Michael went on to study a Bachelor of Media and Communications at the University of New England, but in reality spent all his time in the theatre department. Here, he developed a love for dramatic writing, primarily in the form of adaptation at that time. While still performing, he made opportunities for himself to direct performances and step on toes to make things happen. His work in directing Buchner’s Woyzeck, Pinter’s The Dumb Waiter and Bovell’s Speaking in Tongues are some of his proudest achievements.
Upon leaving Armidale, Michael applied successfully to study at NIDA in the Technical Theatre and Stage Management degree. Michael believes that technical problem solving and stagecraft are some of the most important things to get work on its feet. While at NIDA Michael has worked on numerous projects and productions, a highlight was Michael Gow’s production of Writing for Performance – A Personal View. In what spare time Michael has found while at NIDA, he has written a full length play Burden on Society along with his numerous shorter works including Love Me Do (Short Play) which had its first production earlier this year and Speak Some Speech (Short film) currently in development.
Michael is enduringly curious, to a point of frustration and obsession. His father has said that his first word as a child was ‘Why?’. His artistic intention is to tell stories that examine the world around us all and ask why is it so? Is this it? Is this the best we can do?" After so far writing in only his spare time, Michael is looking forward to having devoted time to dramatic writing among other artists while at the National Studio.
Alberto is an emerging Melbourne-based writer/director and a graduate of the Bachelor of Film and Television at the Victorian College of the Arts. Before being accepted into the degree, Alberto’s play Queenie Beth won honours at the South Australian State Theatre Young Playwrights Awards. For the 2011 Adelaide Fringe, Alberto wrote, directed and produced his play The Housesitters to a sold-out season and critical success. His graduating short film Blood Trust was awarded Best Undergraduate Screenplay by the VCA and has played at festivals both nationally and internationally. He is also the recipient of the VCA Film & TV Department's Lionel Gell Foundation Scholarship and Erwin Rado Memorial Prize For Excellence. Alberto is currently working on long-form film and theatre projects and recently worked as an assistant editor on upcoming Australian feature film ‘Downriver’."
Alberto says, "I can't wait for the chance to collaborate with and develop my own writing alongside a cohort of talented, passionate, creative and diverse young theatremakers."
Piri's writing credits for theatre and performance include Tonight With Tony (2011, Neverender Productions), Amuse Bouche (2012, Neverender Productions) and Comedy Action Rangers (2013, The Loose Five Productions).
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. 2015 saw Piri commence his PhD in Creative Writing at Flinders University, as well as being a participant in the Fresh Ink national mentoring program.
Piri says, "I'm most looking forward to learning from inspiring playwrights, crafting and developing new communities of writers, and the beautiful scenery!"
Georgia says, "I’m thrilled to be a part of the 2015 National Studio. I can’t wait to soak up the fresh air, immerse myself in creative writing and learn from my peers and mentors."
Carissa is a Sydney-based emerging director, dramaturg and actor, and is a co-founder of leftofcentre theatre co. In 2014, she graduated from Charles Sturt University’s Theatre/Media course with Distinction, and as the recipient of the Blair Milan Memorial Scholarship for Performance Excellence and the Frank Ponton Memorial Prize. Her directing credits include Reindeer Games (Bondi Feast 24-Hour Party Playwright 2015), Elegy (leftofcentre theatre co., La Boite’s FAST Festival 2014, FRINGEWORLD Festival 2015), Slut (Bathurst Arts & Theatrical Society, 2013) and What Do You Think? (CYCLE Productions, 2013) whilst she has observed and assisted on Misterman (SIREN Theatre Co., Old Fitz), Jump for Jordan (Griffin Theatre Company, SBW), Playwriting Australia's most recent National Script Workshop, and Stones in His Pockets (Critical Stages) as Assistant Director. Carissa was also selected for Playwriting Australia's inaugural Director's Studio 2014, and the 2015 PACT Collective.
After years of watching curiously from the sidelines as a director and dramaturg, Carissa has decided to try her own hand at the magical and terrifying act of playwriting. Her short play Girl (eats) Boy was featured in Tantrum Youth Arts' Hissyfest 2014 after touring throughout the NSW Central West; earlier this year, she wrote and performed in leftofcentre’s The Genius Project (107 Projects); and she is currently writing a web-series.
Carissa says, “The National Studio is going to be such a great opportunity to get away from ‘real’ life for a while and focus on writing. I’m particularly excited to meet a bunch of other passionate theatremakers and learn as much as I can from them.”
Callum “CJ” McLean 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 University’s public speaking event, Speakeasy, and their associated zine. He is currently completing his Honours in Creative Arts (Creative Writing) at Flinders University.
Callum is most looking forward to getting away from the day-to-day of “life” and spending six days solely writing.
Kirby is most looking forward to the opportunity to learn from experienced mentors and the other emerging writers.
Flik has always had a love for writing, particularly for the stage, and wrote a play for her Year 12 Extension English Two major work, which highlighted the importance of the discussion of taboo issues in society. Following the completion of her Higher School Certificate in 2013, Felicity has traveled overseas to learn more about theatre and various approaches to theatre-making. Flik has also been involved in many playwriting workshops, principally through Hothouse Theatre, with playwrights such as Steve Rodgers and Lachlan Philpot. In June-July 2015 she performed in Outback Theatre for Young People’s Beneath An Oxbow Lake.
She is exceptionally passionate about and dedicated towards all elements of performance craft and hopes to pursue a career in the arts, hopefully encompassing playwriting, acting and perhaps one day directing.
“As in my own life as when developing work, I have a tendency to reach away from the ordinary and the expected. I look to explore ideas around gender, roles, expression, identify and performance; sexuality, sexual intimacy, relationship anarchy, kinks; and questions surrounding humanness, humanity and existence. I am very drawn towards metaphors of reaching for humanness: puppets, robots, clones, mandrakes, golems, homunculi...”
Sam is excited about the National Studio as an opportunity to explore "living and breathing playwriting – talking ideas, technique and story problem solving – for a whole week with 19 other clever, eager writers."
Jules is a writer, researcher and arts administrator working between Sydney and NSW’s Central Coast. She currently works in Gosford with disability arts organisation, Options Theatre Company, and has worked with The Festivalists in Sydney and Thames Festival Trust in London. She holds a BA (Advanced) (Honours) in English and Latin from The University of Sydney and a MSt Women’s Studies from The University of Oxford. Her research interests span embodiment of gender and disabilities in performance, reception studies in popular culture, and 20th Century feminist literature. Her research has been presented and published in Australia and the UK.
As a writer, Jules is interested in exploring ideas of migration, sense of place, and crossing cultural lines. Playwriting is a relatively new frontier for Jules whose previous writing for performance credits include one-third of original musical The Rosewood Secret (2008) and silent short film ROPES (2009). She also has wild aspirations to become as vocally agile as Jessie J, Tori Kelly and Natalie Weiss.
Jules is excited that her involvement in the Studio will allow her to "become in touch with a community of playwrights and learn as much as I can from their processes, their stories and their experiences."
Rachel has always been excited by two things: writing and acting. While she wasn't so good at the latter, she now writes professionally for I Quit Sugar and fangirls over amazing acting performances in the privacy of her own home (and blog). She now wants to bring the two obsessions together with playwriting. She is currently developing her first full-length play, FULL, a "realistically twisted" tragicomedy about disordered eating and disordered families.
Rachel says; "My experience to date really entails trying to teach myself, reading "scriptwriting manuals," and going to plays with pocket money. The idea of having a whole week with experienced playwrights and professional dramaturgs is beyond exciting. I am most looking forward to soaking in everyone's knowledge is like a sponge."
Allee is most looking forward to being able to spend time in the beautiful landscape at Bundanon and hopefully getting a chance to bush walk and explore.
This is Sophie. She’s a bona fide young person and amateur word enthusiast. She can either be found lost in a shopping centre carpark or on the wrong side of a train’s closing doors. If she had a superpower, it would be the ability to deliver kickass soliloquys in Real Life without being condemned as a weirdo. Before she let herself want to be a writer she dreamt of being a fireworks technician. Perhaps that says a lot about her – that deep down, she just wants to entertain you. And maybe make your kids cry. And blow up things, but she doesn’t know how that fits in with writing. She’ll find a way.
Sophie says, "Most of all, I’m looking forward to being able to say the words “I went to the National Studio.” Because even if people don’t know what ATYP is, they’ll be so awed by the words “National” and “Studio” that they’ll give me a few more modicums of respect than that of my standard fare. And I’ll prance about being pretentious and happy until they forget about it. Yay! Oh, and writing is fun as well."
Now studying a Bachelor of Communications majoring in Creative Writing at UTS, Morgan, after some life changing plays given to her by her high achieving theatre making friends, and after some late night stream of consciousness experiments with playwriting, feels like she has finally touched on something that rings true with her. She is thrilled and excited to explore this and where it will take her.
Morgan hopes the experience over the week at National Studio will help her to focus this ambition and galvanize her into finding her voice, and her feet. She is most looking forward to "creating a new piece of work with these amazing mentors, something that will really push, and challenge me, something that will take guts to write and something I can really sink my teeth into." Morgan also wants to thank you for reading this far if you have, and hopes that one day her biography will be a little bit more interesting and filled with actual achievements."
Ciella is a core working member of the Darwin Fringe Festival Committee, and is involved with a group of young artists committed to making new work and new performance opportunities in Darwin.
Lachlan Philpott is a Sydney based writer and teacher.
As a playwright he has worked with The American Conservatory Theatre San Francisco, Amnesty International, Australian Theatre for Young People, Belvoir Sydney, Bell Shakespeare, Brisbane Powerhouse, Canberra Youth Theatre, Checkpoint Theatre Singapore, Cre8ion, Crowded Fire Theater San Francisco, Edinburgh Festival, Feast Festival Adelaide, Focus Theatre Sydney, Glen St Theatre Sydney, Griffin Theatre Company Sydney, Hothouse Theatre Albury, IronBark London, Kansas State University, La Boite Brisbane, The Lark New York, London Pride, Magic Theatre San Francisco, Mardi Gras Sydney, The Mac Belfast, Midsumma Melbourne, Melbourne Festival, MKA New Writing Theatre, The New Theatre, NIDA, Outburst Belfast, Oval House London, Perth Theatre Company, Playwriting Australia, Q Theatre Penrith, PACT Sydney, The Perseverance Juneau, The NSW Drama Ensembles, The Playwright’s Centre Minneapolis, The Playwright’s Foundation San Francisco, Rock Surfers Sydney, Sydney Theatre Company, TheatreofplucK Belfast, The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Tantrum Theatre Newcastle, Red Stitch Melbourne, St Martins Melbourne, The Victorian College of the Arts and The Victorian Arts Centre.
Lachlan’s plays include Bison, Bustown, Catapult, Colder [R.E Ross Trust Award], Lake Disappointment, M.ROCK, Silent Disco [Winner Griffin Award for Outstanding New Australian play, Winner GAP Competition Aurora Theatre Co. USA, Winner best stage play, Australian Writers Guild Awards] The Chosen, Truck Stop [Winner best play, young audiences Australian Writer’s Guild Awards] and The Trouble with Harry. He has had nine plays published.
Lachlan has also done extensive work as a teacher, mentor and dramaturg at theatre companies, schools and tertiary institutions around the world. As the inaugural Australian Professional Playwright Fulbright Scholar, Lachlan was playwright in residence at The American Conservatory Theatre San Francisco in 2014/15. Lachlan is Chair of the Australian Writer’s Guild Playwrights’ Committee.
Tom Holloway is an award-winning playwright based in Melbourne, Australia.
His work has been seen across Australia, as well as in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. His credits in Australia include Storm Boy for Sydney Theatre Company and Barking Gecko, Forget Me Not and Love Me Tender for Belvoir, and And No More Shall We Part and Don't Say The Words for Griffin. His United Kingdom productions include And No More Shall We Part, produced by Hampstead Theatre and Traverse Theatre for the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe and Fatherland produced by The Gate Theatre and ATC. His play Forget Me Not will be produced by The Bush Theatre this December, and he has been the librettist on the opera South Pole, premiering at Bavarian State Opera in Munich in January 2016. Tom is currently under commission with Manhattan Theatre Club and Melbourne Theatre Company.
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