Theatre Companies Panel

Dr Meg Upton
Panel Chair

MEG UPTON is a drama and theatre education consultant, working with companies such as Playbox, Malthouse, MTC, Victorian Opera, Arena, Polyglot, KAGE, Theatre Works, Arts Centre Melbourne, Performing Lines and Regional Arts Victoria over the past 15 years. Meg also lectures in Drama Education at Deakin, and holds a post doctoral research role at the University of Melbourne, School of Culture and Communication (Theatre Studies). She has been a member of the Theatre Companies Panel for four years, chairing for the past two. She is also the Vice President for the Green Room Association. Meg is a board member of Rawcus, and a previous member of the board of Drama Australia.

Daniela Farinacci

DANIELA FARINACCI’s theatre credits include HELICOPTER, YELLOW MOON (Green Room Nomination Best Ensemble) and RUPERT (MTC). She has Green Room Nominations for THE CLEAN HOUSE, METAMORPHOSES (MTC) and TRAITORS (La Mama). Film roles include LION, LITTLE FISH, MY YEAR WITHOUT SEX and LOU. She has an AFI Nomination for LOOK BOTH WAYS and an AFI Nomination, IF Award and Film Critics Circle Award for LANTANA. Small screen appearances include GLITCH (ACCTA + LOGIE Awards Best Drama), REDFERN NOW, EAST WEST 101 (EQUITY Award Best Ensemble), HOUSE HUSBANDS and LITTLE ACORNS. She has a LOGIE Nomination for THE SOCIETY MURDERS. Daniela teaches at BRAVE STUDIOS and is a proud member of MEAA.

Ben Grant

BEN GRANT is an award winning actor, sound designer, composer, dramaturge and writer with a strong interest in new Australian stories. A NIDA acting graduate, Ben has performed for Ridiculusmus, Melbourne Theatre Company, Radio National, Bell Shakespeare and many others including world premieres by Nick Enright, Angus Cerini, Hannie Rayson and Jane Bodie. Ben has created sound/music for Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Belvoir, Radio National, Bell Shakespeare and many others including Ilbijerri Theatre Company's Coranderrk: We Will Show The Country and Nathan Maynard's The Season. He dramaturged Chamber Made Opera's Captives Of The City and has also made four solo shows: his latest is the upcoming horror electropera The Rug. Ben collaborated with Robert Lepage as an actor/author in Ex Machina's Playing Cards: Hearts from 2013 to 2015.

Shane Grant

SHANE GRANT is a lighting designer, script writer and theatre manager. Shane is an artistic director with Metanoia Theatre. Shane toured the world extensively as the technical manager for Strange Fruit and has worked with such companies as NYID, Ranters Theatre, The Torch Project, Keene Taylor theatre project.

Chloe Greaves

CHLOE GREAVES is a Melbourne based set and costume designer. Chloe Greaves is a graduate of the victorian college of the arts school of productions. She is a set and costume designer and some of her recent designs include 'Incognito' and 'The River' and 'Roam' for Red Stitch. 'Rule of Thirds' & 'Lucid' (Chunky Move), ‘They Saw A Thylacine’ (Malthouse Theatre), 'The Waiting Room' (MTC), 'Blak Cabaret' (Sydney Festival/Malthouse theatre), "The Magic Pudding' & 'The Grumpiest boy in the world'(Victorian Opera), 'You're a good man Charlie Brown' (Vas Productions), 'The Bacchae' (Fraught outfit Melbourne festival) 'Le Donna Curiose' (The Juliard School, New York), 'Hart' (SheSaid, Brisbane Festival, Darwin Festival) 'Fun Run' (The Arts Centre), Chloe also works in film and television, she recently designed the feature film 'Living Space' and has styled music videos for artists including Guy Sebastian, San Cisco, DZ Deathrays, Montaigne and Alison Wonderland. Chloe received the 2014 indipendent theatre Green Room award for design for her years body of work. And has been nominated on five others occasions.

Mark Hennessy

MARK HENNESSY has worked in theatre, TV and film as an actor and physical performer for many years. He starred in the children’s television series, The Henderson Kids and subsequently, in Blue Heelers, Phoenix, Police Rescue, In Between, Halifax f.p. and All Saints. Films include, Dead Calm, Young Flynn, River Street, and The Big Steal. Theatre performances have been with companies as diverse as NYID - Training Squad, DANCE-WORKS - Private Lives/Public Spaces, STRANGE FRUIT - The Field and TOGS THEATRE - The Fabulous Fops. Credits include Blowback - NYID, Cyrano De Bergerac - STC, The 3 Furies by Steven Sewell, Macbeth - THE OLD VAN at Theatreworks, and The Conquest of The South Pole at THE STORE ROOM. His latest solo work, the death & resurrection show, was supported by Arts Victoria.

Rob Meldrum

ROB MELDRUM is an actor, director, acting teacher and voice coach with over 45 years experience. He was a member of the Australian Performing Group collective, appearing in productions such as Floating World and The Hills Family Show as well as co-founding the Stasis group. He has performed with all the major theatre companies, was three years with Bell Shakespeare, and variously at Theatreworks, Anthill, La Mama and The Church. He has been three times nominated for a Green Room Award and won Best Ensemble for "Speaking in Tongues' at Malthouse. He was a Lecturer in Acting at the VCA Drama School for 8 years, and currently teaches voice at Brave Studios, as well as teaching at 16 St, BAPA and The National. Rob trained as a voice teacher with Rowena Balos in 1975. He has also narrated over 25 audio books with Bolinda. He was President of the GRA from 2000 - 2002

Sonya Suares

SONYA SUARES' theatre credits run the gamut from Pinter to Puccini, with a healthy dose of Shakespeare and new Australian work. Feature films include Wil, Knowing, My Year Without Sex and The Last Ride; television highlights are Rush, Very Small Business, East West 101, Lowdown, It's A Date, Legally Brown and Romper Stomper, Next Generation. In 2012 she founded Watch This, producing and performing Assassins (2013/14), Pacific Overtures (2014), Company (2015/16) and Merrily We Roll Along (2017) to critical acclaim and a total of 12 Green Room nominations! Sonya was a founding director of Poppy Seed Festival and in 2015/16 performed Elbow Room’s smash hit We Get It at MTC Neon and Brisbane Powerhouse. This year, she performed Polyglot/ Papermoon Puppet Theatre's Helpmann-nominated Cerita Anak and MTC’s premiere of Melbourne Talam.

Jane Woolard

JANE WOOLARD is a director, playwright, dramaturg and teacher, and a graduate of the University of Melbourne, VCA and RMIT. As Artistic Director of Here Theatre, Jane’s productions have included: Aelfgyva, (2003 Melbourne Autumn Music Festival); True Adventures of a Soul Lost at Sea by Kit Lazaroo (RE Ross Award, nominated for several GRA Awards, 2004 Trades Hall); The Time is not yet Ripe by Louis Esson, (GRAA Best Ensemble, 2006, Northcote Town Hall & 2008 La Mama Courthouse); Asylum by Kit Lazaroo, (Wal Cherry Play of the Year, La Mama); Letters from Animals by Kit Lazaroo, (Storeroom Theatre Workshop, nominated for several GRA Awards); Topsy by Kit Lazaroo, (RE Ross Award, 2010 fortyfive downstairs); and Bright Shiny & Green Night by Kit Lazaroo, (2015 La Mama Courthouse). Jane is the recipient of the Veronica Kelly Prize and the Paul Iles Award.