Independent Theatre Panel
Mark Pritchard - Panel Chair
MARK PRITCHARD is a dramaturg, director and producer with a focus on new writing. Mark is Resident Dramaturg for Malthouse Theatre, a producer for New Working Group, and co-director of NO SHOW. As Dramaturg for Malthouse: Going Down by Michele Lee, Little Emperors小皇帝 by Lachlan Philpott, Turbine by Dan Giovannoni, Love & Information by Caryl Churchill, Blak Cabaret by Nakkiah Lui. As director/co-director: Triumph by Louris van de Geer (NWG), Wael Zuaiter: Unknown by Jesse Cox (Next Wave), 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog (Red Stitch), The Séance and Shotgun Wedding (NO SHOW). As producer: Anti-Hamlet by Mark Wilson, GROUND CONTROL by Rachel Perks, and Dream Home by Emilie Collyer. Mark is a recipient of the Mike Walsh Fellowship, and a participant in the Australia Council’s Future Leaders Program.
KAMARRA BELL-WYKES is a Yagera and Butchulla woman with over 15 years experience as a playwright, director, dramaturge, devisor, facilitator, performer, producer and education consultant. She is best known for her work on ILBIJERRI’s award-winning community-education productions Chopped Liver, North West of Nowhere, Body Armour, Viral and Scar Trees. Combined, these works, targeting prisons, schools and First Nation communities have toured over 15 years and been seen by 60,000 people across Australia. Kamarra recently resigned from ILBIJERRI Theatre Company after serving 5 years as their Education Manager and Creative Director and is currently freelancing, exploring and deepening her various artistic and therapeutic practices. Kamarra is a resident artist at Malthouse Theatre.
STEPHEN NICOLAZZO is a Melbourne based theatre director, and the founder of Little Ones Theatre, an independent company focused on innovative queer theatre-making. Little Ones was established in 2009 and has had sell out seasons across Australia. He is a Green Room Award winner for Best Direction (The Happy Prince) and has been nominated a further three times (Psycho Beach Party, Dracula, and The Moors). His works have won 10 Green Room Awards and been nominated for a total of 33. They have also been nominated for six Sydney Theatre Awards and won one in 2020. He has directed for Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, Arts Centre Melbourne, Arts House, Performance Space, Yirramboi Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse, Brisbane Festival, Darwin Festival, Adelaide & Melbourne Cabaret Festivals, Midsumma Festival, Theatre Works, Red Stitch Actor's Theatre, Darebin Arts Speakeasy, MKA, and La Mama.
He is a member of the 2019 Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab (New York City) and was also the recipient of Malthouse Theatre's Besen Award for Direction.
Career highlights include: Loaded (Malthouse Theatre), Daddy (Arts House, YIRRAMBOI, Arts Centre Melbourne), Abigail’s Party (Melbourne Theatre Company), Merciless Gods (Arts Centre Melbourne, Griffin Theatre Company), The Happy Prince (Griffin Theatre Company), The Moors (Red Stitch), Meme Girls (Malthouse Theatre), Dangerous Liaisons (Melbourne Theatre Company NEON Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse, Darwin Festival), Salome (Malthouse Theatre Helium), Psycho Beach Party (Theatre Works, Brisbane Festival) and sex.violence.blood.gore (MKA).
RA CHAPMAN is an actor, theatre maker and writer. She won Best Actress at the 2011 Newport Beach Film Festival (USA) for her role as Therese in David Williamson's film adaptation of Face to Face, and was nominated for an IF Award for Best Actress for the same performance. Ra has filmed 5 seasons of the award winning Wentworth, as prisoner Kim Chang. Most recently performing on stage in Joan with The Rabble Theatre Company in China, Brisbane and Adelaide. Awarded the 2018 Wheeler Centre Playwright Hot Desk fellow and selected for the 2018 Cinescape/Film Victoria StoryLab. Ra is an alumni of the 2017 Besen Writers Group at Malthouse Theatre, a dramaturgical intern for Cybec Electric at MTC and attended the CAAP/STC Directing Workshop in 2016. Ra was selected for the 2 year CAAP/MTC Director's Initiative in 2019 and is currently a 'Living Now' Resident at Malthouse Theatre. Ra is a leadership member of the Equity Diversity Committee (MEAA).
CARLA DONNELLY is a performing arts critic, podcaster and writer; her writing about Melbourne theatre has been published in Milkbar Magazine, The Thousands and Broadsheet. She is the creator and co-host of podcasts Across the Aisle and Club Soderbergh, Across the Aisle winning the 2018 Australian Podcast Awards in the Arts and Entertainment category.
EMMA HALL is a multi award-winning performer, writer and theatre-maker from New Zealand, then Adelaide, then Canberra, and now Melbourne. Emma trained as a professional actor at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), graduating in 2012 with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Acting). Since then Emma has written and/or performed in dozens of productions across Australia and New Zealand and, most recently, in her three full length solo works: We May Have to Choose (2015) and Ode to Man (2017), both directed by Prue Clark, and World Problems (2018), self directed. WMHTC, about social media and free speech, recently represented Australia at the 2018 triennial Women's International Playwriting Festival in Santiago, Chile. Ode to Man, about romantic ambition and Australian masculinity, enjoyed successful seasons in Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane over 2017 and 2018. World Problems, about an individualist's role in the collective global future, was developed across Amsterdam and Melbourne and will appear at fortyfivedownstairs in March 2019.
KATE HOOD had a career as an able-bodied actor for many years, performing in everything from classics to musicals. She worked with mainstream theatre companies (Melbourne Theatre Company, STC South Australia, Hit Productions), commercial companies (Gordon Frost Productions) and across film (Constance) and television (Prisoner). She became a wheelchair user a decade ago and her mainstream career ended. She reinvented herself as a disabled actor, writer and director in the disability arts sector. She calls this her ‘in between time’, a time when she worked with a tribe of disabled artists who were siloed away, making work which was seen almost exclusively only by other disabled artists. This gave her a thirst to advocate for disabled performers in mainstream performing arts. Kate is Deputy Chair of Actors Equity's Diversity Committee, founder and Co-Chair of the Performers with Disability Committee, and sits on the board of Arts Access Victoria.
LISA MIBUS a Melbourne based Lighting Designer with a strong interest in the creation of new work. She co-devised My Lovers Bones (Brown Cabs Productions/Melbourne Festival) for which her lighting design received a Green Room Association Award in 2015. Lisa has designed for many varied independent, as well as mainstage theatre productions, with recent work including Oil Babies (Lab Kelpie),Virgins & Cowboys (Griffin Independent), Genius (St Martins), and Heart is a Wasteland (Malthouse Theatre).
MYRON MY began reviewing theatre in 2012 and since then has consistently been writing about theatre and the arts for online publications as well as his own website. Between 2011-13 he was artistic director of impro comedy group Exploding Heads Impro and has worked in marketing and publicity within the arts sector. He is currently studying at the University of Melbourne where he is completing a Master of Arts and Cultural Management.
ANNE-MARIE PEARD has been a Melbourne-based independent theatre critic, arts writer and editor since 2006. Before that, she spent many years working in festivals and arts event management in Adelaide, Perth, Canberra and Melbourne. She has written for The Age, Time Out, Arts Hub, The Music and specialist arts publications, and has the long-running blog called Sometimes Melbourne. She also teaches and mentors arts journalism and criticism.
LARA WEEK is a designer for performance and creative producer. Her design credits include ANNA (La Mama Courthouse), Caliban (Western Edge Youth Arts, Malthouse Theatre), 3 Sisters (Metanoia Theatre), South Sudan Voice (Free Theatre), Night Sings Its Songs (La Mama Theatre), and two seasons of Samah Sabawi’s award-winning play Tales Of A City By The Sea (La Mama Courthouse) which she co-produced in 2016 with Daniel Clark and toured to Adelaide, Sydney, and Kuala Lumpur. In 2019 she produced and designed the premiere season of Samah Sabawi’s play THEM at La Mama Courthouse, directed by Bagryana Popov. THEM was shortlisted for the Victorian Premiere’s Literary Award, and will be remounted in 2020 as part of the VCE Drama Playlist. Since 2011 Lara has been associate producer for Tribal Soul Arts, working with Patrice Naiambana to produce decolonial arts programs and performances in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the Netherlands, UK, and Australia.
ALICE QIN is a Melbourne based theatremaker, actor, educator, and occasional Dinosaur puppeteer (Erth Visual Physical/Melbourne Zoo 2019). She was the associate director on Golden Shield (MTC 2019) and she was a participant in the MTC CAAP directing initiative. Her Australian acting credits include Mad As A Cute Snake (Theatre Works 2019), Atomic (Malthouse Theatre 2018/2019), Little Emperors (Malthouse Theatre 2017). She was previously based in New York, where she worked as an actor and an associate physical acting teacher at the Stella Adler Studio New York under the tutelage of Joan Evans. Theatre credits in New York include Is It already Dusk? (Herald Clurman Ensemble/Irondale Theatre, New York 2013). Romeo and Juliet/Richard II/Love’s Labour’s Lost (Hamlet Isn’t Dead 2015). She is a current teaching artist at St. Martins Youth Arts Centre, and House of Muchness.
YVONNE VIRSIK is the Artistic Director of MUST (Monash Uni Student Theatre, MSA) where she has produced many works and directed pieces such as Christopher Bryant’s Disinhibition, Spring Awakening: the musical, Dürrenmatt’s The Visit, Declan Greene’s BOG and Laugh Out Loud; and mentored hundreds of emerging theatre makers. As a freelance director, Yvonne has worked with companies including Malthouse Theatre, MTC, MKA, La Mama, Red Stitch and St. Martins. She is a graduate of the VCA and was part of the Women Directors' Program at MTC. Directing credits include Bucket's List by Sarah Collins (Tiki Tour Award Melbourne Fringe); Darragh Martin's An Air Balloon Across Antarctica (Edinburgh Fringe) and Adam Cass’ I Love You, Bro (Malthouse & UK tour). Yvonne adapted and directed the Australian debut of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid’s Tale and created an Ibsen mash-up with Nora and Hedda. She is vice president of the Australian Women Directors Alliance.
John Marc Desengano
JOHN MARC DESENGANO is a Filipino born actor, improviser and educator. Upon graduating from The University of Ballarat, Arts Academy in 2008, John Marc has performed in many theatre productions around Melbourne and internationally. A few of John Marc’s stage credits include; The Yellow Wave, Love Bird, The Bachelor S17 E05, Survival, RUR 2020, Just A Boy Standing in Front of a Girl, NomNomNom, A Midnight Visit, and many more. He also performed in The Dead Twin, written by Chi Vu, at the Georgetown Festival in Malaysia. His TV credits include Rush, Playing for Keeps S2 and Back in Very Small Business. John Marc is a proud company member of Impro Melbourne and Soothplayers: Completely Improvised Shakespeare. He also works as a teaching artist and lead artist at St. Martin’s Youth Theatre and Western Edge Youth Arts respectively.
DANNY DELAHUNTY is a theatre director, producer and arts manager with a deep commitment to the independent arts sector. As the Head of Programs & Projects at Melbourne Fringe Danny manages the key front-facing programs, supporting the creative and professional development of indie artists in Melbourne and beyond. In his past three years at Fringe, Danny has facilitated the presentation of well over a thousand independent seasons of work, assisting the 7,000+ artists involved with the skills and tools to stage their work for Melbourne audiences. Prior to Fringe Danny worked as a theatre director and freelance producer, presenting over 50 seasons of work in Melbourne, interstate and internationally, either with his theatre company Attic Erratic or as a freelance creative with other indie theatre companies.