Developing Artist Program
Milk Crate Theatre's Developing Artist Program is for participants that have been in our programs for some time and are seeking a new level of challenge.
Beginning with Headway in 2017, Milk Crate Theatre's Artistic Director Margot Politis took 9 Milk Crate Theatre participants through a 14 week artistic development course around artistic practice, community arts and cultural development and producing their own work. Headway was run in partnership with TAFE NSW; the participants received certificates of attainment for their work.
Pathways offers participants who have completed the Headway Program the opportunity to work one-on-one with a practicing professional artist in a structured, supported and tailored mentorship. These participants will create their own pieces of performance work, carving stronger pathways to autonomy, empowerment and self-efficacy.
Pathways: New Works in Development
In 2018, Margaret Baldwin, Owen Gill, John McDonnell and Pauline Trenerry worked with professional artist mentors to create their own new work; ranging from comedy theatre to drama for the screen. Read more about our most recent mentors and mentees below:
Margaret (DJ Rupunzel) is an actor, visual artist and writer currently based in Sydney. She has worked in radio, digital media, children's entertainment and marketing.
Margaret's experience as a performer and collaborator include First Times (2015) and Feast (2016) with Milk Crate Theatre, producing and presenting Soundtracks to Life on Bay FM (2006 - 2008), and short film projects The Trip, Angel in the Architecture, and Take the Stares at NCI TAFE Lismore (2006 - 2008). Margaret has also appeared in television shows, commercials, and still photo projects. She has qualifications in business, digital media, printmaking, drawing, communications and theatre.
Margaret is passionate about sustainable agriculture with a mission to see organise food production grown without fossil fuels, and desires to see communities engage with arts to create this vision. DJ Rupunzel is Margaret's alter ego, who plays with words and utilises puns to flavour her work. She wants to create work that is hair-raising...
Owen Gill is an actor, musician, composer and poet living in Sydney. His theatre credits include: The Glass Menagerie (The Drama Studio), Farndale Avenue’s Macbeth (Darlinghurst Theatre Company), One of Nature’s Gentlemen (New Theatre); and for Milk Crate Theatre: Wasted (2016), Under Construction (2016), No Place Like (2015), You Are Here (2014), Full Circle (2013) and Fearless (2012). For the latter, Owen was a key lyricist and collaborator on iconic song, ‘The Hell Room’, which is currently published for use in the HSC curriculum. Owen also appeared as the priest in Looking For Alibrandi (2000).
Owen has a great love for music, storytelling, and words, and the power they have to improve the world
John McDonnell is an actor, writer and performer, based in Sydney. He has been involved with Milk Crate Theatre as an ensemble artist since 2007, in acting, devising, creative development, playwriting and comedy roles. John was a deviser and performer in the creative developments of Intersection (2008), Fearless (2011), This House Is Mine (2014), First Times (2015) and Feast (2016). He was an actor in the Milk Crate Theatre productions, Intersection (2010), This House Is Mine (presented by Darlinghurst Theatre 2015), and the 2011 Christmas Show (Belvoir Street Theatre), as well as playing Roy in the Wayside Chapel Drama Production, Cosi (2016). He has been involved as an actor in the Milk Crate Theatre Forum Theatre shows, Chemical Handcuffs (2011), Secrets (2012), Under Construction (2016) and Turning Towers (2017). John wrote a short play which was presented in the triple bill, Box Brigitte Bracken (Carriageworks 2012), as well a writing a number of short pieces for other Milk Crate Theatre productions. John is passionate about social justice issues and wants to create work that challenges people’s perceptions of homelessness and disadvantage.
Pauline Trenerry is a Sydney-based poet, playwright and actor. Part of her poem about Milk Crate Theatre, Who We Are, appeared in the Village Voices artwork in November 2017, Surry Hills. She has written two ten-minute play, Waiting for the Bride (performed at The Old Fitz, 2015), and Transference, which she directed as part of the Crash Test Drama group from 2014 - 2017, and played Cherry in Louis Nowra's play Cosi (2016). Highlights of her acting career with Milk Crate Theatre include the creative developments of First Times (2015) and Feast (2016), in which part of per role was to interview the cast of their lived experiences of homelessness. Pauline was the deviser of her costume for Invisibility (2015), a short film about the physical impact our mental illnesses have on our bodies. The film was awarded Best Macro Documentary at the Seattle Social Justice Film Festival. Pauline was also a participant of Milk Crate Theatre's Forum Theatre residency hosting Katy Rubin of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC in 2016. Here she performed in Under Construction and took part in Joker Training. Pauline is passionate about creating collaborative, inclusive work by, with and for the community.
Georgina Wood is an actor, writer and visual artist living in Sydney, currently working towards a solo art exhibition at the Leichhardt Library in December 2017. Her highlights with Milk Crate Theatre include: performing the lead female role of Pepper in Fearless (2012) for which she also wrote the song ‘Home is Where the Heart Is’ (now included in the HSC curriculum); appearing in the short film Invisibility (2015, awarded Best Macro Documentary at the Social Justice Film Festival Seattle); and two creative developments with the cutting-edge Branch Nebula, First Times (2015) and Feast (2016).
Georgina is passionate about Theatre of the Oppressed practice, and its ability to transform lives by discussing real stories by real people. She completed two weeks of intensive workshops with Katy Rubin of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC; making and performing in Under Construction and Meet The Jokers, in residency hosted by Milk Crate Theatre in 2016. Georgina has since worked as Assistant Director on Milk Crate Theatre’s Wasted (2016), as an actor in That's The Spirit (2017), and as Co-Joker on a Forum Theatre project for Link Housing (2017). She is currently working on the Pathways professional development program, and hopes to direct a number of Forum Theatre workshops in the future.
Alison is a performer and director with an interest in visually engaging devised performance. As well as working as a freelance performer, she is the Artistic Director of Hurrah Hurrah, a company that creates collaborative theatre. With Hurrah Hurrah Alison has directed and produced TRADE (Adelaide Fringe and the Old 505), The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (in collaboration with the Rocks Pops Up Project) and Frenzy for Two by Eugene Ionesco (as part of a 9-month Residency with Woollahra Council). With Hurrah Hurrah she is currently creating Roomba Nation that will be performed at the Old 505 Theatre in July and The Pastels which will be seen at the Butterfly Club in Melbourne in October. She also created Rapoonzel, a roving performance of poetry and clown for kids at the Sydney Opera House.
She has recently performed with Drop Bear Theatre in The Magic Hat at Casula Powerhouse. She has also created works of theatre with ESL students at Langues-en-Scène in Paris and has facilitated workshops in theatre making at ATYP, NIDA, Shopfront Contemporary Youth Arts Centre, Casula Powerhouse, Jigsaw Arts (UK) and Organic Arts (UK). She has also worked as a mentor with Ashfield Youth Theatre for young artists affected by mental health issues. She is a regular collaborator and performer on the Creative Play and Digital Education projects at the Sydney Opera House. She has just completed the digital drawing project Join the Dots in Japan which was a large-scale collaboration for the Sydney Festival with visual and performing artists from Australia and Japan. As an actor, her most recent credits include: Australian film Zelos, TROUPE (UK: commissioned by the Bestival Music Festival) as well as This is Not Mills and Boon (Glorious Thing Theatre Co), Roadkill Confidential (Lies, Lies & Propaganda) and Macondo's Clothesline (NIDA Independent). She is a regular performer with the Leftovers Collective. She was an independent producer for PACT Centre for Emerging Artists on the Rapid Response Team Project and is the Program Manager for Adult Short Courses at NIDA. Alison holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts (Drama) from Monash University and trained at the Le Coq School of Theatre in Paris.
Platon Theodoris is a Sydney writer, director & filmmaker. After competing at the Slamdance Film Festival in early 2016, his debut feature film Alvin’s Harmonious World of Opposites went on to a bespoke theatrical release in Indonesia, the USA & Australia, garnering critical acclaim. It won the Jury Prize for Best First Feature at the 50th Houston Film Festival & the Director’s Choice Award at the 9th Sydney Underground Film Festival. Alvin was released digitally in September 2017 with The Guardian Newspaper listing it as some of the best films streaming in Australia. Prior to this, his three short films Sunrise, Lakemba and Parasoul screened at film festivals including Singapore, London BFI, Busan, Vancouver, Brisbane & St Kilda. Platon's branded content, tv commercial and short-form work span four continents, twelve countries, various languages and across an eclectic range of communication objectives. This includes campaigns for big corporate brands such as Google & Coca-Cola to smaller intimate character portraits and documentaries for charities, NGO's and communities. His controversial and sometimes subversive music videos for local and international performers have seen Platon collect two MTV Music Video Awards, for bands Naif & Club Eighties. Platon has an Arts Degree from The University of NSW, which included a two-year exchange to The Jakarta Institute of Arts in Indonesia. Platon enjoys ocean swimming, cycling and yoga.
Teik-Kim Pok's practice has traversed experimental performance, artist development and arts education.
His live art has manifested in interactive-durational-public performances, These quasi-therapy works Kino Klinik, where audiences enter a short-life-coaching session that is blended with film analysis (gently retro-citing Jung 101 through Joseph Campbell's notion of the hero's journey) and Karaoke Massage. On screen, he has appeared as the titular character in Alvin's Harmonious World of Opposites, a feature film by Platon Theodoris who won a Director's Choice Award at the Sydney Underground Film Festival in 2015.
His most recent stint has been in Playwriting Australia, the national company for new play development, constructing access, mentoring pathways and eventual production opportunities for playwrights who work sit outside the dominant Anglo/European model. Formerly a committee member of CAAP (Contemporary Asian Australian Performance) and with whom he collaborated on Lotus, an initiative focused on enabling the production of Asian-Australian theatre-makers on the Australian mainstage.
He was a regular contributor to RealTime, one of Australia's leading contemporary performing arts journals for 25 years and has recently graduated from NIDA's inaugural MFA Cultural Leadership cohort (2016 - 2018).
Donna has written over 50 stage and radio plays for audiences of all ages, and won prestigious national awards for her work. She has worked extensively with theatre companies, script development organisations, and individuals to develop new Australian plays, and to mentor new writers, often from culturally diverse backgrounds. Since 1991, Donna has taught script writing to tertiary students at Excelsia College (formerly Wesley Institute), and more recently, at the University of Wollongong, and has run countless writing workshops and short courses for community groups, schools and theatre companies. Donna recently complete a thesis entitled Dialogic Interplay: a Strategy for Representing Difference and Cultural Diversity on Stage and was awarded a Doctor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong. Her thesis combined her passion for comedy, language-based playwriting, cross-cultural narratives, and feminist theatre, and consolidated her expertise in these areas.
Alyson has worked around the world as a performer, theatre-maker and community artist, with a particular focus on cultural development and social change. She has made theatre with remote Indigenous communities, young people, adults with disabilities, prison inmates and people from refugee backgrounds in Australia, Cambodia, Nepal, and the UK. In 2015 Alyson was awarded the Kirk Robson Award by the Australia Council for the Arts, which recognises outstanding leadership of people working in community arts and cultural development, particularly in reconciliation and social justice.