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Women in Theatre 2020

We are delighted to welcome 12 new participants to our Women in Theatre Program in 2020.

We are delighted to welcome 12 new participants to our Women in Theatre Program in 2020.

Commencing in late February, these 12 women will take part in a curated program of professional enrichment activities, while applications for the remaining paid technical design associate placements will open later this month. 

Applicants invited to join this year's professional enrichment stream are Veronique Benett (Lighting Design), Ashlee Clapp (Sound Composition), Briony Dunn (Programming), Emma Gibson (Dramaturgy), Amy Holley (Sound Design), Piper Huynh (Executive Management), Brynna Lowen (Set & Costume Design), Katy Maudlin (Direction), Tariro Mavondo (Artistic Direction), Krystalla Pearce (Arts Education), Clare Rankine (Producing) and Jamaica Zuanetti (Playwright).

Now in its seventh year, MTC’s Women in Theatre Program is one of the Company's most successful career development initiatives and has supported 71 theatre professionals to date. Each year it continues to provide invaluable opportunities for women working in the sector.  

MTC’s Women in Theatre Program is made possible thanks to the generosity of the Women in Theatre Giving Circle.

Meet our 2020 core program participants below.

Artwork for Veronique Benett

Veronique Benett

Lighting Design

A NIDA graduate, Veronique Benett completed a Bachelor of Fine Art, Technical Theatre and Stage Management and a Masters of Fine Art, Design for Performance, majoring in lighting and costume design.

In 2020, Veronique will make her debut with Belvoir as lighting designer on THE JUNGLE AND THE SEA directed by Eamon Flack and S. Shakthidharan.  Veronique is lighting designer for JUMP FOR JORDAN directed by Rachel Chant at the Darlinghurst Theatre Co.

In 2019, Veronique made her debut with Sydney Theatre Company as lighting designer on BANGING DENMARK directed by Jessica Arthur at the Sydney Opera House.

Veronique was associate lighting designer for CRY-BABY directed by Alexander Berlage (Hayes Theatre Co); and PRIMA FACIE directed by Lee Lewis (Griffin Theatre). Assistant lighting design roles include: METAMORPHOSIS (Apocalypse Theatre); VISITING HOURS (KXT Bakehouse); and ARIODANTE (Apollo Opera Collective). Veronique was the lighting design realiser for Sport for Jove’s education season which includes MACBETH, THE TEMPEST and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.  Veronique will be associate lighting realiser for NO PAY? NO WAY! Directed by Sarah Giles and lighting designed by Paul Jackson for Sydney Theatre Company.

Artwork for Ashlee Clapp

Ashlee Clapp

Sound Composition

Ashlee Clapp is a composer, conductor, music director, theatre maker and workshop facilitator. Ashlee graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Music Composition, under the tutelage of James Ledger with the Dorothy Ellen Ransom Prize of Musical Composition. She then successfully completed her Master of Fine Arts, Composition at VCA with the Australian Postgraduate Award and the Jim Marks Postgraduate Scholarship for her Ballad Opera in five languages, two being Australian Aboriginal languages.

As a composer Ashlee predominantly works in theatre, choral writing and working in languages other than English. In 2019, Forgiveness, an Australian play with music that Ashlee was sound designer, composer and music director for, toured from Melbourne to the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, China. Ashlee has been a theatre composer for the University of Melbourne, UWA, Monash University and will be working at Federation University in 2020.

Ashlee has also worked in commercial fields such as TV shows, web series’, film trailers, commercials and also more classical works for symphony orchestra (WASO), chamber groups and choirs.

Artwork for Briony Dunn

Briony Dunn

Programming

A directing graduate of NIDA, Briony Dunn has a Master of Arts in Theatre (UNSW) and is co-Artistic Director of Iron Lung Theatre who are Company in Residence at Theatre Works. Having directed more than 30 plays Briony’s current focus is text-based stories of all forms that have the transformation of women at their core.

As associate artist, assessor or director Briony has worked with many organisations including Griffin Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir, Belvoir Downstairs, PACT Youth Theatre, NIDA, ATYP and Playwriting Australia. Directing credits include Blank by Alice Birch, Electra and The Women of Troy by Euripides, Der Hamletmachine by Heiner Muller, dreamalittledreamalittle by Toby Schmitz, La Dispute by Marivaux and ‘night, Mother by Marsha Norman.

Briony was Mentor Artist and Associate Director on Melbourne and Sydney International Arts Festival projects with the award-winning Big hArt, and was a recipient of the Australia Council for the Arts professional development grant to teach and direct in the Palestinian Territories and Israel. Her biographical documentary He Used to Call Me Boz and semi-political short film From Here, shot in the West Bank, Israel and the US have screened at international festivals.

Founder of the classical acting program at AP Studio, Briony teaches her own acting technique about which she is currently writing her first book. In 2020 Briony will direct When the Rain Stops Falling by Andrew Bovell for Iron Lung as part of Theatre Works 2020 season and will develop an original translation of Strindberg’s The Stronger

Artwork for Emma Gibson

Emma Gibson

Dramaturgy

Emma Gibson is a Melbourne-based writer, playwright and developing dramaturg.

Emma has undertaken writing residencies and participated in festivals and conferences internationally. Her work has been presented as staged readings at the Street Theatre in Canberra, KXT in Sydney, La Mama ETC New York, and the Women Playwrights International Conference in Stockholm. She has worked on creative developments at the Street Theatre in Canberra and at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Waterside Arts Centre and The Lowry in Manchester, UK.

As a playwright, she is interested in research-informed and place-based work. Most recently she adapted Randolph Stow’s novel Tourmaline for the Street Theatre. Her previous plays include War Stories (co-writer), Bloodletting (Bread and Roses Theatre Award, London), Johnny Castellano is Mine (Canberra Critics Circle Award), The Pyjama Girl, Widowbird, and Love Cupboard. She was part of the Street Theatre’s writers development program and holds a Master of Arts in Creative Non-Fiction (Place Writing).

Emma has experience collaborating with artists across disciplines. In recent years, she has created site-specific poetry installations, helped run an artist residency in remote Iceland, devised new work with opera singers, provided dramaturgy for a burlesque cabaret, and reviewed 100 Edinburgh Fringe shows.

Artwork for Amy Holley

Amy Holley

Sound Design

Amy Holley is primarily a sound designer, who dabbles in art of composition. New to Melbourne theatre scene, Amy has spent the last six years working and designing for Brisbane and South East Queensland based productions. She studied at JMC Academy, graduating with a Bachelor of Audio Engineering and Sound Production; however, her childhood musicianship skills have taken the forefront in her designs in recent years. Amy has thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with artists and directors as they’ve incorporated live musicians into staging, performing elements of compositions and design.

Amy’s most recent accolades include: Sound Designer and Composer – Fantastic Plastic Planet (Yours Sincerely), Associate Sound Designer - Così (Melbourne Theatre Company), Sometimes It’s Hot Like the Sun (Undone Theatre Collective); The Eisteddfod (Room to Play and Metro Arts); NSFW (Underground Productions); and Nobody Likes the Winter (Ryškus Productions).

Amy was a participant in the 2019 Women in Theatre program -  working and touring as the Associate Sound Designer on Così, under Sound Designer and Composer Chris Williams.

Artwork for Piper Huynh

Piper Huynh

Executive Management

Piper Huynh is a Melbourne-based arts manager and theatre-maker driven by untold stories. She has worked extensively in independent theatre, community engagement, performance and workshop facilitation. As an emerging artist with Western Edge Youth Arts she devised in the Edge Ensemble’s major projects including Chronicles: Searching for Songlines, Beagle Bay Chronicles, Iago and Caliban and now serves as a Board Member. In 2017, she graduated from Footscray Community Arts Centre’s Emerging Cultural Leaders Program and the Vietnamese Community of Australia’s Dual Identity Leadership Program, receiving the Arts Award.

Piper believes the highest quality of process and outcome derives from a strong supportive management team. Her recent management credits include World Problems (45downstairs), Merciless Gods (Midsumma Festival/Arts Centre Melbourne), Ode To Man (Brisbane Festival/Melbourne Fringe), National Gathering – Theatre of Friendship (Sri Lanka) My Ancestral Roots/Ink (La Mama Explorations/Gertrude Street Projection Festival) and Salt (She Said Theatre/La Mama Courthouse).

Piper is currently the Office Manager at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Artwork for Brynna Lowen

Brynna Lowen

Set & Costume Design

Brynna Lowen is a production designer and maker, interested in creating colourful and comedic environments for both live performance and screen.
Brynna graduated from The Victorian College of the Arts in 2016 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Production: Design Realisation), where she received the Lionel Gell Foundation Scholarship for excellence in theatre.

Brynna has completed work with a variety of Australian creatives including The Ilbijerri Theatre Company, She Said Theatre, Tasmania Performs, Hot Mess Productions, Declan Greene, The Guerrilla Museum, Western Edge Youth Arts and Flesh Coloured Panties Productions.

Artwork for Katy Maudlin

Katy Maudlin

Direction

Katy Maudlin is a director and dramaturg with a focus on collaboration, new writing and feminist dramaturgies. She has worked extensively across Australia, New Zealand and Europe in both theatre and opera. She holds a Masters in Directing from the VCA. Her graduate production, The Last Ten

Minutes of History (2016) , was a collaboration with writer Ross Muller.

In 2019 Katy directed Tap Head by Barnie Duncan (nominated for The Fred Award - NZ International Comedy Festival) and worked with Matthew Lutton on Solaris (Malthouse). Other notable credits include: Right Now (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, 2018), AntigoneX (Theatre Works, 2018) and working as dramaturg on award-winning Apokalypsis (Next Wave, 2018).

In 2017 Katy was the Graduate Director at Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, worked with the National Theatre of Croatia on Verdi's Otello (Best Opera, Croatian Actors Awards) and as associate artist on For The Ones Who Walk Away (Best Live Art - Melbourne Fringe). In 2016, she undertook a secondment with Katie Mitchell, on Lucia Di Lammermoor , at the Royal Opera in London followed by a residency with Croatian National Theatre. She was the recipient of the Melbourne Global Scholars Award (2016) and Orloff Family Charitable Trust Scholarship (2015).

Artwork for Tariro Mavondo

Tariro Mavondo

Artistic Direction

Tariro Mavondo is a multidisciplinary storyteller, theatre director and curator. She also consults and facilitates in cultural diversity and performing arts with experience across education, government, mental health, law enforcement and social justice and is currently the co-Artistic Director of Western Edge Youth Arts with Penny Harpham.

As an actor, Tariro has recently been in Titus Andronicus (Bell Shakespeare), Dance Nation (Red Stitch), The Vibrator Play (Black Swan Theatre Company), Romeo and Juliet (Bell Shakespeare), Three Sisters (Metanoia Theatre at Mechanics Institute Brunswick), The Faithful Servant (The Street Theatre Canberra), Doubt (RL Productions at Chapel off Chapel), Jumpy ( MTC, STC), Belleville (Red Stitch Theatre), Baulkham Hills African Ladies Troupe (Belvoir and Riverside Theatre), Sisters (One Love Film Productions), Other People’s Problems (ABC), Anthony and Cleopatra (The Shakespeare Republic Season Two), Mukami Obanda (Winners and Losers, Channel Seven), ‘Home’ Short film ( Winner at Heart of Gold International Short Film and Dungog Film Festival ), Arrivals (VCA Graduate Short Film, Best Actress NYC PictureStart Film Festival ).

Tariro has been a voice over artist for  La Trobe University, Thomas The Tank Engine, AFLW, ABC, PWC Corporate, Hesta and more. Tariro is an awarding winning spoken word artist and her piece ‘The Dangers of a Single Story’ is part of an anthology ‘Growing Up African in Australia’ published by Black Inc Books (2019). Tariro is the founder of Africa’s Got Talent Australia and a Co-Founder of Centre of Poetics and Justice.

Artwork for Krystalla Pearce

Krystalla Pearce

Arts Education

Krystalla Pearce is an Australian theatre maker and teaching artist. She completed her Masters in Performance Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and has been trained in teaching artistry and aesthetic education at Lincoln Center Education in New York City. She works primarily with new Australian writing; her work often has a community and social justice focus.

Krystalla is the co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Rat King Theatre, an experimental theatre company based in New York City that tells stories through words, bodies and food. Her work has been presented in Australia, and internationally in Greece, Mexico, and the USA including at Theatre Works, Red Stitch, The Brick, The Wild Project, PERFORMA15, The island_resignified, and Dixon Place. 

She has devised theatre workshops in New Delhi, been involved in community building workshops in Indigenous Australian communities, and has completed artist residencies across New York City. 

Artwork for Clare Rankine

Clare Rankine

Producing

Clare Rankine is an independent producer in Melbourne. She works as a producer in comedy management, an assistant producer for Hot Mess Productions and is the founder and director of Clare Rankine Productions; a production house with a focus on discovering, nurturing and creating comedy and theatre work from women, female identifying and LGBTQIA+ artists.

Clare Rankine Productions include the new play WellBless (Debra Thomasand Ella Roth Barton), sketch comedies Woah, Alyssa! (Filip Lescaut and Colwyn Buckland) and Catching Jack (Ella Lawry, Madi Savage and Millie Holton).

In 2019, Clare produced and directed the new Australian musical POLYGAMY, POLYGAYOU (Alice Tovey, Charity Werk, Margot Tanjutco and Hayley Tantau). POLYGAMY, POLYGAYOU will return for a limited season at Melbourne Town Hall this year.

In 2019, Clare won the Best Emerging Producer Award at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Artwork for Jamaica Zuanetti

Jamaica Zuanetti

Playwriting

Jamaica Zuanetti is a Melbourne based writer.

She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from The University of Melbourne. She is an acting graduate of the National Theatre Drama School. In 2015, she graduated with a Master of Writing for Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts, where she was the recipient of the Cassidy Bequest Scholarship.

Her playwriting credits include Thigh Gap (La Mama Theatre 2019) shortlisted for London’s Platform Presents Playwright’s Prize, Too Ready Mirror (Darebin Arts Speakeasy 2017) and The World isn’t Made for Them selected by NIDA Launchpad for development, 2018.

She was a writer in residence with And Also Presents at Siteworks, and was selected as a creative in residence at the Centre Pompadour in Ercourt, France in 2019. She has worked as a dramaturgy intern on Melbourne Theatre Company’s Cybec Electric season and was selected as a writer in residence with Lonely Company, 2016.  She also tutors in Creative Writing at The University of Melbourne.

Published on 6 February 2020

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