Teaching Artists

Meet our Teaching Artists

Black Swan engages a number of teaching artists across the state to provide creative learning opportunities for schools, corporations, and community.

The areas of specialty they work in include:

  • Movement
  • Directing
  • Devising
  • Solo Performance
  • Monologues
  • Scene Study
  • Design

Teaching Artist Profiles

  • Andrew Hale - Movement, Directing, Devising, and Solo Performance
    Andrew Hale

    Andrew is an award-winning actor/director/writer. He studied in Paris under the renowned theatrical genius, Jacques Lecoq. His theatre highlights include playing Iago opposite Tom E Lewis in Othello, Biff in Death of a Salesman, Ot in Rusty Bugles, and Jamie in Long Days Journey Into Night for which he won an Equity Guild Award. the boat goes over the mountain, his one-man show recounting nine Ayahuasca ceremonies won both Best Performance and Best Production at the Blue Room Theatre Awards. His film and TV work includes The Furnace, The Heights, Great Mint Swindle and Sharknet. Andrew has written five plays including an adaptation of Patrick White’s The Cockatoos, and Tracy Farr’s The Hope Fault which he also Directed for WAAPA. He has a BA in Screenwriting from the Screen Academy @ECU and wrote the ATOM Award winning short Stripped.

  • Andrew Sutherland - 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.

  • Ben Collins - 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.

  • Caitlin Beresford-Ord -Solo performance, Improvisation, Musical theatre, Shakespeare, Vocal training
    Caitlin Beresford - Ord

    Caitlin 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.

  • Lawrie Cullen-Tait - Set & costume design, Monologue & text analysis, Art of directing.
    Lawrie Cullen-Tait

    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.

  • Brendan Hanson - Vocal training, Comedy & improvisation, Monologues, Musical theatre, Directing.
    Brendan Hanson

    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.

  • Ella Hetherington - Physical theatre, Devising, Solo Performance.
    Ella Hetherington

    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.

  • Chris Isaacs - Writing, Comedy & Improvisation, Monologue & text analysis
    Chris Isaacs

    Chris 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), Old Love (Audience Development Award - Blue Room) and 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 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.

  • Libby Klysz - Solo performance, Physical theatre, Vocal training, Comedy & improvisation, Directing.
    Libby Klysz

    Libby 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 the comedy troupe - The Big HOO-HAA! (and still going strong 17 years later). She also develops arts education resources for Western Australian classrooms and theatre companies.

  • Polly Low - Playwriting, Dramaturgy, Solo Performance, Monologue & text analysis
    Polly Low

    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).

  • Scott McArdle - Lighting Design, Art of directing.
    Scott McArdle

    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).

  • Julia Moody - Voice and vocal training.
    Julia Moody

    Julia 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.

  • Charlotte Otton - Comedy and improvisation, Monologue and text analysis, Solo performance.
    Charlotte Otton

    Charlotte is a multidisciplinary artist who studied improvisation in Chicago and New York (iO and Second City) and is a current ensemble member of The Big Hoo Haa. Since graduating from WAAPA in 2017, Charlotte has undertaken a residency with Fremantle Arts Centre, a six-month internship with Perth Festival and worked on productions and developments with PVI Collective, PICA, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, WASO, The Blue Room Theatre, Rorschach Beast and Renegade Productions. Charlotte’s work Let me finish. (writer/performer) saw a three-week sold-out season in 2018, a return Fringeworld 2019 season and garnered both Judges Choice and Members Choice at The Blue Room awards, as well as a PAWA nomination for Best Independent Production. Her solo work Feminah debuted at Fringeworld 2019 and toured to both Sydney Fringe and Melbourne Fringe. Feminah has won three Fringe touring awards; Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand (2020), the ECU Performing Arts Award and a nomination for Best Theatre (Melbourne) and the Martin Sims Award (Perth). Charlotte's latest main stage credit was a lead role in The Last Great Hunt's Perpetual Wake for their 2019 season.

  • Thomas Papathanassiou: Playwriting, Solo Performance, Physical & Musical theatre, Art of directing
    Thomas Papathanassiou

    Thomas 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.

  • Hellie Turner: Playwriting, Solo Performance, Art of directing.
    Hellie Turner

    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.

  • Dr Teresa Izzard: Theatre movement dramaturgy, creative producing and directing.
    Dr Teressa Izzard

    Teresa has trained with Mary Overlie in Viewpoints and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company in Viewpoints, Suzuki and Composition. An accredited Laban/Bartenieff Certified Movement Analyst (LIMS ’07), and Dynamic Embodiment Practitioner (’15) she has experience as Head of Movement at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts and Theatre Arts lecturer at Curtin University. Her movement practice is cross-pedagogical and combines Laban/Bartenieff, Somatics and Viewpoints.

    As an international convenor of the Labanarium and a Registered Somatic Movement Educator with ISMETA, Teresa has run numerous masterclasses internationally, including the Labanarium and Shapes in Motion in the UK and at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies in New York.

    Teresa has directed and produced, The Yellow Wallpaper (adapted with Silvia Lehmann) which received critical acclaim and was nominated for an Equity Award for Best New Play in 2013. In 2015 she founded Feet First Collective, bringing together emerging and experienced artists in productions of Frankenstein Fremantle Festival, 2016, Machinal Fringe World 2019, and the WA premiere of Sarah Grochala’s S-S7 Fremantle Festival which also premiered at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020.

    Feet First will be in residence in early 2020 at the Fremantle Arts Centre to develop a new immersive work called Monstrous Eyes.

    A proud member of the inaugural Australian Directors Lab, Teresa continually mentors emerging artists. Her commitment to arts education goes back to her time at the Young Vic Youth Theatre and the Youth and Education Unit at the Royal National Theatre in the UK.

  • Fiona Bruce: Set and Costume Design
    Fiona Bruce reduced

    Fiona is in demand as a theatrical designer. In 2021 she will be designing set and costume for Black Swan State Theatre Company’s production of Animal Farm.

    Previous design credits for Black Swan State Theatre Company include Water (2018),The Seagull (2014), Dust (2014), Midsummer [A Play with Songs] (2013), Shrine (costume 2013), Shakespeare Shenanigans (2013), Boy Gets Girl (2012), Yellow Moon (2010) and The Shape of Things (2010). In 2017 Fiona was part of Melbourne Theatre Company’s Women in Theatre Program and the National Gallery of Victoria’s 2017 Art and Design Triennial exhibition design team.

    She has also collaborated on several independent theatre productions and has won two Performing Arts WA Awards for set design. Fiona has a M. Communication Design (RMIT), and B.Arts from WAAPA and Curtin University.

  • Sam Longley: Improvisation, Comedy, Devising.
    Sam Longley

    Sam has been working as an actor, comedian, writer and director since the late nineties. He recently appeared in Black Swan State Theatre Company’s The Cherry Orchard.

    Some of his career highlights include 10 years performing Shakespeare In The Park, Hoods for Barking Gecko Theatre, The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer US/Japan/ Turkey/ Canada/ Rio tours, Horse Head national tour, The Torrents and A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA, Stones for Barking Gecko Theatre, Not Like Beckett for Deck Chair Theatre, Bindjareb Pinjarra Australian tour and Tony Galati: The Musical at this year’s Fringe Festival. Sam has performed in the feature films Jasper Jones, Three Summers, H is For Happiness and Where The Wild Things Are. Sam has written plays, hosted TV shows and is the creator of the improv comedy show The Big Hoo-Haa, that is now in its seventeenth year.

  • Humphrey Bower: Playwriting, Solo Performance, Monologue & text analysis, Art of directing.
    Humphrey Bower

    Humphrey is an actor, writer, director, dramaturg and teacher based in Perth. He has worked in theatre, dance and puppetry and contemporary performance with companies and artists across Australia.

    He was a founding member of Melbourne collective Whistling in the Theatre in the 1980s and Perth independent company Last Seen Imagining from 2001 to 2007, and was Artistic Director of Night Train Productions from 2007 to 2015. He is currently a sessional teacher in acting at WAAPA.

    Recent performance credits include: The Apparatus (The Blue Room, 2019); Sunset (Maxine Doyle, STRUT/Perth Festival, 2019), Hiro (Sam Chester, Blue Room, 2018); Coma Land (Black Swan, Studio Underground); Overexposed (Danielle Micich, State Theatre Centre WA); Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Black Swan, Heather Ledger Theatre); Jasper Jones (Barking Gecko, Studio Underground); Wish (Night Train/PTC, Studio Underground); Asterion (Proximity, PICA); Tales from Outer Suburbia (Spare Parts).

  • Della Rae Morrison: Acting, monologues, Nyoongar Language, choral singing.
    Della Rae Morrison

    Della is a Bibbulmun woman of the Nyoongar Nation of the South West of WA. With an extensive 30 year career in the performing arts, Della first appeared onstage in Jimmy Chi's acclaimed Aboriginal musical Bran Nue Dae in 1989.

    Stage credits include - Jimmy & Pat Meet the Queen, Red Alert and Bratwurst & Damper. Deckchair Theatre Company, An Oak Tree, Perth Theatre Company, Fifty Shades of Black, Yorga Waabiny. Banned Mudskipper Productions, The Season, Tasmanian Performs, Headspace, Shakespeare Sonnets in Nyoongar and Yirra Yaakin’s Perth Festival production of Hecate in 2020.

    Television credits include – Mrs Egg, in the Australian Television Series Lockie Leonard.

    Della is the Music Director for the Madjitil Moorna Choir and ensemble Dealla’s Mob. Festival Director for the Makuru Arts Festival, Co-Producer of The Chocolate Martini on NITV, Co-Director of The South West Aboriginal Entertainment (SWAE), and Co-Founder Western Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (WANFA).

    Awards include – WAMI Award Winner (Song of the Year – World Music) Ngank Boodjah, NAIDOC Winner 'Artist of the Year' 2007, NAIDOC Winner for 'Business of the Year' 2007 and was nominated for Nominated Best Actor in an Independent Production (Female) “Banned” Performing Arts WA Awards 2018.

  • Jo Morris: Monologue and text analysis, Vocal training, Art of directing.
    Jo Morris

    Jo is a performer and theatre maker, and most recently appeared in The Last Great Hunt's production of Lé Nør [The Rain] for Perth Festival, which was nominated for a 2019 Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work, and Best Scenic Design. She has performed with companies such as Black Swan, Barking Gecko, and Griffin Independent, and won multiple awards including the 2014 Blue Room Awards for Best Production and Member’s Choice, the 2015 PAWA Award for Best Actress and the 2016 PAWA Award for Best Independent Production, and was the recipient of the Fringe World 2017 ECU Performing Arts Award for her work as a performer in Price Tag, The Book of Life and Alone Outside.

  • Michelle Hall: Solo Performance, Physical theatre, Comedy & improvisation, Art of directing.
    Michelle Hall

    Michelle from 2003-2011 lead ensemble theatre workshops as a director for Oxford Youth Theatre. Her devising and directing projects include Walking on Eggshells (Children in Need UK), Scarlet Ribbons Intergenerational Loneliness Project (Oxfordshire Touring Theatre), The Lorax (Oxford Contemporary Youth Dance), The Land That Disappeared (Peepolykus), Journeys To Freedom (Black Umfolosi), Street Theatre Weeks (Electric Cabaret), Winter of Discontent (National Youth Theatre Festival, UK) and King Lear (Pegasus Young Company).

    Michelle works with movement, music, image, verbatim and written text in a live choreographic theatre. Michelle’s vision is to bring to life our stories in a magic realism, steeped in epic myth and everyday ritual. Michelle is currently training with Giovanni Fusetti (Italy) in the forms of Grotesque, Bouffon and red nose clown. Michelle is interested in Embodied Comic Poetry and Politics of the Fool as a way of priming audiences for playful debate and social change.