Meet The Director's

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Margot Politis

Artistic Director - Milk Crate Theatre

With over 18 years of practice, Margot has become a recognised leader in NSW inclusive arts practice as a performer, choreographer, film director, and devisor of new dance theatre. Margot was appointed Artistic Director of Milk Crate Theatre in 2018, after two years serving as Associate Director, and designed and directed the company's 2019 primary production, Natural Order. Previous to this, she spent 2009-2016 as the Accessibility Director at Shopfront Arts Co-op, where she established the Accessibility Program in which her directed work ‘ ‘Reaching Out Over & Over’, which was an official selection of the 2016 NYC Indie Film Festival.

 

In 2017 Margot choreographed the Shopfront Arts Co-op and ATYP co-pro, Dignity of Risk alongside Natalie Rose, which won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Young People. In 2013 was awarded a Cultural Leadership Grant from The Australia Council for the Arts, working with several companies in the UK including Candoco Dance Company.

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Natalie Rose

Creative Director - Shopfront Arts Co-Op

Natalie Rose is the Creative Director at Shopfront Arts Co-op, is one third of the performance collective POST, and has been involved in Australia’s Theatre scene for the past 21 years. Her work has been seen nationally and internationally at Sydney Festival, Belvoir, Sydney Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Cambridge Junction (UK) and Sydney Opera House, to name a few. Most recently with post, Oedipus Schmoedipus has toured to Santiago Chile, West Kowloon Cultural Precinct Authority in Hong Kong and in 2020 was to be showcased as a part of AsiaTOPA at Arts Centre Melbourne. Their 2017 Sydney Festival work Ich Nibber Dibber was remounted at Sydney Opera House and Malthouse Theatre. Nat has facilitated workshops for the past 21 years for young and emerging artists with and without disability. Nat has a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre-making) from the University of Western Sydney, Nepean and has previously trained at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists and Urban Theatre Projects as a member of their ensembles. In 2021, She will direct 2 new productions for Shopfront and begin creative development with the award-winning Harness Ensemble towards their third full length work.

Meet The Cast

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Desmond Edwards

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Harrison Bishop

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Lana Filies

Desmond is a storyteller, magician, educator and actor based in Sydney. He started his career in the mid-70s by performing in several punk rock bands in New Zealand. After migrating to Australia, Desmond studied mime and movement with Madame Zora Semberova of the Australian Mime Theatre. In the early 1980s, Desmond launched a street performance duo, which went on to perform in various festivals locally and nationally. He was then part of the 'Cabaret Conspiracy,' an ensemble of artists who lived, worked and performed in Darlinghurst. Desmond was a resident at the original Comedy Store Sydney, where he served as a comic juggler under the name Denzil Best. Denzil supported many rock and roll acts of the mid-80s, including The Laughing Clowns and Midnight Oil.

 

Desmond made his Milk Crate Theatre debut in Turning Towers' community Forum Theatre production and performed in their show That's The Spirit at Riverside Theatres (2017). Desmond has a passion for exploring Australian history through performance.

Harrison Bishop is an emerging voice actor, theatre-maker, actor and poet based in Wollongong, originally from Newcastle.

 

After graduating from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Performance, Harrison's most recent works include being a resident artist for Tantrum Youth Arts' Art About Not Making Art' and 'Tiny Universe', which is a Shopfront Arts Co-Op and Milkcrate Theatre co-production.

 

His voice acting credentials include a Mitsubishi podcast advertisement and a Hyundai podcast advertisement and a finalist in an audition to be the new voice of Google Home Mini in Australia.

 

Harrison is interested in experimental and intermedial forms of theatre and is currently in the research stage of a new show regarding paint uses in an experimental form.

Lana is a Western Sydney actor, singer, theatre-maker and choreographer who grew up on Dharawal land. Lana makes work heavily influenced by verbatim Coming of age Stories, Pop culture, Movement and the colour Pink. She graduated from the University of Wollongong in 2019 with a Bachelor of Performance (Acting). Her most recent work includes To My Younger Self by Mallory Sedger (Shopfront Arts Co-op 2020), Stalls by Lana Filies and Lily Hensby (Shopfront Arts Co-Op 2020). Lana was chosen as an ArtsLab 2020 artist with Shopfront Arts Co-Op, mentored by Lally Katz and Natalie Rose. Recently she joined PYT Fairfield and Spark Youth Theatre as an ensemble member. She is passionate about Musical Theatre and is currently vocally coached by Karen Cummings and is now Represented by TM Management.

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Lily Hayman

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Lisa Griffiths

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Matthias Nudl

Lily is a performer, writer and director who grew up on the land of the Dharawal people. She trained at the University of Wollongong, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Performance (Dean’s Scholar) with distinction and received her First-Class Honours in Creative Arts (Theatre).

 

Lily’s most recent works as writer/director include Fledgling for the MerrigongX 2021 program and The Infinity Mirror, created in collaboration with Thomas Doyle for Shopfront’s ArtsLab residency program.

 

Lily also performed in The Infinity Mirror and various productions across Sydney, including Pretty Fly For a Dead Guy by Lily Hensby (2019) and To My Younger Self by Mallory Sedger (2020) at Shopfront! 

 

She directed The Supermarket Play and Luvstuff, both written by Nick Chlopicki and has worked extensively as an Assistant Director to Catherine McKinnon and Tim Maddock. Lily is the current Young Leader and Marketing Co-ordinator at Shopfront Arts Co-Op.

Lisa is from South West Sydney and has been involved with Milk Crate Theatre as a Collaborative Artist for over a decade. She performed in the major production Natural Order, directed by Margot Politis, in 2019. Other notable productions include This House Is Mine, The Things That Are Left Behind, and Homeful.

 

Lisa has performed and devised works that have been seen across Greater Sydney and performed in Floating to Earth as part of the 7th Annual Australian’s Women’s Health Conference 2012. She has a keen interest in Lego, which she documents on Instagram and will be developing stop/start animations in the future. She is a proud Mum to a teenage son and furbaby Pebbles.

Matthias is a graduate from the University of Western Sydney Macarthur with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Theatre Studies. He has been a Collaborative Artist with Milk Crate Theatre since 2013 when he joined a workshop program at Parramatta Mission.

 

He participated because he has a love for acting in improvisational theatre. Since then, he has been involved in numerous workshops and has created and performed significant productions such as The Things That Are Left Behind, The Last Laugh; This House Is Mine, Feast and Natural Order. His other artistic interests include writing, reading, and painting.

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Nick Vagne

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Steve Konstantopoulos

Nick is a young passionate playwright and theatre-maker based in Wollongong in regional New South Wales. His writing style often plays with structure and uncovering tragic elements within comical situations. Nick describes it as “if a warm stranger opened a door for you, and then punched you in the chest as you walked through”. He hopes to write and create new work with a range of voices presented through different lenses and aesthetic choices, taking most of his inspiration from popular video games, media personalities, and conspiracy theories.

 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nick utilised his time to develop a second draft of his play Wally. He is writing a short play called Calculating the Mass of the Sun in partnership with the Drama Studio with Merrigong Theatre Company in collaboration with Illawarra Performing arts Centre (IPAC). Nick is the Shopfronts 2021 Members Production recipient, and his Directorial work In Event of Moon Disaster will premiere in July.

Steve Konstantopoulos is a performer and dancer. He has been involved with Shopfront since 2015 as a member of the Harness Ensemble. He has performed in Out of Line (ATYP), Dignity of Risk (ATYP/Casula Powerhouse), which was awarded the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Young People, and The Experts (Sydney Fringe Festival/CRACK Theatre Festival). He has performed with Bus Stop Films and AFTRS and is a social member of Gig Buddies, Sunnyfield Disability Services, Holdsworth and Northcott.

Steve is excited to perform Tiny Universe and has enjoyed working with new people from Shopfront and Milk Crate Theatre. He loves performing as it allows him to escape and share his stories on stage. He loves going to the gym and eating sushi.

Meet The Creative Team

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James Peter Brown

Composer

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Liam O'Keefe

Lighting Designer

Liam is a freelance lighting designer and technician based in Sydney.

Recent design work includes Natural Order (Milk Crate Theatre); A Murder Story (Ninefold); Wyrd: The Season of the Witch (Ninefold); Tonsils + Tweezers (Jackrabbit); Brothers Karamazov (Arrive Devise Repeat); The Winter’s Tale (Secret House); Dry Land (Outhouse Theatre Co./Mad March Hare); Best Before (The Bird Cartel); American Beauty Shop (Some Company); This Is Not Mills And Boon (Glorious Thing); Consensual (New Theatre); Under Milk Wood (Genesian Theatre), Tri-Beckett (Ninefold); Rats - Dirt/Moonshine (Fledgling Theatre Co.); After The End (The King’s Collective); Transcience (leftofcentre Theatre Co.); Atlantis (Subtlenuance); METADATA (De Quincey Co.); DRIFT (Two Peas); GODFACE (Matriark Theatre Inc.); Smudge (The King’s Fools); The Tragedy of Antigone (Ninefold); Contrite Spirit (Edgeware Forum); Shut up and Drive (Subtlenuance) and Year of the Family (Tooth and Sinew).

As a technician, he has been a part of the lighting team for five national tours as well as The Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour’s Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Aida, Turandot, La Boheme and West Side Story. Liam is also active in the realm of commercial musical theatre with Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Book of Mormon.

James Peter Brown is a Sydney based composer and sound designer. He has worked with companies both locally and internationally to produce scores for performance, film, animation and games for more than a decade. His process often involves creating music in synchronicity with the development of the project, creating a strong connection between the material and sound.

 

He has extensive experience working in collaborative, multi-artform processes and has formed ongoing artistic relationships collaborations with artists and companies in Australia and abroad – such as Bethesda (Fallout 4, Fallout 76, Fallout Shelter), Jane Campion (Top Of The Lake), Victoria Hunt (Tangi Wai, Copper Promises), Sydney Theatre Company (Home I’m Darling, The Deep Blue Sea, Lord Of The Flies, Mosquitoes) Hans Van Den Broeck, Belgium (The Lee Ellroy Show, Messiah Run, We Was Them, Nomads), Erth (Duba, Badu, Winter Camp, The Liminal Hour), Post (Ich Nibber Dibber, Oedipus Schmoedipus, Who’s The Best), Kristina Chan (A Faint Existence, Mountain, Brightness).

 

He holds a Visual Arts degree from Sydney College of the Arts, and a Masters Degree in Acoustic Physics from Sydney University.

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Lucy Watson

Support Artist

Lucy is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work spans and often combines writing, visual art and performance informed by acting, clowning, dance and storytelling. She often presents work as Mads Clove and is interested in expanding and fracturing what we expect of ourselves as humans, so we can feel safe expressing differently. In 2020 she presented a solo exhibition called Liminal-Latent at AirSpace Gallery, featuring abstract painting, video performance and installation, sculpture and live performance. She's been a performer/devisor with the comedy group Choo Choo Troupe since 2019.

 

Lucy is passionate about the role of art in healing and community and has been facilitating performance-making classes and processes for a range of groups, styles and settings since 2012. She is currently working on performance processes with Milkcrate Theatre, Marian Street Theatre for Young People, Shopfront Theatre and Sydney Community Services. Lucy completed a Bachelor of  Arts with honours from Australian National University, and a Master of Arts, majoring in sculpture, performance and installation, from the University of NSW Art and Design.

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Tyler Fitzpatrick

Production Manager

Tyler is a theatre technician, stage manager & theatre-maker based on Dharawal land. She graduated with Distinction from the University of Wollongong, earning the Merrigong Theatre Company Production Prize. Stage manager credits include The Complication of Lyrebirds (Sydney Festival/Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2021), Trash Talk (Merrigong, 2020), Sharp Short Dance Festival (FORM Dance, 2019), and The Ugliest Duckling (Q Theatre, 2019). Lighting design credits for Shopfront include: Never Ever (2020), To My Younger Self (2020), and Cake (2019).

 

As Shopfront Arts Co-Op’s Production and Operations Manager, she has been the production manager for ArtsLab: Unreliable Witness (2021), Return of Kings (2020), Planet B (2020), ArtsLab: Behind Closed Doors (2020).

 

In 2021, Tyler production managed Blush Opera’s new Australian opera Chop Chef at Parramatta Riverside Theatres and the remount of Lily Hayman’s show Fledgling at Merrigong Theatre Company as a part of their MerrigongX Program, where Tyler is also the Associate Producer.