Originating from El Salvador, Rodrigo trained as an actor in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has since immersed himself into directing and investigating different physical art forms. For the last eight years he has been working as an actor, director and teacher in a range of different theatres, festivals, film productions and educational projects in Argentina, Australia, El Salvador, Indonesia and Malaysia. At the beginning of his career he discovered and experimented with a more physical and visceral theatre style that inspired him to explore the ritualistic aspects of theatre. Since moving to Melbourne for love in 2015, he has followed his interests in physical theatre through exploring a diverse range of training methods such as: Butoh, Neutral Mask, Gaga Movement, Raung Jagat, Suzuki method, Javanese Trance and Asian Shamanic Trance Dance. He has recently directed his first play in Australia, ´Night Sings Its Songs´ by Jon Fosse, at La Mama Theatre with two consecutive sold out seasons. His pursuit in theatre is to create poetic narratives by embracing pure emotions in physical improvisation. Website
Joshinder Kaur Chaggar
Joshinder Chaggar is a Melbourne based creative and performing artist. She is a dancer, choreographer, actor, teacher and writer. Her training background is in Indian classical dance (Bharatanatyam), and folk dance (Bhangra). In 2019 she completed her Honors degree in creative arts research (dance), from Deakin University, working with the ecstatic Sufi dhamaal dance from Pakistan. She lived and worked in Karachi from 2007 till 2017, teaching ‘Movement for Actors’ at the National Academy of Performing Arts. During this time, she also toured the city with her 20-minute solo show, she flies with the swallows, in schools and universities, with the intention of sparking a debate on ‘What is real freedom?’ In 2017 she was invited to the Kunstareal fest in Munich, to direct and perform a movement installation with local artists. She is also a performance artist, best known for her 3-hour performance of ‘Bird’ (Karachi Biennial, Kunstareal fest, Mapping Melbourne). In 2018 she directed a dance theatre, Devi, which was performed at the Emerge in Yarra festival and at the NAPA International Theatre Festival, Karachi in 2019. Currently she is the studio manager and teacher at Studio J dance in Melbourne.
Matthew Crosby has been a proud member of MEAA since 1968. He graduated from NIDA in 1981. For the last 30 years, he has toured live performance to Europe, Asia and most frequently to Japan. In 1991, he participated in the SCOT/Playbox collaboration that trained with Tadashi Suzuki in Toga, Japan and then toured his Chronicles of Macbeth Tokyo/Adelaide International Arts Festivals. He received a Japan Foundation Fellowship in 1995 studying various forms of contemporary Japanese theatre during which time he met director of Korean influenced Tokyo company Shinjuku Ryozanpaku. 1997-2000 he studied Japanese Language at RMIT. Two Asialink residencies, 2000/2011, support from DFAT, The Japan Foundation, Arts Victoria, the Australia Council and the Playking Foundation have helped him facilitate training, development and production of collaborative tours between Japan, Australia and other Asian centres over twenty years. Crosby co-created the DasShoku series of butoh/cabarets with Yumi Umiumare and Ben Rogan 1999-2006 which received Green Room and Fringe awards and toured throughout Australia and to Osaka. He has performed in all the major Australian theatre festivals as well as Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore and has been influenced in collaborations with many directors including Aubrey Mellor (Australia), Barry Kosky (Australia), Ong Keng Seng (Singapore), Tadashi Suzuki, Sujin Kim, Yoji Sakate (Japan), Renato Cuocolo (Italy), Lech Mackiewicz (Poland), Suzanne Chaundy (Australia) and Deborah Leiser-Moore (Australia). From 1995-2000 he was artistic director of The Actors Furniture Group which developed work from Suzuki Training. Website.
Kathleen’s training includes over 18 years with the Suzuki Actor Training Method and over 3 years intensive dance training in Japan with Butoh/Contemporary dancers Ohno Kazuo and Yoshito, Kasai Akira, Fukuhara Tetsuro and Uesugi Mitsuyo. Kathleen’s most recent works include Everyman and the Pole Dancers (2014), The Space Between Performance Collective’s Thing with Feathers (2013), Ten Worlds (2013) and Creature (2011). She was an actor with Suzuki Tadashi’s company, training and rehearsing with the company (2004 – 2005) and performing in Antigone and Suzuki’s King Lear. She was an actor with Ku Na’uka (2002 – 2003) and performed the role Aegisthus in Electra and Dionysus in The Bacchae. She was a collaborator with Company Image Opera in Tracktor for the Tokyo Heiner Müller Festival and danced under choreographers Ioanna Garagoni in Rose Dies and Sanari Tetsuo in Fantasy Virus. She was Assistant Director of Dance for Tokyo Space Dance in Japan (2001 – 2003).
Alana has trained with 12 Butoh masters in both Japan and Australia. Alana perceives her dance as a questioning of the body; a desperate discourse of flesh. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Theatre Performance at Monash University. She believes that art is primarily about connection, this philosophy has led her to not only perform but facilitate and produce as well. She is currently the Manager of Born in a Taxi, the Project Manager for the body weather collective the Environmental Performance Authority, and the Artistic Director of Anomaly Productions which blends graffiti street artists and dancers. Alana also produces for 5 Angry Men. She ran M47 a site-specific performance festival for The City of Melbourne (2016), and helped manage Evocation of Butoh for Asia TOPA (2017). Website
Tessa began her formal training at Patrick Studios Australia graduating with a Diploma of Music Theatre in 2015. In 2018 she graduated Federation University with a Bachelor of Acting for Stage and Screen. Upon graduation she completed an acting internship with the Australian Shakespeare Company allowing her to perform in their 2018-2019 seasons of Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet. She has performed as part of the acting ensemble with Opera Australia on Green Room award winning production of Il Viaggio a Reims and Don Giovanii. She performed in The Bacchae, written and directed by Robert Reid, which took place at La Mama. Currently She is looking to guide her practice into investigative laboratory work.
Lorna McLeod has diverse experiences ranging from performing, developing student-devised works for public performance and directing student theatre. She studied a Bachelor of Arts and a postgraduate Bachelor of Education (P-12). Lorna has taught Drama and Theatre Studies at VCE for over 25 years. She is a motivated and engaging teacher currently working in a secondary setting. A lecturer of Drama and Theatre Studies at RMIT (2000-2013), she provided practical teaching for Grad Diploma students in the performing arts and is passionate about the arts and performance as vehicles for young people to explore their world. Lorna has been working with the Thursday Group for two and a half years.
There have been many artists who have shared the floor with us over the years… thank you!
Glynis Angel, Molly Farquharson, Eidann Glover, Nilees Inisahus, Yoka Jones, Caitlin Lavery, Helen Smith, Keisuke Tanabe, Gareth Trew, Tomoko Yamasaki and to ancient history… Kate Hunter and Tamara Saulwick. and! we’re so pleased to work with Noriko Ikaga with her beautiful paper designs.