Poppy Seed Festival is a new, vibrant, boutique festival of theatre that captured the imagination of Melbournians in its début season, in November and December of 2015.
Born out of Melbourne’s thriving theatrical landscape, Poppy Seed presents a unique proposition to theatre makers. Artists, individuals and companies submit their proposal for a theatrical production. We’re open to any style and content – we’re simply looking for the most outstanding, viable work. Four projects are selected by a panel of leading industry professionals and programmed into a festival.
These four projects receive a theatre for their performance season, courtesy of Poppy Seed Festival, as well as financial, logistical, artistic and marketing support. Successful applicants form part of a de-facto festival Ensemble – which supports the creation and delivery of all participating shows.
Through coordinated and collaborative marketing strategies the Ensemble will promote the entire program as well as each individual production. The Ensemble will also have the opportunity to share resources and problem solve together, via regular production meetings.
Applications for the 2017 Poppy Seed Theatre Festival will be open 24 April - 20 May. The festival takes place from 1 November (we preview 31 October) to 9 December. We will be hosting two information sessions regarding the festival and application process - one in April and one in May (details below). We will also be announcing our festival venues imminently and are extremely excited by some changes we have made to Poppy Seed...
To be kept up to date with our upcoming announcements please subscribe to our mailing list. If you're interested in participating in the Poppy Seed Theatre Festival we highly recommend attending one of our upcoming Information Sessions, held at the Arts Centre Melbourne in The Channel room (100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, 3004).
Information Session 1: Friday 21st April 7-9:00pm
Information Session 2: Saturday 6th May 1:30-3:30pm
We want to be the last collective push that sets your idea or project in motion. We are fully inclusive and want to hear stories that reflect the diverse societies that comprise Australia and the world we live in. We are interested in all theatrical forms (ie plays, musicals, cabaret, storytelling) and in supporting emerging and mid-career artists. Please note, remounts of pre-existing productions will not be considered for selection without significant artistic reasoning. We support independent theatre makers and the independent theatre sector, we are here to support you in the creation of your art, and in building and sustaining a career.
Please note: Applicants must be a minimum of 18 years of age.
Philip moved to Australia in 2008. Philip is a career actor who has performed on the West End, in national tours, in feature films and in prominent television shows both in the UK and Australia. Outside of acting, Philip has founded a theatre company, a comedy event and more recently co-founded the Howard Fine Acting Studio Australia which has quickly become recognised as one of the nation’s leading actor training institutions.
Scott has worked extensively in television, theatre and film around the world for the last 27 years. He is a writer, actor, director and producer. Some of his regular television roles include, Heartbreak High, Wildside, Neighbours, Always Greener and Late for School. Film credits include: Envy, He died with a Falafel in his hand and The Heartbreak Kid. He founded Bathroom Floor Productions in 2004 and his recent theatre work includes All this Intimacy, Both Sides of the Bar, The Fellatio Monologues, Death in a box: one pussy’s tale, The Subtle Art of Flirting and Closer.
Emma is delighted to bring her mix of arts and governance experience to the Poppy Seed Festival. She has enjoyed leading a double life working for the Australian and UK governments and as an actor and producer. As an actor, Emma has worked in Australia, Ireland, the UK and Jordan. Her film and television highlights include Speed Dating (Buena Vista Films), The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall, Casualty (BBC), Doctors (BBC), and for stage, the cult West End hit: Saucy Jack & the Space Vixens. Emma’s career highlights for the government include The Victorian Bushfire’s Royal Commission and most recently The Royal Commission into Family Violence.
Siobhan works in the arts as a performer, producer and event organiser. Since moving from New Zealand to Australia in 2011 Siobhan has co-founded two theatre companies and been cast in multiple theatre and film productions. Outside of performing and producing, Siobhan has invested time creating and managing live music events and performance based charity fund-raisers. Siobhan continues to develop and produce local theatre and is proud to be a part of the Poppy Seed team.
Catherine graduated with distinction from Deakin University’s drama program in 2011, and as part of her studies, had the privilege of completing an exclusive three-month industry internship at Red Stitch Actors Theatre. After graduating from Deakin, Catherine began working at the Howard Fine Acting Studio, eventually joining the team full-time in 2012 in the role of Communications and Marketing Manager, liaising with students, staff and managing The Studio's social media channels. Catherine is excited to bring her passion for the arts to the Poppy Seed Theatre Festival.
Anisha Senaratne is a passionate advocate for the arts. She is currently working with Live Performance Australia overseeing marketing activities for the organisation as well as the 2016 Helpmann Awards. Anisha has performed with various independent musical theatre companies in Melbourne and continues to explore her passion for acting and singing whenever she can. As a firm believer in start-up culture, grass-roots movements and all things creative, Anisha can not wait to get stuck in behind the scenes of this year’s instalment of the Poppy Seed Festival
One of Australia’s most respected actors, Nadine Garner’s career has spanned film, television and theatre for more than 25 years.
Nadine most recently starred opposite Craig McLachlan in The Doctor Blake Mysteries for the ABC.
Founding Festival Director 2014-mid 2016, Sonya’s theatre credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Arcadia, The Vagina Monologues, Rappaccini's Daughter, One for the Road, In the Family, The Pajama Game, Don Giovanni and Madame Butterfly. With both Complete Works Theatre Company and Essential Theatre, she’s toured Shakespeare into schools and wineries across Australia and NZ. Her screen credits include Wil, Knowing, My Year Without Sex and The Last Ride (feature films) and Ocean Girl, Wicked Science, Rush, Very Small Business, East West 101, Prank Patrol, Lowdown, Winners & Losers, It's A Date and Legally Brown (TV). From 2008-12, Sonya was the General Manager of Red Stitch; in 2013, she commenced as the Artistic Coordinator at the Monash Academy of Performing Arts and founded independent theatre company, Watch This, producing and performing Assassins (2013-4), Pacific Overtures (2014), Company (2015-6), to abundant critical acclaim and a total of 12 Green Room Award nominations/ 1 win! Also in 2015, she performed in Elbow Room’s sell-out smash We Get It (MTC Neon Festival) which went on to tour Brisbane at the Powerhouse the following year; realised the inaugural Poppy Seed Festival alongside the core artistic team; and most importantly, delivered her daughter Naiya, who together with Daniel remain her all-time favourite productions.
Bert is one of Australia’s leading men of Stage and Screen. Throughout his career, Bert has worked with principal Australian theatre companies including MTC, STC and Bell Shakespeare. Known for a variety of shows across the country including Birdland, Timeshare, The Good Person of Szechwan, Let’s Get It On, When I Fall in Love- The Nat King Cole Story, The Mountaintop (Green Room Award Nominee) and original cast member of Rupert (MTC and Washington US Tour).
Other theatre credits include, Theramene in Bell Shakespeare’s Phedre Elling, Clybourne Park, Next to Normal, A Behanding in Spokane, Richard III, The Hypocrite, Don Juan in Soho, Madwoman of Chaillo, Tom Foolery, and A Female of the Species, for MTC. The Grenade- STC25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (nomination for Helpmann Award) MTC/STC, Much Ado About Nothingand A Midsummer Night’s Dreamfor Essential Theatre..
Musical theatre include production of An Officer and a Gentleman (Helpmann Award Winner), Chess, Kismet, Grey Gardens, Pippin,, Full Monty, Jesus Christ Superstar, Showboat and Guys and Dolls.
Film credits include Animal Kingdom, Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Rats and Cats, Evil Never Dies, Salem’s Lot, The Cook and The Pugilist at Rest!
Television credits include Winner’s and Losers, Upper Middle Bogan, SeaPatrol IV, Wilfred II, Lowdown, Neighbours, Good Guys Bad Guys, Blue Heelers, Simone De Beauvoir’s Babies, Backberner, Flipper, City Homicide, Bogan Pride.
Emma is a multi disciplined theatre artist and the co artistic director and founder of THE RABBLE. THE RABBLE has received multiple commendations and Green Room nominations, including winning a Green Room Award for Design Integration on Special and have also been Company in Residence at Melbourne Writers’ Festival and Malthouse Theatre in 2014.Emma’s recent directing, lighting design and creation credits include: Cain and Abel (THE RABBLE: Belvoir St Theatre), Frankenstein (THE RABBLE: Malthouse), Room of Regret (MIAF, Theatre Works, THE RABBLE), Story of O (Neon Festival, MTC, THE RABBLE) Orlando (THE RABBLE MIAF, Helium Program – Malthouse, Brisbane International Arts Festival), Special (Carlton Courthouse THE RABBLE), The Bedroom Project (Linden Gallery THE RABBLE) Cageling (CarriageWorks – Fortyfivedownstairs – THE RABBLE), Salome: In Cogito (THE RABBLE, CarriageWorks).
Emma has lectured for Monash University, Box Hill TAFE, National Theatre Drama School, Melbourne Writer’s Festival, Writers Victoria, VCA, Melbourne University, Swinburne University, Melbourne Emerging Writers’ Festival and Box Hill TAFE. Emma is currently employed by Ramus Illumination as a design associate on several large scale lighting installations, projection works and interactive art works.
Eugyeene is a costume and set designer, with credits at companies including MTC, Malthouse Theatre and Sydeny Chamber Opera. Eugyeene recently designed costumes for MTC’s Endgame and set and costumes for Malthouse Theatre’s Meme Girls and A Social Service. As a key artist for Little Ones Theatre, he has designed Dracula, Dangerous Liaisons for MTC’s NEON season, Psycho Beach Party , Salome for Malthouse Helium Season and The House of Yes. As the resident artist at MKA in 2012, he designed the set and costumes for sex.violence.blood.gore, The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe’ and Triangle. Other recent credits include Melbourne Festival’s The Trouble with Harry, Palace of the End and Watch This Production’s Pacific Overtures. With director Adena Jacobs, he designed Elektra, Cleansed and Sydney Chamber Opera’s Exil. With director Samara Hersch, he designed costumes for Next Wave’s Hello There, We’ve been Waiting for You and set and costumes for House, NOA and short film SUPER, selected for the 2014 Other Film Festival. With Natalie Cursio, he designed Blizzard and Private Dances. For the 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival, he designed sculptures for the Shelter: On Kindness exhibition with LAB Architecture. Last year, Eugyeene undertook the placement in the Besen Family Artist Program at the Malthouse Theatre. He has been nominated for three Green Room Awards for Triangle, The Trouble with Harry and Pacific Overtures .
Kat Henry is a contemporary theatre director and performance artist with a diverse portfolio working around Australia and internationally across the mediums of text based plays, opera, musicals, rock concerts, physical theatre performance, multimedia performance, live art and other hybrid works.
Kat is on the Queensland Theatre Company’s National Artistic Team, and is based in Melbourne. She has directed for numerous companies including the Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, La Boite Theatre Company, Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, and NIDA. In 2015 she was part of the Melbourne Theatre Company’s Women Directors’ Program and in 2016 is in the MTC’s Women in Theatre Program. From 2013 – 2015 Kat was Executive Artist at MKA: Theatre of New Writing.
From 2008 to 2012 Kat was associated with the Queensland Theatre Company for whom she was nominated for the Matilda Award as Best Director and has been Resident Director in their GreenHouse program. She has worked as an assistant director at the Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre Company.
Kat is a graduate of NIDA (Postgraduate Directing), is currently studying her PhD in contemporary performance at Monash University, has a B.A. (Religion) with First Class Honours (Phenomenology and Live Art Performance), an Adv. Dip. of Arts (Acting), and has studied Shakespeare at LAMDA (London Academy of Dramatic Art).
Rinske Ginsberg has over 30 years experience as a teacher, performer, devisor, dramaturge and artistic consultant. She is Lecturer in Movement in Theatre at the Faculty of VCA, and regularly mentors artists across a range of art forms. Her skills and expertise include the development of a physical/kinaesthetic grammar, physical storytelling, Pilates, circus skills, and devising theatre through various stylistic frames. She has just stepped down as Chair of Melbourne Fringe, sits on the Green Room Awards Independent Theatre panel and acts as an advisor to Arts Victoria. Rinske is committed to supporting the development of new work and is continuing to research and develop her own pedagogical practice in actor training.
As Artistic Director of The Butterfly Club, Alexander produces 50 shows for 50 weeks of the year while completing his BA/BMus at the Australian Catholic University. Xander begun working at The Butterfly Club as a casual bartender in 2006, and rose through the ranks until his promotion to venue manager in 2011. Thanks to his keen eye for talent and relatable attitude, The Butterfly Club continues to enjoy a program of hundreds of artists every year.
Xander is responsible for programming, operations, venue staff, ticketing, and compliance.
In 2012, Jerry relocated from Amsterdam to Melbourne, where he is currently employed as Programmer, Performing Arts for Arts Centre Melbourne. What has always inspired his career is to be as creative, authentic and dedicated in his managerial work as he sees artists be in their artistic work. Jerry thoroughly enjoys combining management, finance, marketing and artistic content to realize ambitious ideas, and to bring with the resulting products awe, enjoyment, thought and debate to audiences. Jerry became an executive producer in 1999 and worked for European dance companies including Anoukvandijk dc. Jerry became experienced in the international performing arts field when he began managing the Theatre Institute of the Netherlands as well as curating the Dutch Dance Festival.
Emily Tomlins is a performer, theatre-maker and is co-founder of Elbow Room, a contemporary performance ensemble based in Melbourne. Her theatre credits include After All This, As We Mean To Go On, Rule of Three, a tiny chorus, There (Elbow Room), The Temptation of St Anthony (Four Larks), The Plague Dances (Four Larks/Malthouse), Edward Gant’s Amazing Feats of Loneliness (Sydney Theatre Company/La Boite), Julius Caesar, Operator, Crèche and Burn, Urban Dingoes (La Boite), Hamlet (Queensland Theatre Company/South Australian State Theatre Company), Puss in Boots, The Woman Before, Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset, Far Away (Queensland Theatre Company), Actors at Work 2008 (Bell Shakespeare), The Greater Plague (Restaged Histories Project), Voices (Queensland Arts Council Tour), Harriers (Front Theatre).
Fleur is a playwright, director and arts commentator. She holds a postgraduate diploma of directing and a Masters in Performance Writing from the Victorian College of the Arts. She is the Artistic Director of the Monash Academy of Performing Arts and a well-respected arts commentator on School For Birds and 3RRR’s Smart Arts. Fleur is the 2016 winner of the Jill Blewett Award, 2015 winner of the Melbourne Fringe’s Emerging Playwright Award and winner of SASTC’s Young Playwright award many years ago when she was still a ‘young playwright’. Recent plays include Blessed, The City They Burned, Insomnia Cat Came to Stay and Yours the Face.
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