Born: Established: 21 Sep 1950 Tully Tully area Cardwell - Tully - Innisfail area Ingham - Cairns area Queensland ;
Janis Balodis was born in Australia of Latvian parents. He grew up in the 50s and 60s in Tully and was interested in the theatre from a very young age, first acting then becoming interested in directing. He trained at Townsville Teachers College (1968-1970), worked as a Primary School Teacher in 1971-72 and in 1974 was employed as Assistant Stage Manager of the Queensland Theatre Company. He trained as an actor and continued as a director at the E15 Acting School, London, from 1976-1979. Writing evolved out of his interest in both activities.
He became a freelance writer in 1979 and a writer/director from 1994. The Ghosts Trilogy (1997) was produced by three state theatre companies within a short space of time. Balodis has also written plays for radio and television. These include the screenplay Backyard, the television play A Step in the Right Direction (1981), scripts for the television series Menotti (One Way Conversation) 1980 and 1981), MPSIB, Go Health and the stage play My Father's Father (1996). He has also written opera libretti - The Mercenary, Chiaroscuro.
Balodis has directed (MTC) God's Best Country, The Road to Mecca, Moon for the Misbegotten, Mad Forest, Morning Sacrifice, The Girl Who Saw Everything, A Month of Sundays, Wednesday to Come, Shadowlands, The Elocution of Benjamin Franklin, (NORPA) Too Young for Ghosts. He also served as : Script Assessor at the Australian Film Commission (1985), Associate Director and Literary Manager, Melbourne Theatre Co (1987-1993), Member of Literature Board of Australia Council (1989-1992), Chair of the Australian National Playwrights' Centre (1989-1991), Dramaturg Queensland Theatre Co (1995), Artistic Associate Queensland Theatre Co (1996), Member of theTheatre Fund of Australia Council (1998- ).
In 2003, as a lecturer in Scriptwriting, Balodis received a grant of almost $16,000 from the Australia Council's Theatre Board to develop a project titled The Flood, engaging writers, musicians, artists and scientists from Southern Cross University, New South Wales.