Further information about our Teaching Artists is available by request by Christie Sistrunk.
Areas of specialty: Solo performance, Monologue and text analysis, Improvisation, Musical theatre, Shakespeare, Vocal training.
Caitlin Beresford-Ord is an actor, writer and arts educator. A graduate from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), Caitlin has an extensive career in performance working with Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA, Queensland Theatre, Deckchair Theatre Company and His Majesty’s Theatre. She has also worked in film and television including; Red Dog, True Blue, The War That changed Us, Home and Away. Her work with Black Swan includes;Assassins, Caucasian Chalk Circle, As You Like It, The White Divers of Broome, One Destiny and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, for which she won an Equity Award for Best Supporting Actor. Caitlin works as a teaching artist for Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA and Bell Shakespeare and is a sessional lecturer at Curtin University and WAAPA.
Areas of speciality: Sound design.
Ben has worked as a freelance musician, sound designer and composer across a variety of platforms since 2003. He’s been a lecturer in sound design and audio technology at WAAPA since 2015, venue and technical manager at Prendiville College since 2016 and recently has become most interested in field recording, technical theatre design, and multi-disciplinary work. Ben has worked on short films, animations, dance works, drama and musical theatre and produced podcasts and recorded works for various platforms and is passionate about the use of technology in storytelling. He's worked predominantly for Black Swan State Theatre Company over the past decade, as well as Barking Gecko, The Last Great Hunt and Fringe productions including most recently audio work Seeking Basic Needs and Other Tales of Excess. In 2019 he was sound designer and programmer for Le Nor, a Last Great Hunt work for the Perth International Arts Festival, as well as sound designer for Mimma - A Musical of War & Friendship for Orana Productions.
Areas of speciality: Set & costume design, Monologue & text analysis, Art of directing.
Lawrie is a director of theatre and designer of sets and costume. Recent credits for Black Swan State Theatre Company are: Switzerland, Venus in Fur (director); Assassins, Lighthouse Girl (set designer); Loaded (set/costume designer). She has worked in many venues with local theatre companies such as PTC, Barking Gecko Theatre, Deckchair Theatre, Onward Productions, The Kabuki Drop, PICA, WAAPA and The Blue Room Theatre. Lawrie has credits as production designer in feature films, children’s television, documentaries and studio panel shows. Three recent works, (a feature film, feature documentary, and short film), were all screened at CinefestOz 2019. Staging and directing desert reimaginings of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth between 2009 and 2011, was a personal career highlight, working with the Tennant Creek students and community as part of a their high school initiative with Bell Shakespeare. Her Directing and Design degrees are from WAAPA.
Area of speciality: Lighting design
Chris Donnelly has been working professionally in the Australian theatre and dance sector since 2008. While he currently works as a freelance designer, he has worked for companies such as Bangarra Dance Theatre, Perth Festival, The West Australian Ballet, Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA, Steps Dance, Perth Theatre Company, Laura Boynes, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, ERTH, Strut Dance, Deckchair Theatre, theMOXYcollective, Isabella Stone, Co3 Contemporary Dance Company, Woodford Folk Festival, PRAXIS, Renegade Productions, Performing Lines, Scott Elsterman, Variegated Productions, SpoonTree Productions and many more. Chris’ shows have won awards in several countries including Australia, The United Kingdom, Hong Kong and New Zealand. Most recent works include Barking Gecko’s shows My Robot, In a Dark Dark Wood and Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories - winner of the 2016 Helpmann Award for Best Children’s Presentation, Takuto: A Ballet at the Quarry for The West Australian Ballet, Comaland and I Am My Own Wife for Black Swan State Theatre Company and Conversations with the Dead for Yirra Yaakin as well as the opening and closing events for Woodford Folk Festival 2016-2018. He is committed to developing, designing and touring; intelligent, well designed Australian live performance.
Areas of specialty: Vocal training, Comedy and improvisation, Monologue and text analysis, Musical theatre, Art of directing.
Brendan is a creative nomad. He has directed opera, musicals and plays and he is a writer, actor, singer and dancer. He is a lecturer in performance skills in the classical voice department at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. His directorial credits include for WA Opera, the 50th anniversary Opera in the Park, and the company’s ongoing schools opera programmes. For WAAPA he has directed, Cabaret Carnivale, Opera! The Opera, Angelique, Acis and Galatea, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?, Dido and Aeneas, La Serva e l’Ussero. As a performer Brendan’s recent credits include, Mimma the Musical, and Sunset for Perth festival. Assassins, I Am My Own Wife, Clinton, Next to Normal, Midsummer (a play with songs) and Arcadia, all for Black Swan State Theatre Company. The Telephone for Lost and Found, Into the Shimmer Heat for Nova Ensemble and Oklahoma! for ICW productions. For Brainbox productions he performed in Lebensraum, The Last Five Years and Grande Revue. He performed in Les Miserables for Cameron Mackintosh, Grease for Gordon Frost and Singin’ in the Rain for David Atkins Enterprises. Brendan has acted in As You Like It, The Comedy of Errors and Twelfth Night in Shakespeare in the park for deckchair theatre. He is the brains, breath and body behind the cabaret enigma Petit Mort and has played Ringmaster for La Soiree.
Areas of speciality: Physical theatre. Devising, OSP
Ella is an actor, physical performer, writer and devisor who has worked with all the major Western Australian theatre companies and is a regular collaborator and devisor on the independent scene. As a circus and physical performer she has toured nationally with her award winning show Ayers Rock Surf Lifesaving Club and Bizircus and internationally with La Fura Del Baus (Spain), Erth (NSW), Legs on the Wall (NSW), Look Right Look Left (UK) and Force Majeure (NSW). As a director she assistant directed Foece Majeure’s You Animal You for Sydney Festival and in 2019 she directed 100 Reasons For War for the Actors Hub. In 2015, her first major work ShadowBoxing was commissioned and produced by Black Swan State Theatre Company, she has had several new works commissioned since.
She teaches for Black Swan State Theatre Company, Barking Gecko, Actors Hub, WA Circus School, Bizircus, Force Majeure, ERTH, NIDA and WAAPA.
Areas of speciality: Comedy and Improvisation, Monologue & text analysis.
Chris Isaacs is a writer, devisor, performer and a founding artist of The Last Great Hunt. He has had works performed nationally and internationally. His play The Great Ridoplhi was a hit of Perth FringeWorld 2016, winning three awards, including Best New WA Script and The Martin Simms Award. Other writing credits include the multiple award winning FAG/STAG (co-written with Jeffrey Jay Fowler), award winning Old Love (Audience Development Award - Blue Room) and award winning Flood (PAWA best new play). As a co-devisor/performer Chris' work includes All That Glitters (The Last Great Hunt), Falling Through Clouds (The Last Great Hunt) and the award winning It's Dark Outside (ArtsHub Innovation Award – 2013 and Helpmann nominated) for The Last Great Hunt.
In 2012 he was a member of Griffin Theatre Company’s inaugural StoryLab group and is a graduate of The Black Swan Emerging Writer’s Program.
Areas of speciality: Solo performance, Physical theatre, Vocal training, Comedy and improvisation, Monologue & text analysis, Art of directing.
Libby Klysz is an in-demand performer, director, producer and teacher. She has lectured in universities, taught in classrooms and marked Drama WACE exams for over fifteen years. Libby works for a wide variety of companies, such as The Last Great Hunt, Perth Festival, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Barking Gecko Theatre, the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and The Blue Room Theatre. She spearheads her own theatre company Variegated Productions with multi award winning shows such as These Guys, Ramshackle & Kitsch and The Man and The Moon. She recently directed Charlotte Otton in the award winning touring show Feminah. Libby is well known for her work in improvisational theatre around the country, including as an original member of comedy The Big HOO-HAA! (and still going strong 17 years later). She also develops arts education resources for Western Australian classrooms and theatre companies.
Areas of specialty: Solo performance, Vocal training, Comedy and improvisation, Monologue and text analysis.
Polly is a dramaturg, literary advisor, actor, writer, workshop leader (voice, playwriting, acting) and university teacher (voice). She has varied experiences as a company dramaturg and is also a very active freelance dramaturg, having worked one-on-one with numerous playwrights throughout the development period of new scripts. She is the Literary Director at Black Swan State Theatre Company. She has been a professional actor for around 40 years. Additionally she has developed performance works with communities, she has directed plays, written plays, has devised and taught PAM units in playwriting for WAAPA, teaches part of a playwriting intensive program for Yirra Yaakin Theatre, has worked extensively in role play for both the mining industry and the medical profession. Her experience in, and knowledge of, the performance industry is extensive. Polly Low: MA (Creative Arts); BA (Performing Arts); Dip. T. (Drama).
Areas of speciality: Lighting Design, Art of directing.
Scott is a Perth-based playwright and director, as well as the founder of Second Chance Theatre. His recent works include Playthings, Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, Josephine!, Laika: A Staged Radio Play, Between Solar Systems, and Coincidences at the End of Time, as well as being commissioned to write and direct three short plays for Murdoch University in early 2019 and take part in Playwriting Australia’s Post-Production Program. Awards: Best Director of an Independent Production – Performing Arts WA Awards (Josephine!), Best Independent Production – Performing Arts WA Awards (Laika: A Staged Radio Play), Judge’s Choice for Excellence and Vision – Blue Room Theatre Awards (Laika: A Staged Radio Play), Member’s Choice – Blue Room Theatre Awards (Laika: A Staged Radio Play), Best Production Team – Blue Room Theatre Awards (Between Solar Systems).
Areas of speciality: Voice and vocal training.
Julia Moody has a Graduate Diploma in Voice Studies from NIDA (Sydney), a BA from Curtin University (Perth), is a fully accredited Associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework (New York), and did her actor training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School (UK). Julia has performed as an actor in Theatre, Film, TV, and Radio with companies across Australia. She has worked as a Voice trainer and Consultant in the professional media with SBS TV and Radio since 1994, and with ABC TV, Channel 10, Open Channel, Public Radio News, RTRFM, 5UV, and 6PR. She has run specially designed voice training sessions for professional speakers in all domains: the corporate arena, education, theatre and film; with politicians, legal professionals, medical professionals, sporting professionals, and many others. Julia has lectured in Voice at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (UK), the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK), the Victorian College of the Arts School of Drama, the University of Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts, and was Head of Voice in the Acting Department of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University for 21 years.
Areas of speciality: Solo performance, Physical theatre, Monologue & text analysis, Musical theatre, Art of directing.
Thomas Papathanassiou is a freelance theatre-maker, actor, director, writer and arts educator, having trained extensively in all areas of the Performing Arts at Curtin, WAAPA and VCA. Career highlights include touring his award-winning solo show Looming the Memory nationally and internationally, performing in the Australasian tour of Chicago – The Musical, in Irene - The Musical with the late Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds, and as a Lilliputian with The Giants for the 2015 Perth International Arts Festival. As an Arts Educator, Thomas has worked for numerous high schools, universities and drama schools, including designing the BPA (Performance Making) course at WAAPA and spent time in Los Angeles working on a theatre-based trauma therapy program for at-risk teenagers. More recently, he was seen playing the title role in Tony Galati the Musical and will appear in Season 2 of The Heights on the ABC.
Areas of speciality: Physical theatre, Monologue & text analysis, Solo performance.
Andrew holds a BA (First Class Hons) Acting from Lasalle College of the Arts and creates theatre between Western Australia and Singapore. As co-founder of independent company Squid Vicious, works include Cephalopod, Poorly Drawn Shark (winner, Blaz Award for New Writing 2019), Jiangshi and as director for Haresh Sharma’s godeatgod (nominated Best Independent Production, PAWA 2018). Other recent works include a line could be crossed and you would slowly cease to be (Intercultural Theatre Institute) and Unveiling (Renegade Productions), for which he was nominated for Best Actor, Independent Production, PAWA 2018. He was awarded Overland’s Fair Australia Poetry Prize 2017 and his poetry and fiction can be found in numerous publications including Westerly, Cordite, Scum Mag, Margaret River Press’ We’ll Stand in That Place, From Whispers to Roars, Suburban Review and Bosie.
Areas of speciality: Solo performance, playwriting, art of directing.
Hellie worked as an actor for a decade, having since worked extensively as a playwright, director and dramaturg, accumulating numerous production credits and awards. She won the WA Premier’s Award in 2002 and 2006 (Bench, Sardines), being short-listed another three times (Windows, Bone Dry, Anytown). She won the inaugural Maj Monologues for Billy Windlock, and was nominated for the Equity Guild Awards for Billy Windlock, Bone Dry, Anytown and Mad Fred. For ensemble ‘kompany M’ (2005-2010) her play-list included Road Train and Bone Dry. During 2013, she was invited to New York to show-case Bela Kiz, which was short-listed at Theatre 503, London in 2015. In 2016, Dreaming Hill was AWGIE nominated, and Project Xan was staged at PICA. Hellie was artist-in-residence at BSSTCo 2015-2016, culminating in a sold-out production and tour of The Lighthouse Girl during 2017/ 2018. Her newest play, The Parade, is currently in pre-production in the UK. She is one of the UNSUNG HEROES playwrights for the BSSTCo 2020 Program.