2015 Participant & Mentor Biographies

We are pleased to announce this year's participants and mentors:     

2015 MENTEES             

Piri Eddy (SA) is a writer, musician and stand-up comic. He has reviewed for Heckler, Transnational Literature, and London based publication The Upcoming. Piri has also produced work for Adelaide Indaily and Southern Write Magazine. 

As a stand-up comedian, he has performed alongside some of Australia's finest comics, including Fiona O'Loughlin and Peter Berner. In 2013 Piri was a writer-in-residence at the SA Writers' Centre, and in 2015 he commenced a PhD in Creative Writing at Flinders University.

 

Suzannah Kennett Lister (SA) is an emerging actor, director and playwright. She graduated from the Adelaide College of the Arts acting program in 2014.  During her three years at AC Arts Suzannah was fortunate enough to be able to work under the tutelage of playwrights Nicki Bloom and Emily Steel. She has also worked with directors Corey McMahon, Cameron Goodall, Paulo Castro, David Mealor and Terence Crawford. In her final year at AC Arts Suzannah was responsible for the initial concept of Mouth Machine and became the primary writer and director of the project and played the supporting role of Julie. Suzannah is currently in development for Myriad, an original work that aims to remove stigma surrounding mental illness, which she is writing and directing. The show will premiere mid 2015.

 

Callum “CJ” McLean (SA) is a playwright and review writer based in Adelaide. His creative work has appeared in InDaily, and was twice broadcast on Coast FM. He has written reviews for Buzzcuts (a part of Express Media) and Empire Times. He received two commendations for his script work in the South Australian State Theatre Company’s ‘Young Playwright’s Award’ competition, in 2010 for Call Me Lolita, and 2013 for The Pink Elephant.

He travelled to Guangzhou, China as part of the AsiaBound project earlier this year to mentor Creative Writing students at Sun Yate-sen University’s South and Zhuhai campuses. In 2014, he attended Oxford University’s Creative Writing summer school, and studied with playwright Shaun McCarthy. He is part of the planning and editing committee for Flinders’ public speaking event, Speakeasy, and their associated zine. He is currently completing his Honours in Creative Arts (Creative Writing) at Flinders University.

 

Kirsty Budding is a playwright, producer and educator with an interest in comedy and satire. Recent works include The Fairytale Channel (Winner of Best Original Work in the Canberra Area Theatre Awards), My Bitchin’ Soul (ATYP National Studio), and I Heart Love (Sydney Fringe Festival). She is currently writing a full length satire on education for Free Rain Theatre Company, Canberra. When she is not working on her own plays, she is producing work by emerging playwrights through her company, Budding Theatre (www.buddingtheatre.com), and supporting new artists in her role as the ACT Coordinator of Crash Test Drama.

 

 

 

Maddie Nixon (QLD) has undertaken a variety of stage management and production roles in Brisbane, and has recently started pursuing roles in writing and dramaturgy. In 2015 she will be undertaking dramaturgy mentorships under Kathryn Kelly and David Burton. Her credits include Contributing Writer: Digi Youth Atrs' The Children's Monologues. Stage Manager: Queensland Theatre Company's Seven Stages of Grieving,Saison De Lamour, and the 2014 Queensland Premier's Drama Awards; La Boite Indie’s Hedonism’s Second Album, Awkward Conversation’s Medea Redux, Imaginary Theatre's The Voice in the Walls, and The 2014 King George Square Lighting of the Christmas Tree. Assistant Stage Manager: Queensland Theatre Company's Black Diggers. Producer: Four Stripes and Adelaide Fringe The Show Must Goon. 

 

With training in acting, musical theatre, puppetry and writing, Jack Kelly (QLD) is one of Brisbane's theatre scene's most versatile residents. Since graduating from the Harvest Rain Musical Theatre Internship in 2011, Jack has attained leading roles within many Brisbane based productions across a multitude of theatre companies. Most recent theatrical credits include The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Underground Productions), Machina (LaBoite Theatre Company – The Loft), Boy&Girl (Oscar Theatre Company – Brisbane Powerhouse), Into The Woods (Ignations Theatre Company), Predrinks (Rocketboy Theatre Company), Avenue Q (Brisbane Arts Theatre), James and The Giant Peach, Grease, Aladdin And His Mysterious Magical Lamp (Harvest Rain Theatre Company - QPAC). Jack is also a statewide touring puppeteer for the Children’s Cancer Charity, Camp Quality. Aside from acting, Jack is also a budding, young writer, having launched his own creative writing company (Written Just Write) in 2014 where he specializes in creating custom-written scenes for actor’s showreels. Other recent writing credits include The Children’s Monologues (DigiYouth – 2 High Festival), Centre Stage Fiasco & Wilderness Winners (Brisbane Youth Theatre) Star Factor (YPAC), Boy&Girl (Oscar Theatre Company - Brisbane Powerhouse), Speaking Freely (Anywhere Theatre Festival & Short And Sweet Festival), Broadway Babies & Cabaret Del Arte (Harvest Rain Theatre Company). 

Lauren Sherritt (QLD) is a writer and theatre maker. She wrote and directed the plays Sans Love and One Black Mark for Anywhere Theatre Festival in 2013 and 2014, has directed for Short + Sweet Festival and wrote The Hero's Journey for Brisbane City Council’s Street Reads program. Lauren has a Bachelor of Theatre Arts from USQ. She was selected to take part in the Australian Theatre for Young People’s Fresh Ink National Studio in 2011 and in 2012 her film Awake was a finalist in the Love Bytes online monologue competition. Her writing has been featured online on Birdee, Australian Stage and LifeMusicMedia. 

 

 

Alexander Bayliss (QLD) is an emerging playwright from Brisbane. His most recent play Jack is currently in development and was selected to be part of Playlab's Lab Rats series in 2014, the reading of which was directed by Michael Futcher. In 2015 his play Learning to Love Gravity, a comedy which blurs the line between text-based theatre and circus, will be produced as part of Anywhere Theatre Festival. His other writing credits include: 12 Gauge (2010, Capillaries Festival, Vena Cava Productions), Caution: Wet Floor (2high Festival). As director: Limbus (2011). As assistant director: Limbus (2010, Festival of Australian Student Theatre), Trapped Yo! (2010, Handful of Fragments). As performer: The Choir (2012, Switchboard Arts), Caution: Wet Floor (2011, 2high Festival). Alexander holds a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Drama) and a Masters of Creative Industries (Creative Writing) form the Queensland University of Technology and is currently the Publication and Marketing Officer at Playlab.

Originally from Gippsland, Angus Cameron (VIC) is now a Melbourne based theatre maker and academic. In 2015 he is undertaking a Masters in Writing for Performance at the VCA and is a Coopers Malthouse 'provocateur'. He completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) with a double major in International & Political Studies and Screen & Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2012. He works at Trinity College as head of their well-being program and takes particular interest in performance and philosophy. 

 

 

Holly Brindley (VIC) is a graduate of the Flinders University Drama Centre in Adelaide.  Since graduating Holly has undertaken short courses in London at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and in Barcelona at the MOVEO International School of Corporal Mime.  In 2014 she played Malcolm and the First Witch in Adelaide theatre company Foul Play’s inaugural production of Macbeth (dir. Yasmin Gurreeboo).  She was also on the writing team for the production, contributing to Foul Play’s innovative adaptation of the text.  Holly has appeared in several short films and performed in the Wastelander Panda web series for ABC iView (dir. Victoria Cocks).  During high school Holly wrote her first play EVE which was performed by Urban Myth Theatre of Youth and the Canberra Youth Theatre.  In 2013 Holly received the Flinders University Young Playwrights Award for Blue, which was performed in a staged reading by the State Theatre Company of South Australia (dir. Alison Howard).  Holly attended the 2014 ATYP National Studio.

Your name is Georgia Symons (VIC) and you have an abiding love of the second person.  It unsettles people, but you persist because, as a wise oracle once proclaimed, you were born this way. Your work has been performed throughout Australia and New Zealand (“Mollycoddled) and toured to the UK (“Am I Good Friend?with Yve Blake & Co). In 2013, you directed and wrote the site-specific work “La Soif for the city of Rennes, France. In Australia, your writing has been published in two UTS Writers’ Anthologies, and by Currency Press in ATYP’s The Voices Project (“Twisted, which has since been adapted to a film with 40,000+ views online).  You’ve worked as a producer on ABC Radio National’s Airplay and Poetica, and your achievements include Best New Talent, Short + Sweet Sydney 2011; and Best Student Film, Lebanese Film Festival 2012 (“Shoebox”, which you wrote and directed). In 2014, you worked on “GL RY” (a week-long installation in Melbourne’s City Square) as writer and dramaturgical assistant for the AIDS 2014 conference; and “You Are Like Nobody,” a piece of one-on-one digital theatre for Platform Youth Theatre @ La Mama. You also completed the Master of Writing for Performance at the VCA. This year, your work has been programmed in the Digital Writers Festival (“Three-Legged Race Around the World”), ASYLUM (“A Puppet Show for All Ages”), Fresh Air Festival at Federation Square (“The Alien Meteorites of Federation Square”) and Metanoia Theatre’s Live Works Season (“In the Dark”). In addition to participating in ATYP’S Mentorship program, you are working with a number of other youth theatre companies this year: as a lead writer on Western Edge’s “Iago”, as co-director of Platform’s Creative Generator, and as a resident artist at Arena Theatre Company. You knew this bio would descend into monotonous listing eventually.

Fiona Spitzkowsky (VIC) is a Melbourne based writer, who has only just developed the ability to call herself that without the support of semi-sarcastic air quotes. Her first produced work was Room 62791 at the Canberra Youth Theatre in 2009. Since then she has completed a Bachelor of Communications (Theatre/Media), graduating with distinction. During her time at university Fiona penned scripts for the Central West Short Playwriting Festival (2013) and Sprung Festival (2012, 2013), including the highly successful comic cabaret A World Without Sex, which toured to Sydney and Brisbane. She was also a finalist in ATYP’s Fresh Ink Competition in 2013 with Paris. She is currently completing a Masters in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing at the University of Melbourne, paying the bills as the Digital Editor for Big Stories, an online documentary project, and maintaining her passion for theatre through her work with Attic Erratic and fledgling theatre company We Happy Few. 

 

Elias Jamieson Brown (NSW) received a Bachelor of Arts (Acting for Screen and Stage) from Charles Sturt University (CSU) in 2014. During his studies, he was awarded the Dean’s Achievement Award for Academic Excellence (2014), and the CSU Foundation Scholarship (2012, 2013). He was selected for the Bell Shakespeare Graduate Course (2015), and has also undertaken short courses with NIDA, 16th Street, Master Voice Teacher Isobel Kirk, James Evans and Les Chantery. In 2013, he was an adjudicator  of the Annual Music, Dance and Drama Festival at the Illawarra Grammar School. As an actor, he has performed in a variety of roles including Happy in Death of a Salesmen (SOACT), Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (CSU), Solyony in Three Sisters (CSU), and Hal in Loot (SOACT). In May Elias will play the role of Louise in Angels In America (Chalkdust Theatre). His latest play, Missy and her Master (A Fable), was staged by Apocalypse Theatre Company as part of the Asylum theatre festival. All proceeds of this socially conscious theatre festival went to the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne. He has also written two other full-length plays Primary Colours and Crux, the latter of which was shortlisted for Playwriting Australia’s National Script Workshop (2013, 2014). He was executive producer and co-writer of Ambrosia (Solid State, Steve Jaggi, The Ridge Productions), and co-wrote and performed in Thicker (University Theatre Ensemble). He has written and directed for the 10x10 Playfest and, in 2013, directed A Portrait of Anna Moraova for the ABC’s Open Online program. Elias Jamieson Brown is a proud member of MEAA.

Jason Kos (NSW) graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2013. Jason was recently in Miracle City at the Hayes Theatre. He can be next seen in Sport for Jove’s production of The Merchant of Venice, and later in the year in Arms and the Man, at Sydney Theatre Company. While at NIDA his theatre credits included Woyzeck, A Lie of the Mind, Sunday in the Park with George, Othello, Darlinghurst Nights, and Electronic City. Jason’s writing credits include Seeker (short film) and Noah (Play). He has written, directed and features in a web-series called ANTI-ADULTS.

 

 

Tasnim Hossain (NSW) is a playwright and performance poet. Her work has been staged by ATYP and Apocalypse Theatre Company, and published by Currency Press. Her first solo show was developed through Playwriting Australia’s Lotus Program for Asian-Australian Writers and premiered at Perth’s Fringe World, with a second season at You Are Here festival in Canberra. She was an Associate Artist at Canberra Youth Theatre in 2013 and is currently participating in The Hive, The Street Theatre’s script development program with Peter Matheson in Canberra. She has a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) from the Australian National University.

 

 

Julia Patey (NSW) is an emerging playwright, director and theatre-maker based in Sydney. Julia’s work has been performed in theatres, pubs and backyards across Australia, including at the Australian Theatre for Young People, The Blue Room Theatre, and Holden Street Theatres. In 2014, Julia was commissioned to write a monologue, Sure, for the Voices Project: Between Us for ATYP’s 2015 season. Sure was later published by Currency Press. As a theatre-maker and director, Julia’s work includes We Are All, The Hand of Time (Not Suitable for Drinking), Where There’s Smoke/  Burnt (99seats Theatre), and Stockholm. As Assistant Director; A Town Named War Boy (ATYP), The Magic Hour (Performing Lines WA) & Spur of the Moment (ATYP). Julia holds a Bachelor of Communication in Theatre/Media from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst and is a recipient of The Blair Milan Memorial Scholarship, which she was awarded in 2013 for her graduate production, Burnt. Julia is a founding member of 99seats Theatre, and is currently resident director for Not Suitable for Drinking, a theatre collective dedicated to producing new writing with emerging artists. Julia is very passionate about creating new work and is thrilled to be a participant in ATYP’s National Mentoring Program for emerging playwrights.

2015 MENTORS

Saffron Benner (MENTOR: Brisbane)

Saffron Benner is the former Executive Director of Playlab and a professional dramaturg and arts educator with over 15 years experience. Saffron has taught drama and arts education at Griffith University, QUT, and USQ. She has worked with the Queensland Theatre  Company, La Boîte Theatre, Tasmanian Theatre Company, ATYP, Metro Arts, Backbone Youth Arts, deBASE Theatre, Vulcana Womens' Circus, and many independent artists. Saffron was also a feature writer and the Arts in Education Editor for Lowdown magazine.

 

 

 

Ross Mueller (MENTOR: Melbourne)

Ross Mueller is an Australian playwright. Winner of the New York New Dramatists Playwright exchange for his play Concussion. In March 2009 Concussion premiered at Sydney Theatre Company. In April 2009 his play Hard Core was shortlisted for the Patrick White Award. He is the winner of the Wal Cherry Play of the year 2007 for his play The Glory. In March 2007 his play - The Ghost Writer was premiered at Melbourne Theatre Company. 

Construction of The Human Heart was short listed for the 2007 AWGIE Award for Best New Play and nominated for five Green Room Awards.

In 2002 he was the Australian playwright at the International Residency of the Royal Court Theatre in London. 

His play ZEBRA! premiered with a sell out season at STC in March 2011.

He is completing his Masters in Writing For Performance at Victorian College of the Arts.

In Australia he is represented by Anthony Blair at Cameron’s: [email protected]

 

Jennifer Medway (MENTOR: Sydney)

Jennifer has been the Resident Dramaturg and Writing Coordinator at ATYP since 2014. For ATYP she has been running programs to support writers under the age of 26 and being a dramaturgical resource for writers of this age. In 2014 she was a Griffin Studio Artist where she was the production dramaturg on Jump for Jordan by Donna Abela. In 2012 she was the Associate Artist- Dramaturgy at Belvoir and worked on Strange Interlude by Simon Stone after Eugene O’Neill and was Assistant Director on Death of A Salesman. Prior to this she was Belvoir’s Literary Assistant in 2011. She was also Co-Artistic Director of the Crack Theatre Festival as part of This is Not Art in 2013. She has assessed scripts for Playwriting Australia, Griffin, Belvoir and for STC’s Patrick White Award.  Jennifer has been a dramaturg on: The Bleeding Tree (Playwriting Australia development), Vile (Playwriting Australia development), Jump for Jordan (Griffin), By the Sea Freedom (Festival of Dangerous Ideas/Applespiel), How it is or As you like it (Ashfield Council/9th Women Playwrights International Conference), Blood Pressure (Rock Surfers) and in 2015 will complete work on Animal/People (Rock Surfers), Between the Clouds (ATYP) and The Trolleys (ATYP).