Rankin spent the first 16 years of his life on his family's boat which was moored on Sydney's Rozelle Bay. After leaving school he spent a year at the Sydney College of the Arts before moving to Tasmania where he began work on an unemployment project at Burnie. He started writing plays about local issues such as the downgrading of the Burnie pulp mill and the effect unemployment had on the town. Rankin has become known for his work in comedy, mainstream theatre, experimental community based projects, film and television. His work has been included in Tasmania, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Edinburgh Festivals and his plays have set box office records. Rankin has also provided expertise in community cultural development, project design, writing, directing and editing
Rankin divides his time between writing for commercial productions and working with non-profit organisations (such as BIG hART) which seek to promote social change through artistic collaboration within communities. In 1992 Scott Rankin and John Bakes established BIG hART Inc and since then Rankin has initiated, mentored and/or created over 20 productions for BIG hART - working primarily with disadvantaged people in regional, rural and isolated areas of Australia.Source: Jane Albert, 'The Rankin File', The Weekend Australian 1-2 February 2003: R16-17; Regional Arts NSW website, http://www.regionalartsnsw.com.au (Sighted: 28/03/2007)
'After studying at NAISDA, Waangenga was invited to join Bangarra in 2005. His highlights include the company's return to Meriam Mer in the Torres Strait Islands to perform Emeret Lu by the ocean and also dancing on the football field in Yirrkala for the community.
'In 2012, Waangenga was nominated for a Helpmann Award and Greenroom Award for Male Dancer of the Year. He won an Australian Dance Award and Green Room Award for his performance in 2014’s Patyegarang. In 2015 he made his choreographic debut with I.B.I.S as part of the lore program and appeared in the film Spear.' (Source : Bangarra website)
‘Bangarra is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation and one of Australia’s leading performing arts companies, widely acclaimed nationally and around the world for our powerful dancing, distinctive theatrical voice and utterly unique soundscapes, music and design.
Led by Artistic Director Stephen Page, we are currently in our 30th year but our dance technique is forged from over 65,000 years of culture, embodied with contemporary movement. The company’s dancers are professionally trained, dynamic artists who represent the pinnacle of Australian dance. Each has a proud Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander background, from various locations across the country.
Bangarra was birthed in 1989 from the energy of NAISDA (National Aboriginal Islander Skills Development Association) founder Carole J Johnson, along with NAISDA graduates, and Rob Bryant and Cheryl Stone. That spark continues to animate the company today.
Our relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are the heart of Bangarra, with our repertoire created on Country and stories gathered from respected community Elders.
It’s this inherent connection to our land and people that makes Bangarra unique and enjoyed by audiences from remote Australian regional centres to New York.
Bangarra’s annual program includes a national tour of a world premiere work, performed in Australia’s most iconic venues; a regional tour allowing audiences outside of capital cities the opportunity to experience Bangarra, and an international tour to maintain our global reputation for excellence.
Complementing this touring roster are education programs, workshops and special performances and projects, planting the seeds for the next generation of performers and storytellers.
Authentic storytelling, outstanding technique and deeply moving performances are Bangarra’s unique signature.’
Source: https://www.bangarra.com.au/about/company/ (Sighted 15/10/2019)
Nigel Jamieson was born at in Sevenoaks, Kent. Due to his father's naval career, Jamieson had several bases during his childhood years including Gibraltar, Malta and Portsmouth in the United Kingdom. In London, Jamieson founded Trickster Theatre Company and established two arts festvials: the London International Workshop Festival and the London New Circus Festival.
Between 1989 and 1994, Jamieson travelled between Australia and the UK before settling in Australia. He has created several major outdoor spectaculars including the Tin Symphony section of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
Major source: Elisssa Blake, 'Theatre of War', Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum (19-20 July 2008):8.
Elaine Acworth studied at London's East 15 Acting School for several years, and subsequently worked for several small-scale theatre companies including Loose Change, whose brief was the exclusive production of new writing. Beginning as an actor with the ensemble, Acworth later attended directing workshops, and eventually turned to writing.
Acworth's first play, Torched, was produced by Finborough Theatre, London, in 1990. Returning to Australia the following year, Acworth became involved with the Queensland Theatre Company's (QTC) New Writing Programme, one result of this being her play Composing Venus. Commissioned by QTC and the Australia Council, the play won the 1993 George Landen Dann Award. Also in 1993, Acworth had her third work, Bod, a play set in Tibet, workshopped at the National Playwrights' Conference.
In 2018, Elaine Acworth received one of four Q ANZAC 100: Memories for a New Generation Fellowships at the Queensland Memory Awards, for 'Put Out into the Deep'.
‘Marrugeku began with the project Mimi which was commissioned by the Festival of Perth to premiere in 1996. The production was made in Gunbalanya, Western Arnhem Land and based on the stories of Kunwinjku painter and storyman Thompson Yulidjirri and the Karrparra song cycle of Kunwinjku songman Bruce Nabegeyo. Mimi was developed from an original concept by Kamilaroi/Mandandanji choreographer Michael Leslie in collaboration with Stalker Theatre, then known worldwide for acrobatic dancing on stilts. Mimi was like nothing that had been seen before and created a sensation in Australia and worldwide. The production was co-devised by Kunwinjku storytellers, musicians and dancers, the West Australian Aboriginal dancers Michael brought to the project and physical theatre performers from Stalker Theatre. Mimi was directed by Rachael Swain who founded Marrugeku with Michael Leslie in 1994. Marrugeku was created as a result of the project Mimi and was therefore co-founded by a large group of artists from diverse backgrounds.
Marrugeku (currently written in a more recent orthography as marrkidjbu) is a Kunwinjku language word which is explained as ‘clever men’. A clever man can be described as a medicine man with supernatural powers who can communicate with ancestors and the spirit world. The name was given to the Company by Kunwinjku traditional owner Jacob Nayinggul on whose country we created our first works. Marrugeku has pioneered contemporary, process-driven, intercultural performance practice and its exposure in national and international arts festivals has had a significant impact on raising awareness of Indigenous culture.
Marrugeku’s performances have taken it in 4WD’s, barges and small planes throughout remote communities and led to ‘live by satellite’ performances beamed from Uluru’s Mutitjulu community to millions around the world during the Millennium celebrations. The Company’s international tours have resulted in seasons as far flung as Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Brazil, the Philippines and New Caledonia reaching out and touching audiences with a scope that is perhaps unparalleled in Australia.
Marrugeku’s artistic vision is driven by its co-artistic directors Rachael Swain and Dalisa Pigram in consultation with the community. Rachael Swain is a director, dramaturge and dance researcher. As a founding member of Marrugeku, she has facilitated and directed the Company’s productions and pioneered Marrugeku’s innovative combination of contemporary arts practices with intercultural processes and community consultation. In 2009 Marrugeku appointed Broome-based dancer and co-founding company member Dalisa Pigram to the position of co-artistic director alongside Rachael. Dalisa has a deeply-held commitment to contemporary forms of Indigenous dance and theatre which grow from authentic engagement with community. Her work explores the many facets of Indigenous Australian life and incorporates Yawuru language, dance, theatre, gymnastics and aerial acrobatics. She is a dancer and choreographer and a Yawuru language teacher. Dalisa and Rachael work directly with Yawuru lawman (Senator) Patrick Dodson who is the Company’s primary cultural consultant.’
Source: https://www.marrugeku.com.au/history/ (Sighted 15/10/2019)
After studying theatre in Melbourne, where he had several shows produced at La Mama, Stephen Carleton moved to Darwin where he worked as an ensemble actor with Darwin Theatre Company (1995-1999). In 1997 he formed Knock-em-Down Theatre in Darwin.
He completed a Masters in Creative Writing from The University of Queensland and a Ph.D. that explored representations of the Australian deep north in contemporary theatre history.
Stephen's play, Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset, a finalist in the 2004 Queensland Premier's Drama Award, examines the impact of European settlement in Far North Queensland's frontier country, and its legacy.
Jessica Bellamy is a playwright. She has trained at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, and the Centre for Cultural Partnerships.
Jessica has worked with a variety of theatre companies, and also conducts drama writing workshops in schools and community organisations in Australia and internationally.
In 2019, she was a guest speaker at the Melbourne Jewish Book Week.
Dramatist, writer, screenwriter, critic.
The winner of numerous awards during his career, Andrew Bovell has utilised a variety of styles and contexts, as well as performance venues, since he began writing professionally in the late 1980s. His works also largely concerned with social and political issues. He has written extensively for film, radio and television, and worked as a critic.
After completing his secondary schooling at Scotch College, Perth, Bovell graduated with a BA from the University of Western Australia and then completed a Diploma in Dramatic Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts. Bovell was the recipient of a Literature Board Fellowship in 1985, and two years later began his long association with the Melbourne Workers Theatre as writer-in-residence. His play State of Defence was staged by the company. Arguably Bovell's best-known play from his early career is After Dinner, which premiered at La Mama (Melbourne) in 1988. By the end of 1991 After Dinner had been produced at least twelve times both in Australia and New Zealand. Another play The Ballad of Lois Ryan also premiered in 1988 under the auspices of the Melbourne Workers Theatre. This play perhaps presents Bovell's clearest socio-political theme - the exploration of the public and private in the lives of trade union activists. He has since turned both The Ballad of Lois Ryan and After Dinner into novels. Another play from this period is Ship of Fools (1988).
In 1989 Bovell became writer-in-residence for the Melbourne Theatre Company. The company staged his adaptation of Gulliver's Travels in association with Handspan Theatre in 1992. He also later undertook the same position with the Darwin Theatre Company (1991), and at the Edith Cowan University in Perth (1994). In 1997 Bovell collaborated with several writers on a music theatre piece devised by Diedre Rubenstein. Confidentially Yours, co-written with Janis Balodis, Nick Enright, Michael Gurr, Daniel Keene, Joanna Murray-Smith, Debra Oswald, Alan John (music) and Alison Croggon (lyrics), was staged the following year by Playbox. He contributed the pieces 'Jane' and 'Paula.'
Among Andrew Bovell's many career achievements are his co-authored screenplays for the Baz Luhrmann film Strictly Ballroom, and Head On (an adaptation of Christos Tsiolakas' 1995 novel dealing with modern urban life from the perspective of a young, gay, Greek man). He also wrote the television screenplay for Piccolo Mondo and episodes for the series Naked and The Seven Deadly Sins). His play Speaking in Tongues saw him awarded a 1997 AWGIE, and was later adapted into a screenplay as Lantana. The film scooped the 20001 AFI awards and Bovell was named 2001 Harpers Bazaar AFI Scriptwriter of the Year. His radio adaptation of Distant Lights from Dark Places won the Gold Medal for drama at the New York Radio and Television Festival in 1996 and a 1997 AWGIE award for best radio adaptation. He also become joint winner of the 1998 Green Room Award for best new play for Who's Afraid of the Working Class. Co-written with Patricia Cornelius, Christos Tsiolkas, Irene Vela and Melissa Reeves, the play shared the Gold AWGIE award in 1999 with Nick Enright's adaptation of Tim Wintoni8)'s Cloudstreet .
Bovell's other screen credits include: The Book of Revelation (2006), Blessed (2009), an adaptation of Whose Afraid of the Working Class?, Edge of Darkness (2010) starring Mel Gibson and the 2014 thriller A Most Wanted Man (starring Philip Seymour Hoffman).