatre maker known for her pioneering work in the field of headphone verbatim and audio-cued performance. She was the 2013 Female Director-in-residence at Malthouse Theatre, where she created Hello, Goodbye & Happy Birthday – which recently premiered as part of the 2014 Melbourne Festival. Her previous works include: Im Your Man (Belvoir/2012 Sydney Festival/2013 Mobile states national tour), Stories of Love & Hate (Urban Theatre Projects 2008/Sydney Theatre Company, 2011), Fast Cars & Tractor Engines (UTP/BYDS, 2005) and Cutaway: A Portrait (Vitalstatistix, 2012). 
A trilogy of her headphone-verbatim plays, titled Acts of Courage, was recently published by Currency Press. She is also a contributing author on VERBATIM Staging Memory & Community edited by Paul Brown (Currency Press, 2010).
 When not making theatre Roslyn moonlights as a cartoon character voice actor on several well known animated kids TV series.

Martin Portus is a theatre and dance critic and communication strategist, and a long-time director of Currency House, the advocacy organisation dedicated to promoting cultural debate in Australia and the worth of our performing arts. A former Fairfax arts journalist and ABC Radio National broadcaster, Martin began his career as a NIDA-trained actor.

Marion Potts is Malthouse Theatre’s Artistic Director. For Malthouse Theatre, Marion has directed The Riders (with Victorian Opera), Latitud (with Dramafest, Mexico), Ugly Mugs (with Griffin Theatre Company), The Dragon, Hate, Wild Surmise, Blood Wedding, Meow Meow’s Little Match Girl and its return season at the Southbank Centre in London, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Sappho… in 9 fragments, and Venus & Adonis (with Bell Shakespeare). Other theatre directing credits include: King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Othello (Bell Shakespeare); The Wonderful World of Dissocia, Playgrounds, Volpone, Don Juan, Life After George, Cyrano de Bergerac, The Crucible, Navigating, Del Del, Closer, The Herbal Bed, What is the Matter With Mary Jane?, Pygmalion, Where Are We Now?, The Café Latte Kid, The Blessing, Two Weeks With The Queen (Sydney Theatre Company); Grace (Melbourne Theatre Company); Equus, The Torrents, Gary’s House, A Number, The Goat or Who Is Sylvia? (State Theatre Company of South Australia); and Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset (Queensland Theatre Company). She has worked with many of the country’s finest theatre companies and was most recently Bell Shakespeare’s Associate Artistic Director, creating its development arm Mind’s Eye. Marion was Resident Director for Sydney Theatre Company from 1995-1999 and a founding member of Hothouse Theatre’s Artistic Directorate. She curated the 2003 National Playwrights’ Conference, was a chairperson of World Interplay and a member of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council. Marion received the Helpmann Award for Best Direction of a Play in 2006.

Rani Pramesti is a Chinese-Indonesian actor and performance maker based in Melbourne, Australia. She is passionate about producing and making work that engages with cross-racial casting and cross-cultural performance making. Rani shares Indonesian stories so people of all backgrounds can think about our common humanity. Rani’s most recent project, Chinese Whispers, won Best Live Art Award and Innovation in Culturally Diverse Practice Award at Melbourne Fringe 2014. In 2015, Rani will be working as an Associate Producer at Footscray Community Arts Centre, through the Arts Victoria and Faculty of VCAMCM Professional Pathways Scholarship. She will be initiating projects spanning Melbourne’s Western suburbs and Indonesia. Rani is a 2013-2015 Connect Ambassador with Melbourne Theatre Company and Multicultural Arts Victoria.

Hello delegates, I’m Scott Price and a member of the Back to Back Theatre ensemble. I’ve been working here since 2007. In some countries they call people with disabilities children. Maybe that’s just lost in translation, a cultural thing. Sometimes people say and name things differently in different cultures. So we shouldn’t be too offended by that.

My motto is to look for opportunities. I have a funny and intriguing relationship with Back to Back. It’s exhilarating. Some of the work has been provocative, controversial and rebellious; it’s in your face. I’ve enjoyed working in a large family. We get a laugh and a cry and we make shows from our hearts and minds. My hash tag is #autismpride

Gail Priest is a Sydney-based artist with a multi-faceted practice in which sound is the key material of communication and investigation. Originally trained in theatre she has worked as a sound designer/composer for performance collaborating with artists and groups such as version 1.0, Martin del Amo, Jane McKernan, Karen Therese and Claudia Chidiac. She has exhibited her own sound-based work at Artspace, Tokyo Wonder Site, CAST and SNO Gallery as well as collaborating and exhibiting with other visual artists. She has released several albums and EPs of exploratory music through her own label Metal Bitch as well as Flaming Pines and Endgame records. She is also a curator and writes extensively about sound and media arts, in particular for RealTime magazine, as well as being the editor of Experimental Music: audio explorations in Australia through UNSW Press (2009). For 2015/2016 she is the Australia Council Emerging and Experimental Arts Fellow.

Mark Pritchard is Resident Dramaturg at the Malthouse Theatre, and co-director of interactive theatre collaboration NO SHOW with Bridget Balodis. As NO SHOW he has co-created: The Séance (LaBoite Indie 2013, 2012 Melb Fringe), Unfinished Business (You Are Here Festival 2013, Crack Theatre Festival 2013), Outside Line (Pop Up Playground, 2013) and Shotgun Wedding (Next Wave Festival 2012). Mark was co-director/dramaturg on Wael Zuaiter: Unknown (Next Wave Festival 2014), director of Amy Herzog’s 4000 Miles (Red Stitch Actors Theatre, 2013), and dramaturg on Fright (FOLA 2014). For Malthouse Theatre he is currently dramaturg on Blak Cabaret, which will play the Spiegeltent this Sydney Festival, and then the Malthouse Theatre Forecourt in February 2015. Mark trained at the VCA, PACT, and the University of Wollongong.

Sally Richardson has worked as a writer, director, dramaturg, performer, producer, and lecturer for various companies and organisations including Black Swan Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Deckchair Theatre, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, The Flying Fruitfly Circus, NICA, NAISDA, WAAPA, Curtin & ECU Universities.Productions of her work have been awarded Helpmann, Green Room, Blue Room, and Ausdance WA Awards and been presented nationally and internationally.

As Artistic Director of Steamworks Arts (since 2001) she has created works for circus, contemporary dance, music theatre, puppetry, film and other hybrids, most recently Standing Bird 2 which toured to Hong Kong in 2014. She is a past Director of Playworks and Stages WA, and was a member of the Australia Council Theatre Board 2001-05. Sally is a core artist with Performing Lines WA and works for Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company. Sally has received an Australia Council Dramaturgy Fellowship, a Creative Artist’s Fellowship from WA Department of Culture & Arts, and in 2014 she received Australia Council funding for skills development in Cultural Leadership. In 2015 she will be undertaking an Asialink residency in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sue Rider has more than 40 years’ experience as a director, actor, writer, dramaturg and producer of theatre, music theatre, opera and theatre for young people. After beginning in youth theatre in England, Sue came to Australia via Nigeria and has since worked widely across the country, as well as in Vietnam and New Zealand. She was Artistic Director of La Boite Theatre from 1993 to 2000, leading the company to full professional status and pushing the boundaries for Queensland theatre-makers. Sue has a distinguished track record for the development of new work and has received eighteen industry awards in Australia and New Zealand for her productions and original works. She continues to collaborate with experienced and emerging artists to make theatre that challenges through ideas and style and is inclusive of diverse points of view. She is an Adjunct Professor at UQ and has been Chair of Backbone Youth Arts since 2008.

Alison Robb trained at Flinders University Drama centre, working for ten years as a director, assistant director, stage manager and technician for companies such as State Theatre Company of South Australia, Bakehouse, Junction and Vitalstatistix. She also participated in support groups for artists, such as Arts Anonymous and the Sophia Women Artists’ Network. Alison is currently training as a clinical psychologist and her interests include: mindfulness, ACT, schema therapy and self-care. She is combining professional training with doctoral research into the psychological wellbeing of professional and student actors, with a broad aim of improving support services. Alison was a delegate at the Arts Industry Council of SA’s “40 Year Vision for the Arts” event in November 2014, advocating the importance of well-being for a sustainable industry. She is a student member of the Australian Psychological Society and the College of Clinical Psychologists, and a member of the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare.

Rhoda Roberts is a significant force on the Australian arts scene. She is a sought-after film and stage actor and television and radio host. Rhoda has written, produced and directed some of Australia’s most important public productions including the Festival of the Dreaming in the lead up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Rhoda is Producer for Vibe Australia, Creative Director of Sydney New Year’s Eve and Festival Director, Garma Festival, produced by the Yothu Yindi Foundation. She was a co-founding member of Australia’s first national Aboriginal theatre company, the Aboriginal National Theatre Trust (ANTT). Well known as a journalist and presenter for SBS television’s current affairs program Vox Populi, Rhoda has also worked for Network Ten and ABC Radio as a producer and journalist.

Rhoda is a member of the Bundjalung nation, Widjabul clan of Northern NSW and South East QLD and a sought-after speaker.

Tim Roseman is a director, dramaturg and producer, and is the Artistic Director of Playwriting Australia. He has worked extensively in new writing and has directed and developed plays in Australia and around the world at theatres including the Kennedy Center, Royal Court, Old Vic and Young Vic. From 2007-2012 he was Joint Artistic Director of multi-award-winning new writing venue Theatre503 in London.

In Australia, Tim has directed Rapid Write: Hollywood Ending (Griffin Independent), Story of the Red Mountains (NIDA), This Year’s Ashes (Red Stitch). His other UK and international theatre directing credits include: Overspill (Soho Theatre), The Arab–Israeli Cookbook(Gate/Tricycle),Don Juan Comes Home from the War (National Theatre Studio), The Girl in the Yellow Dress(Salisbury Playhouse), Skittles are a Reason to Live (BAC), revival of Journey’s End (West End and national tour), A Number (Latvia),  To My Man (London/ Norway), Lovers (New End), Così (New End), What Didn’t Happen (Old Vic).

John Senczuk is a NIDA graduate, stage designer and theatre polymath whose career spans over thirty years in music theatre, dance and drama. He has worked concurrently as an academic, and spent fifteen years at the University of Wollongong creating and teaching courses in scenography and dramaturgy before positions at Toi Whakaari and at WAAPA. In 1985 he was chair of Griffin appointing its first artistic director; he was founding chair of Paul Mercurio’s ACE; and sat on the boards of Theatre South, Currency House, Dramaturgical Services Inc., the Seymour Group and Matt Lutton’s ThinIce. He was associate director of Wollongong’s Theatre South (1989-99).

John has written widely on Australian drama, dramaturgy and scenography. Contributions to books include ‘History of Australian Scenography’ in Encyclopaedia of World Theatre, Routledge (1999); designer entries in Concise Companion to Australian Theatre, Currency Press (1997); ‘The DSI Shakespeare experiments’ in O Brave New World: Two Centuries of Shakespeare on the Australian Stage, Currency Press (2000). He is currently working on a history of scenography in Australia. His musical Rose and Rodeo premieres in Toowoomba in 2015.

Mark Seton facilitates the ethical and sustainable training of actors for stage and screen. As a 2009 Churchill Fellow he conducted a study tour of actor training healthcare practices in the UK. In 2013, he and colleagues at the University of Sydney partnered with the Equity Foundation to facilitate a national online survey of professional actors’ health and wellbeing. He is one of the co-founders of the Australian Society for Performing Arts Healthcare and an active member of the Acting Focus Group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (USA). He has convened panels on actor training and wellbeing in the States and the UK. His most recent article, “Traumas Of Acting Physical And Psychological Violence: How Fact And Fiction Shape Bodies For Better Or Worse”, was published in Performing Ethos. Through Sense Connexion www.senseconnexion.com he facilitates training in Resilient Vulnerability© for actors and other creative professionals.

Lily Shearer is a Marrwarri (north-west NSW/south-east QLD) woman with over 30 years experience in Aboriginal cultural development, arts management and in theatre and performance making. Since completing a Bachelor in theatre studies at the University of Western Sydney, Lily, has worked in Indigenous community theatre in leadership roles on a remarkable number of Indigenous theatre and performance projects in Sydney and in Sydney’s Greater West. In working with Aboriginal communities on theatre and performance projects, Lily has, at all times, followed the protocols of; respect, consultation, attribution, and proper remuneration for Aboriginal artists and contributors. This approach is supported by the Australia Councils Protocols for producing Aboriginal Australian Performing Arts (2007). Lily has facilitated these principles in practice ensuring a continued and healthy relationship between local communities and non-Aboriginal companies like; Performance Space, Urban Theatre Projects, Pact Youth Theatre, CarriageWorks, Shopfront Theatre for Young People, Legs on the Wall, and Powerhouse Youth Theatre.

In founding Moogahlin Performing Arts, an Aboriginal company in Redfern, Lily’s vision was to put in to practice the principle of ownership for Aboriginal communities by facilitating the handover of the final Gathering Ground project from Pact Youth Theatre to Moogahlin Performing Arts in 2010. In 2012 Lily was one of six recipients of the British Council’s Accelerate Indigenous Creative Leaders program.

Annette Shun Wah is a creative producer, actor, writer and broadcaster. She is Executive Producer of Performance 4a, a Sydney-based non-profit organisation that brings contemporary Asian Australian stories to the stage, and promotes professional opportunities for Australian artists of Asian background working in performance. She co-directed the storytelling shows Stories East & West and Stories Then & Now with William Yang, and conceived the 2014 Sydney Festival hit The Serpent’s Table, co-produced by Performance 4a and Griffin Theatre Company. Performance 4a’s website is home to the Asian Australian Performance Directory, a unique online database of 200 Asian Australians working in performance. In partnership with Playwriting Australia, Performance 4a is developing a new generation of writers through the Lotus Asian Australian Playwriting Project.

Liza-Mare Syron is a descendent from the Birripi people of Tuncurry northern NSW, and is a founding member and current Chair of Mooghalin Performing Arts. She is a teacher, director, dramaturge, theatre maker and academic, and is currently a Post Doctorial Research Fellow at Macquarie University. She is also widely published in the areas of actor training, Indigenous theatre practice, inter-cultural performance, and theatre and community. Liza-Mare has also worked in government as the Senior Aboriginal Cultural Development Officer at Arts NSW, and in the education sector as Head of Theatre and Performance at the Eora College for Aboriginal Studies, Centre for Visual and Performing Arts in Redfern. Liza-Mare’s latest directorial work was for the 2014 production of The Fox and the Freedom Fighters at Carriageworks Sydney.

Alicia Talbot is a director, curator and ideas generator working in contemporary theatre and performance. She is a passionate advocate of artistic vision, risk and following your hunch. Alicia curated the 2013 Australian Theatre Forum, and was previously Artistic Director of Urban Theatre Projects. Alicia’s has developed signature style works that have predominantly been site based and have tackled difficult emotional, social and artistic terrain and her work has been commissioned by Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival, Luminato Festival, Belvoir, Performance Space, London International Festival of Theatre and Harbourfront Centre. Alicia is currently developing a series of new works and cultural projects through the support of a Theatre Fellowship, Australia Council for the Arts.

Ninna Tersman is a Swedish playwright, dramaturg and translator. She writes plays for both adult and young audiences. Her plays have been performed widely across Sweden; she has written about 15 plays that have been performed by professional companies. For her plays she has also been awarded a number of prices. Among them can be mentioned  ”The Critic’s Prize for Best Performance of the Year” for her play When Winter Stars Shine Down on Us (När vinterns stjärnor lyser här) in 2012, and ”Playmarket’s 2007 New Play Award” in New Zealand for her play Fucking Parasites. Ninna has been working as a literary manager and dramaturg at The National Touring Theatre in Sweden (Riksteatern) for 4 years. She lives in Sydney presently, working on a number of commissions for Swedish theatres.

Anna Tregloan has collaborated extensively as a designer, director, installation artist and creative contributor, along with presenting her own work to public and critical acclaim.  Her work has toured throughout Australia, along with Seoul, Edinburgh, Paris, New York, Prague, London, Kyoto, Malaysia, Belgium, Dublin, Holland and many other international stages.  She is honoured to have been awarded several state and national awards including the John Truscott Award for Excellence in Design for Theatre.  Companies she has worked with include many major performing arts companies and major festivals along with on going collaborations with many smaller and independent companies and artists.

Adrienne Truscott is a choreographer, acrobat, dancer, writer, and as of late, comedian, who for more than 15 years has been making genre-straddling work in New York City and abroad. In 2014, she was one of 20 artists selected nationally as recipients for the inaugural Doris Duke Impact Artist Award. Her evening-length solo comedic work and group choreographic works have been presented variously at Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Just For Laughs, Darwin Festival, PS122, Joe’s Pub, The Kitchen, Dublin Fringe, Danspace, and Dance Theater Workshop among others. The Wau Wau Sisters, Adrienne’s neo-vaudevillian collaboration with Tanya Gagne, have been presented by such iconic venues as the Sydney Opera House, Joe’s Pub and CBGB’s (NYC), Arts Centre, Melbourne and The Roundhouse (London), and are seen regularly in the international sensations La Soiree and La Clique. Adrienne has taught at Wesleyan University Dance Department as a visiting artist, and guest taught at Sarah Lawrence College’s Theater and Dance Departments and Yale University.

Emma Valente is a multi disciplined theatre artist and the co artistic director and founder of THE RABBLE. Emma’s recent directing, lighting design and creation credits include: Cain and Abel (THE RABBLE: Belvoir St Theatre), Frankenstein (THE RABBLE: Malthouse), Room of Regret (MIAF, TheatreWorks, THE RABBLE), Story of O (Neon Festival, MTC, THE RABBLE), Orlando (THE RABBLE, MIAF, Helium Program -Malthouse – Brisbane International Arts Festival), Special (Carlton Courthouse, THE RABBLE), The Bedroom Project (Linden Gallery, THE RABBLE), Cageling (CarriageWorks – 45 downstairs – THE RABBLE), Salome: In Cogito (THE RABBLE, CarriageWorks).

THE RABBLE has been Company in Residence at Melbourne Writers’ Festival and Malthouse Theatre in 2014, while the company and Emma have received multiple commendations and Green Room nominations, including winning a Green Room Award for Design Integration on Special.

Emma is currently employed by Ramus Illumination as a design associate on several large scale lighting installations, projection works and interactive art works. She teaches performance studies at Monash University, she has lectured for Box Hill TAFE, National Theatre Drama School, Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Writer’s Victoria, VCA, Melbourne University, Swinburne University, Melbourne Emerging Writer’s Festival and Box Hill TAFE.

Caroline Vu is Philanthropy Australia’s New Generation of Giving Manager, with expertise across the legal, government and not for profit industries. After working as a commercial lawyer at boutique Sydney law firm, Pigott Stinson, she joined the Australia Council’s philanthropic arm, Artsupport Australia, as its NSW Manager. She also manages Philanthropy Australia’s Impact Investing program. Caroline is an alum of the Sydney Leadership 2012 program and also spent five years as a board member of Information and Cultural Exchange, a digital media organisation based in Western Sydney.

Matt Wicking is a facilitator, singer, professional environmentalist and sustainability leader. As Greenie-in-Residence at Arts House, he has been working with a collection of progressive theatre companies for the past year, helping them to build sustainability considerations into their practice. For over a decade, Matt has worked as a sustainability consultant and facilitator specialising in change, strategy and communication. Current roles include facilitation work for the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, Monash Sustainability Institute and TippingPoint Australia.

Peter Wilson has made an incomparable contribution to puppetry in Australia for over 40 years. Peter co-founded Handspan Theatre in Melbourne in 1977, and became Artistic Director for Company Skylark in Canberra from 1993. Peter enjoyed a long-time collaboration with director Nigel Triffitt, and has been a creative force behind many major shows, including Associate Director and Puppeteer for the widely acclaimed The Theft of Sita in 2001, and more recently as Director of Puppetry for Global Creatures productions How to Train Your Dragon in 2012 and King Kong in 2013, for which he won a Helpmann Award; and then Storm Boy for Sydney Theatre Company in 2014.

Peter has directed segments for major events including the Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony in 2000, the Nagoya World Expo in 2005, the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006, and the Doha Asian Games in 2006. He has been at the forefront of significant collaborations with Asian artists, including Japan’s Theatre Kazenoko and Unrinko Gekidan, Beijing-based China Children’s Art Theatre; and National Theatre China, Playking Productions and The Arts Centre, Melbourne with Cho Cho, for which he won an Asia/Australia Award for Best Direction. Peter was awarded The Sidney Myer Individual Performing Artist of the Year in 1997, and co-wrote ‘The Space Between’, published by Currency Press in 2004.

Angharad Wynne-Jones was born in Chicago, to mostly Welsh parents, grew up in England and studied theatre at Dartington College of Arts in Devon in the UK. She was a founder member of Industrial and Domestic Theatre Contractors – a site specific visual theatre collective, and worked as a theatre producer at the ICA and with Theatre de Complicite amongst others. From 1994 to 1998 she was Director of the Performance Space in Sydney; from 1998 to 2002, she (as Executive Producer) with Gideon Obarzanek, established a state dance company Chunky Move. Angharad joined Peter Sellars as Associate Director in the 2002 Adelaide Festival. She was appointed Director of LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) 2005 – 2008. Angharad has been on a number of Boards and Panels: Australia Council Hybrid, New Media and Dance Boards, Lucy Guerin Inc, Real Time, Snuff Puppets and Total Theatre (UK). She also studied Cultural Leadership (Grad Dip) at the City University, London and is chair of Mobile States.

Currently Angharad is Creative Producer at Arts House, City of Melbourne, where she initiated FOLA – Australia’s first Festival of Live Art, Going Nowhere and In Our Hands. She is also Director of TippingPoint Australia.

William Yang was born in North Queensland, Australia. He moved to Sydney in 1969 and worked as a freelance photographer documenting Sydney’s social life which included the glamorous, celebrity set and the hedonistic, sub-cultural, gay community. In 1989 he integrated his skills as a writer and a visual artist. He began to perform monologues with slide projection in the theatre. These slide shows have become the main expression of his work. They tell personal stories and explore issues of identity. He has done eleven full-length works and most of them have toured the world. “Sadness”, his most successful piece, was made into an award winning film by Tony Ayres in 1999. William’s current work is photo based, doing performances in theatres and exhibitions in galleries. He has converting three of his live performance pieces into film at the University of NSW. He does story telling workshops.

Nick Atkins is a theatre and performance maker. He is currenty the Producer, New Work at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre. He presented his first solo work ‘Unsex Me’ (dir. Michal Imielski) as part of Riverside Theatre’s inaugural ‘True West’ season. He was artist in residence at the CAMAC Art Centre, Marnay Sur-Seine, France and completed the Pentales Hemmingway Writers Fellowship, Berlin. He was the Co-Artistic Director of the Crack Theatre Festival. Earlier this year he performed the new devised work ‘A Boy & A Bean’ (PACT, The Joan) and toured the work to Ireland. This year he has complete residencies with Urban Theatre Projects, Blacktown Arts Centre and Performance Space as well as produced/ performed the new devised work Twinkle (Seymour Centre, Q Theatre). He currently sits on the board of the NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby and PACT Centre for Emerging Artists.

Virginia Baxter is a writer and co-founder with Keith Gallasch of Open City, a company initially set up to create performance works, which Keith and Virginia staged in collaboration with a wide range of artists  (1986-1996), mostly at Performance Space. In 1994, Open City commenced publication of RealTime magazine to give critical focus to the proliferation of hybrid work being created at the time. From 1992-99, Virginia was Chair of Playworks and in 1995 edited Telling Time, documenting Playworks’ tenth anniversary. Most recently she co-edited Bodies of Thought: 12 Australian Choreographers published by Wakefield Press and RealTime.

Thom Browning is a Brisbane based multi-disciplinary artist and producer, specialising in the creation of arts experiences for children. Thom is the Artistic Director of Imaginary Theatre, where his work has toured nationally and internationally, most recently to the ASSITEJ Korea Summer Festival in Seoul, and the Aha! International Theatre Festival for Children in Bangalore, India.

In 2013 Thom was awarded the Brisbane City Council Lord Mayor’s Young and Emerging Artists Fellowship in which he undertook three placements with highly regarded European companies creating work for young audiences, attending 5 European children’s festivals, and worked as an Assistant Director placement with Rosemary Myers and Windmill Theatre. In 2014 Thom was invited as one of 23 artists from around the world to participate in the ‘Next Generation’ program at the World Congress & Festival event of ASSITEJ International, the international peak body for performing arts for young people. Also in 2014, Thom worked as Associate Director in Residence at Patch Theatre in Adelaide, and began work directing a new production for Danish company ‘Theatre Workshop Madam Bach’ which will premier in April 2015 at the Danish Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences, the largest children’s festival in the world.

Kylie Farmer [Kaarljilba Kaardn] is an actress, TV presenter, writer and director from the Nyungar nation. Kylie has performed in numerous stage production roles, both nationally and internationally. Kylie is the host of NITV’s popular children’s television show, Waabiny Time, and is a past presenter of the Marngrook Footy Show. She has worked as a director and associate artist with companies such as Yirra Yaakin, Belvoir, Ilbijerri and Version 1.0. She has extensive theatre experience and recently translated six Shakespearean sonnets into Noongar language for a London performance at Shakespeare’s Globe.

Tahni Froudist is the General Manager of HotHouse Theatre, Australia’s leading regional theatre company telling new Australian stories. Before joining HotHouse, Tahni was the Associate Producer at Belvoir, producing new Australian work by writers and theatre-makers such as Anne-Louise Sarks, Simon Stone, Kate Mulvany, Nakkiah Lui, Kit Brookman, Michael Gow and Angela Betzien, and companies such as post, version 1.0, THE RABBLE, Yirra Yaakin and Lucy Guerin Inc. She is a graduate from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Arts Management, and has worked for a number of independent and professional theatre companies including Deckchair Theatre, Perth International Arts Festival, as well as producing in the Blue Room and B Sharp independent seasons. As General Manager of The Hayloft Project she produced The Only Child, The Suicide and the multi-award winning Thyestes (with Malthouse Theatre).