National Artistic Team | Guiding the Vision | Queensland Theatre

Under Artistic Director Sam Strong, Queensland Theatre leads the nation from Queensland. An important first step in the achievement of this vision was the formation of the National Artistic Team is late 2015. The National Artistic Team embodied Queensland Theatre's commitment to career pathways, to the next generation of Indigenous voices, and to combining local and interstate talent as a means of nurturing both. It was made up of representatives from Brisbane, the Torres Strait, Sydney and Melbourne and included actors, writers, directors, designers, dramaturges, devisors, programmers and provocateurs. The National Artistic was the brains trust assisting the Artistic Director with the programming of the 2017 Season, the rebranding of the company and the realisation of the new vision. As well as featuring as artists within the 2017 season, their work contributed to the highest selling year in the history of the company and to a 20 year high of Season Ticket Holders. From 2017 onwards, the National Artistic Team evolved into the position of Associate Artistic Director, held by Paige Rattray. The members of the National Artistic team remain connected to Queensland Theatre through their work and in an informal advisory capacity.


JIMI BANI headshot

Jimi Bani graduated from WAAPA in 2007 and his theatre credits include Jandamarra (Black Swan Theatre Company), Romeo and Juliet (Sydney Theatre Company), Peter Pan and Yibiyung (Belvoir Theatre), The Dragon (Malthouse Theatre) and Krakouer! (Deckchair Theatre). He has also performed in The Sapphires, for both Black Swan Theatre Company and Belvoir St Theatre touring to London and Korea. Most recently, Jimi has played the role of Edmund for Malthouse Theatre’s Shadow King, which tours to London’s Barbican Theatre in 2016. He has played leading roles in television series The Straits, telefeature Mabo, and has appeared in Black Comedy, Ready for This, and Redfern Now. Awards include: 2013 Equity Ensemble Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Television or Miniseries (Mabo); 2012 Deadly Award for Actor of the Year (Mabo & The Straits); 2012 BOFA Award for Best Actor (Mabo & The Straits), and five nominations for best actor: 2014 Helpmann Awards (Shadow King); 2012 Silver Logie (Mabo); 2012 AACTA (Mabo); 2009 Helpmann Awards, best supporting actor (Yibiyung) and a 2008 WA Equity Foundation Nomination for Best Newcomer (Jandamarra).



Wayne Blair is a film and television and theatre director, writer, actor and producer. His debut feature film, The Sapphires, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. The film won 11 AACTA Awards. In 2013, Wayne directed Septembers of Shiraz (2015 Toronto International Film Festival).  Television directing credits include: Cleverman, Redfern Now (ABC TV), Lockie Leonard (Nine Network), Dead Gorgeous (BBC). Theatre directing credits include: Jesus Hopped the A-Train, Ruben Guthrie at Belvoir wrote and directed Njunjul the Sun, Kooemba Djarra Theatre Company and directed Unspoken at the Old Fitz (Best Independent Production at the Sydney Theatre Awards), The Removalists, The 7 Stages of Grieving, and Romeo and Juliet for Sydney Theatre Company; Dirty Butterfly and Walking into the Bigness, Malthouse Theatre.  Writing credits include: Bloodland Sydney Theatre Company (toured to Adelaide Festival and Queensland Theatre 2012). His short film The Djarn Djarns won the 2005 Crystal Bear, at Berlin. Wayne’s awards include: Bob Maza Fellowship, Screen Australia 2011, Andrew Myer Fellowship, Australian Film, Television and Radio School 2007, Richard Wherrett Fellowship, Sydney Theatre Company 2006. His last acting role was True West for Sydney Theatre Company in 2010 with Phillip Seymour Hoffman directing.



Margi Brown Ash is Brisbane based creator of contemporary performance and collaborative therapist/coach for artists. Writer/Performer credits: Home (La Boite Indie 2012, Diva Series Queensland Theatre 2015, BPH 2016), Eve (Metro Arts 2012, Blue Room Perth 2012, Brisbane Powerhouse 2016), winning Gold Matilda Award Body of Work 2012, Best Actor Blue Room Award, Best Play, Members Choice BRA 2012; He Dreamed a Train (Playlab LabRat 2012, Metro Arts Work in Residence 2013, BPH SWEET 2014, BPH 2016). Co-wrote/performed: Knowing of Mary Poppins (Gold Matilda Best Actor 2006); Joey Mechanical Boy Blue Room 2014; Paratrooper Project Judith Wright Centre 2015.  Performing credits: Prize Fighter La Boite/Brisbane Festival 2015; Wizard of Oz La Boite/Brisbane Festival 2013 (nom. Matilda Award Best Actor); Urban Dingoes La Boite 2004 (nom. Matilda Best Actor), Gaybies BPH 2016, The Wider Earth QTC 2016. Directors credits:  Lotus Project Playwriting Australia 2016, Coming Home QACI 2015, Hedonism’s Second Album La Boite Indie 2014, Australia Day Assistant Director QTC 2014, Mouthful of Pins BPH 2007, Gone to Earth QUT 2007, Too Much Individuality QUT 2005.  MBA’s company FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCE is Company in Residence Metro Arts.  MBA is an experienced collaborative/creative arts therapist with her company 4change coaching Metro Arts.  As a Taos Institute Associate she travels regularly to USA/Mexico facilitating collaborative workshops. Final year PhD candidate; Member Actors Equity since 1977; Winner Arts Queensland Individual Fund 2014; Queensland Cultural Champion 2014.



An award-winning playwright and director, Marcel is a founding member and the current artistic director of Melbourne-based performance company, Elbow Room. He was affiliated with Queensland Theatre, La Boite and Griffin Theatre's young writers' programs, and received a Lord Mayor's Fellowship to study in St Petersburg, Russia. ​He holds a Masters in Performance Creation from the University of Melbourne. His work has been commissioned and developed by QTC, Malthouse Theatre, Merrigong Theatre Company, Hothouse Theatre, La Boite, Griffin Theatre, Red Stit​ch Actors’ Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Artslink, and the Next Wave Festival, and published by Playlab Press. His play Fractions (QTC/HotHouse) received the Queensland Premier's Drama Award in 2010. His screen credits include an adaptation of Tim Winton's​ Cockleshell in Arenamedia's anthology The Turning​, ​directed by Tony Ayres.  Elbow Room's productions since 2008 include We Get It (Melbourne Theatre Company's NEON Festival, 2015), ​Prehistoric (Brisbane Festival 2014),​and ​After All This (Brisbane Festival 2011​). His awards include: 2012 Gold Matilda (Fractions); Best Director and Best Ensemble​ (Ind.), 2011 Green Room Awards (After All This); Best Writing, 2014 Green Room Awards, (Prehistoric). Both After All This (2011) and Prehistoric (2014)​ were awarded Best Performance at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Marcel and Daniel Evans' new work The Tragedy of King Richard III will premiere at La Boite Theatre in May 2016; Elbow Room's We Get It will be presented by the Brisbane Powerhouse in June 2016.



Christie Evangelisto is a dramaturg and producer with over a decade of experience in new play development and production. She recently served as Literary Director at Signature Theatre in New York, where she worked closely with Signature’s many Playwrights-in-Residence and dramaturged twenty-plus new plays including Kenneth Lonergan's Medieval Play, Sam Shepard’s Heartless, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Katori Hall's Our Lady of Kibeho, and Naomi Wallace's And I and Silence. Previously, Christie worked at New York's Playwrights Horizons theatre company, where she was the Director of Musical Theatre Development & Resident Dramaturg. At Playwrights, Christie oversaw the development and production of new musicals, most notably the Tony Award-winning Grey Gardens, as well as five seasons’ worth of new plays by writers including Adam Rapp, Christopher Shinn, Adam Bock, Sarah Treem, and Bruce Norris. Christie has also served as Vice President of Development for Scott Rudin Productions, Dramaturg for The Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., and as a freelance dramaturg for opera, dance, and immersive theatre. She has a BA in Dramatic Literature, Theatre History, & Cinema from New York University and earned her MFA in Dramaturgy from Yale School of Drama.


KAT HENRY Headshot

Kat Henry is a theatre director and live performance artist. A graduate of NIDA’s directing program she is undertaking her PhD in contemporary performance and live art at Monash University. Directing credits include: The Wind in the Willows, La Boite Theatre Company 2015, a sell-out production of the Sondheim musical Company in Melbourne that will tour in 2016, Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise in MTC’s NEON Festival for MKA: Theatre of New Writing where she was Executive Artist for two years. Kat is currently under commission to the Brisbane Powerhouse, creating a new musical about Bangkok. In 2014 Kat directed the acclaimed opera Mayakovsky at Carriageworks for Sydney Chamber Opera, and her Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre production of Foxfinder was nominated for 4 Green Room Awards (mainstage) including Best Director and Best Production. In 2012 Kat was invited to Berlin to undertake a residency and perform her 240-hour live art performance Deliverance. At Melbourne Theatre Company Kat was part of the 2015 Women Directors’ Program and assisted Sam Strong on The Speechmaker. For the Queensland Theatre Kat has been nominated for a Matilda Award as Best Director for her production of Orphans, directed the Young Playwrights Awards and been an assistant director to Michael Gow and Jon Halpin.



Nakkiah is a writer/actor and Gamillario/Torres Strait Islander woman. She is a co-writer/star of Black Comedy ABC and is a monthly columnist for The Australian Women’s Weekly Online. She has been an artist in residence at Griffin Theatre Company (2013) and playwright in residence at Belvoir from 2012 -­‐ 2014. In 2012, Nakkiah was the first recipient of both The Dreaming Award from The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Arts Board of the Australia Council, and the inaugural recipient of the Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright award. In 2014, Nakkiah  of the Malcolm Robertson Prize and a Green Room Award for Best Independent Production. Nakkiah’s previous works include (as playwright); This Heaven, Belvoir 2013 and Finborough Theatre 2015, I Should Have Told You Before We Made Love (That I’m Black), You Are Here Festival 2012, Stho Sthexy, MKA Melbourne 2013, Blackie Blackie Brown: The Traditional Owners of Death, Bondi Feast, Tamarama Rock Surfers 2013, Blak Cabaret Playwright, Sydney Festival/Malthouse Theatre Company 2015, As dramaturg: Sovereign Wife Melbourne Theatre Company 2013. Black Comedy Writer/Actor/Associate Producer ABC, 2014, Kill the Messenger Actor/Playwright, Belvoir 2015. Nakkiah has hosted the Radio National Awaye program and NAIDOC Evenings for ABC Local Radio, broadcast nationally. Nakkiah is a young leader in the Australian Aboriginal community and has contributed to The Guardian and Junkee. She has appeared on Q&A and The Drum on ABC.



Annette is a curator, programmer and creative producer working in international arts festivals, theatre and contemporary dance in Australia. Annette is currently Producer at Shaun Parker & Company and was previously Executive Producer of the Perth International Arts Festival (2011-2015) and Downstairs Theatre Director at Belvoir where she curated the B Sharp program (2008-2010). She has also held arts management roles with organisations including Playwriting Australia, The Seymour Centre, Theatre Kantanka, Melbourne Festival, Performance Space, Stalker and Marrugeku and Marguerite Pepper Productions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Charles Sturt University (Communication ­- Theatre and Media).



Renée is a set, costume and production designer with a background in interior design. Resident Designer at the Sydney Theatre Company from 2012-2014. Since graduating from NIDA in 2008 Renée’s design credits include: Sydney Theatre Company: Orlando, Battle of Waterloo, Perplex, The Effect, The Long Way Home, Dance Better At Parties, Mrs Warren’s Profession, The Splinter, Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness, In A Heart Beat, Actor on a Box - The Luck Child, Rough Draft #14 and #9. Costume Design: Endgame, Children of the Sun, Vere (Faith), Mariage Blanc. Associate Designer: Cyrano De Bergerac. Design Assistant: The Mysteries. Griffin Theatre Company: The Bleeding Tree, A Hoax, The Boys. Griffin Independent: The Pigeons. Bell Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet (Education). Queensland Theatre: Sacre Bleu, Fat Pig. La Boite Theatre Company: As You Like It, Ruben Guthrie, I Love You Bro. Theatre Forward: The Sneeze. New Theatre: The Herbal Bed. Sydney Young Actors Studio: The Hypochondriac, La Dispute. As Design Assistant: Token Events: Good Evening. As Part of Costume Art Department: Bell Shakespeare: Pericles. Film: Design: A Parachute Falling in Siberia (short). Art Department: The Distance Between (short). Art Department Armour: Narnia – Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Training: NIDA, Queensland College of Art.



Lucas makes theatre and performance work which has included work as an actor, director, writer, dramaturg, producer, designer and teacher.  His work with The Escapists, a multi-disciplinary collective he co-founded, has included co-writing, co-directing, producing and performing in the critically acclaimed, multi-award winning anti-romantic comedy Boy Girl Wall, producing, co-devising and performing in Elephant Gun for the World Theatre Festivals in 2011 and 2012 and co-devising and performing in the infamous Attack of the Attacking Attackers! Lucas has worked nationally and internationally as a performer in numerous roles for Bell Shakespeare, Windmill Theatre, La Boite, Queensland Theatre, the State Theatre Company of South Australia and Melbourne Theatre Company and has taught for the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (Open), University of Southern Queensland, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology. His passion however lies in the development and presentation of collaboratively devised work with an emphasis on theatricality, imagination, play, interaction and immersion. He is a recipient of the Brian Boak Bursary, a board member for Backbone Youth Arts, is the outgoing Artistic Director of the Festival of Australian Student Theatre and is currently undertaking his Masters in Cultural Leadership at the National Institute of Dramatic Art.