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WORKSHOP ARTISTS

CHRISTOPHER SAMUEL CARROLL

Christopher Samuel Carroll is an Irish theatre-artist, trained at The Samuel Beckett Centre, Trinity College Dublin, and Ecole Internationale du Theatre Jacques Lecoq, Paris. As an actor, he has worked with companies all over Ireland, and as artistic director of Bare Witness Theatre Company, creates physical theatre in ensembles and as a solo performer. Described as “the master of the solo performance” (Canberra Critics’ Circle), Christopher has built a reputation as a daring and skilled creator of one-man shows. His Butoh adaptation of Paradise Lost, described as “a culturally shattering event” (City News), was developed during a five-week residency at Belconnen Arts Centre, before touring to the Adelaide Fringe and to Perth, where it was nominated for The West Australian Arts Editor Award and shortlisted for the Best Theatre award at Fringe World 2017. His wordless physical odyssey, Icarus, debuted at The Blue Room, Perth, with the support of artsACT, winning the Fringe World overall award for Dance and Physical Theatre, before returning for a critically acclaimed season at The Street Theatre in February 2019. Since moving to Canberra in 2016, he has become one of the city’s most prolific and celebrated performers. In 2019, Christopher was the recipient of the inaugural Helen Tsongas award for Excellence in Acting, for his roles in Twelfth Night, Icarus, Howie the Rookie, and Metamorphosis.

REBECCA DUKE

Rebecca Duke is a twenty-one year old writer and student raised in Tasmania. In 2021, she is starting her third year of a Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics / Bachelor or Arts at the ANU. In 2019 she took part in ATYP’s National Studio and was delighted to receive her first publication in Intersection: Beat closely followed by This Was Urgent Yesterday written during CARCLEW’s residency, The Writing Place. She has been commissioned by the Canberra Youth Theatre to write Space Oddity, a play that accompanies a new work by Mary Rachel Brown. She is also writing Church Sweet Church, a play about faith, community and reckoning which has been selected for The Street’s First Seen program.

Tiahna Johnson

Tiahna is a Canberra based actor and performer. She is currently a member of Canberra Youth Theatre’s Emerge Company within the emerging artist’s sector. In 2021, Tiahna began a Bachelor of Arts in Screen and Literature studies at the ANU. Through her studies she has worked with the ANU Shakespeare Society along with several locally based theatre groups. Tiahna has experience working as a children’s party entertainer, and is looking forward to combining these skills with her passion for theatre and performance as a workshop artist for Canberra Youth Theatre.

ANNA JOHNSTONE

Anna spent nearly nine years in the United Kingdom where she worked for the Theatre Royal Bath and the egg, children’s theatre, in a variety of roles from youth theatre tutor to director. In 2009 she was appointed the position of Trainee Theatre and Education Practitioner a full time Arts Council funded position that saw her work alongside and in collaboration with UK’s award-winning theatre companies, such as The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC),  Pins and Needles Productions and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. 2015 saw her gaining the position of Associate Artist at the egg theatre, where she learned about and practised the devising process, working alongside and under the instruction of many award-winning theatre makers such as Sally Cookson, Amy Leech, and Emma Earle. In 2017, she created and directed a site-specific piece for Canberra Youth Theatre’s I’m me festival. In 2018 she Co-directed Filtered for CYT’s young company, in 2019 created and presented another original work for I’m Me Festival at Gorman Arts Centre and Co-directed Possibility for the CYT’s teen ensemble. 

CATHY PETOCZ

Cathy Petőcz is a Canberra-based theatre practitioner – a playwright, director, performer, and producer. Cathy writes many different kinds of performance works: plays (Unbecoming, Canberra Theatre Centre, 2019), experimental performance (Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Melbourne’s Emerging Writers Festival, 2014), and recently an interactive game-based performance for the Museum of Australian Democracy (We, the People, Old Parliament House, 2019). Cathy’s work with young people is an important part of her artistic practice. She has made theatre with young artists at Canberra Youth Theatre for over ten years, including directing digital puppetry play Insomniac Attack (2014) and mentoring the emerging playwrights who wrote Possibility (2019). She is currently working on a screenplay adaptation of her surreal mother-daughter drama Hired Mother, a reimagined Lysistrata (after Aristophanes), and an experimental apocalyptic opera about mushrooms.

JENA PRINCE

Jena Prince is a director, movement specialist and teaching-artist. She has recently relocated from Sydney to Canberra and is passionate about creating extraordinary theatre with young people. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology/Drama) from the University of Queensland, part of which involved a semester abroad studying acting at the University of California, Berkeley. Jena has been working with young people since 2007, and is currently a teaching-artist with Canberra Youth Theatre, Canberra Theatre Centre, Imagination Theatre, the Australian Theatre for Young People, and Sydney Theatre Company. She has also directed, choreographed and run many specialty workshops for high schools throughout Sydney. 

Jena specialises in a number of areas including: group devising using Viewpoints and Composition; the Suzuki Method of Actor Training; Butoh dance theatre; and creating choreography for non-dancers. She also regularly devises and writes plays with primary and secondary school students.

MIRJANA RISTEVSKI

Mirjana began her professional acting and teaching careers at just 18 years of age, performing in Sydney’s Sidetrack Theatre’s acclaimed production of ‘Adios Cha Cha’ which went on to tour the nation, and teaching children’s programs for the Sydney Performing Arts Centre. Mirjana graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts in 1991, after which she taught, directed, produced, and created original works in a range of schools and theatre companies around Australia. In 2003 Mirjana established her own theatre company, film school and performance centre, the Queensland Actors’ Playhouse (“QAP”), which she ran for 16 years. Students from QAP have gone on to perform and work all over the world, from lead roles with the BBC to major Hollywood movies, as award winning feature filmmakers and theatre practitioners, fronting top selling Australian bands, and in comedy and stand up from Melbourne to Iceland! Over 100 of Mirjana’s students also went on to be accepted into Australia’s major drama schools and universities including NIDA, VCA, WAAPA and QUT. Over the several decades that Mirjana has been working with adults and children in theatre she has developed a range of techniques that develop both the actor and the person. Mirjana is looking forward to bringing to the Canberra Youth Theatre her passion for creating safe yet challenging environments in which young people can be nurtured, empowered and inspired.

MARTHA RUSSELL

Martha is a Canberra born and raised artist who grew up working with Canberra Youth Theatre and other local performing arts groups. In 2020 she completed a Diploma of Acting at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth. She has previously worked with primary-aged students in an after school care environment, and is now combining this work with her passion for performance and creating. 2021 will be Martha’s first year as a Workshop Artist with Canberra Youth Theatre.