Resident Artists

Canberra Youth Theatre has a long history of being an incubator and creative hub for emerging professional theatre makers who are passionate about creating new works and exploring their artistic practice. Our Resident Artists program provides mentorship opportunities for early career artists to be embedded in the life of our company, collaborate on artistic projects, lead creative developments, mentor other young artists, support artistic programming, and undertake professional development projects.

Our Resident Artist program is on hiatus for 2024 as we focus on new creative initiatives in response to the needs of our emerging artists community.


Emily Austin


Emily Austin is an emerging director and theatre-maker from Melbourne. She is in her fourth year of study, currently completing a Bachelor of Arts/Laws (Hon) at ANU. In 2023, Emily will be the Artistic Director of the National University Theatre Society, where she will work to curate and produce their season, focused on providing new opportunities for students within the arts.

While at ANU she has directed When the Rain Stops Falling (2022), and assistant directed The Laramie Project (2022). She has also been involved in crew for several other productions, including Catch-22 (2022) and Arcadia (2021). She is very excited to develop her skills as a theatre maker and thrilled to be a resident at Canberra Youth Theatre.

Patrick Haesler

Patrick Haesler is a composer, performer, sound designer and recording artist from Canberra, Australia (Ngunnawal Country). Beginning as a trumpet player, Patrick has since branched into numerous musical fields, drawing influences from jazz and progressive music. In 2018 Patrick entered the world of theatre, acting as musical director for ANU’s Arts Revue. Since then, he has reprised this role as well as composing music and designing sound for several theatre productions. These include It’s Not Creepy If They’re Hot (2019), Macbeth (2020), The Tempest (2021), Dracula (2022), The Initiation (2022), How To Vote (2022) and Soul Trading (2022). Patrick has released soundtrack albums for many of these productions. Most recently in December 2022 Patrick released the soundtrack for Soul Trading, a 14 track album featuring music from and inspired by the play, and an original curtain call song performed by fellow composer and young musician Oakelani. Patrick’s experience with a wide variety of musical genres, ensembles and production techniques have made him a versatile creative in the world of music and sound.


Ethan Hamill

Ethan Hamill (he/him) is an up-and-coming theatre practitioner, who specialises in Lighting and Video Design. Ethan has just finished his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Technical Theatre and Stage Management at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA). Ethan strives to keep up with new and emerging technology and is always trying to bring these new and emerging technologies into theatre and live events. This has led him to have the opportunity to work on theatrical and dance shows, live concerts, events, and installations. Ethan’s recent credits include Lighting Designer for The Magic Flute, Production Manager for Falsettos (2022), Lighting Designer for Too Human (2022), Lighting Designer The Life That I Gave You (2022), Co–Lighting Designer Scooby Doo and The Creepy Carnival (2021), Co-Video Designer for Eat Me (STC/NIDA Collaboration. Ethan is looking forward to being home after 3 years of being in Sydney, and getting to work again with the Canberra community, and with Canberra Youth Theatre, while expanding his career further within Sydney and surrounds.

Aislinn King

Aislinn King is drawn to creating immersive experiences inspired by movement, gesture, light and material exploration. Graduating from NIDA with a Master of Fine Arts Design for Performance, Aislinn was awarded the MADE by the Opera House scholarship to Denmark in 2020 and was selected to exhibit at World Stage Design 2022 in Calgary, Canada, supported by an artsACT grant. In 2022, Aislinn also received the Australian Production Design Guild APDG Emerging Designer for Live Performance Award.

Aislinn has been a designer on three Canberra Youth Theatre productions including Little Girls Alone in the Woods 2021, Two Twenty Somethings… 2021 and Dags 2022. The set design for Little Girls Alone In The Woods explored the notion of boundary and threshold expressed through the rawness and intensity of a steel grate structure, its permeable quality engaging with perceptions of what is beyond and what is within.

The design for Two Twenty Somethings Decide Never To Be Stressed About Anything Ever Again. Ever revealed an amplified millennial construct. The set held the spaces within the apartment through the notion of a skeletal frame, starting with the doorway and following a singular line to shape each of the zones of interaction. The open frame delineated threshold and limit in a manner that was transitional and illusive. This design received the Australian Production Design Guild Award for Emerging Designer for Live Performance 2022.

The design for Dags was drawn from the iconic geometric 80’s patterns translated into a three-dimensional set. The silver reflective material that held the space evoked the questions of self-image within the play. The space was transformed by the colour and movement embodied within the performance to create a sense of continuous flux.

Aislinn looks forward to further collaborations with the Canberra Youth Theatre in its 2023 Season.

Rhiley Winnett

Rhiley Winnett is a passionate, emerging Stage Manager, dedicated to working with young people and giving them the respect and opportunities that they may not be presented with otherwise. Rhiley has been involved in several shows over the last few years, most notably with Canberra Youth Theatre: Normal (2020), Little Girls Alone in the Woods (2021), Two Twenty Somethings Decide Never To Be Stressed About Anything Again. Ever. (2021), Dags (2022), The Initiation (2022), How to Vote! (2022), and Soul Trading (2022). Rhiley has worked with a wide range of different performers and creatives, of varying ages, abilities, and skills, all of which have helped develop Rhiley into being the person they are today. Rhiley strives to do their best in improving their own skills, capabilities, and knowledge so they can accommodate everyone’s individual needs and circumstances and to provide a safe environment for all emerging artists to feel courageous enough to try new things. Combining Rhiley’s love for theatre, their passion for empowering and enriching young people, and a wonderful community, Canberra Youth Theatre has been an incredibly rewarding and valuable opportunity for Rhiley to have been part of over the last few years. Rhiley is thrilled to be offered the opportunity to continue working with Canberra Youth Theatre, and be a part of their 2023 Resident Artist Program, as it will hopefully provide new and exciting opportunities and pathways for all involved.


Caitlin Baker

Caitlin Baker is an emerging actor, director, and theatre maker, heading into her fourth year of Arts/Law (Hon) at ANU. In 2022, Caitlin will be taking the helm as President of the ANU Shakespeare Society, producing their largest season yet, Kiss/Kill. This follows her performance in their inaugural production of Much Ado About Nothing (2019), and her direction of The Tempest (2021). Over the past few years, Caitlin has been deeply involved in the Canberra theatre scene, with other credits including Canberra Repertory Society shows Grapes of Wrath, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and The Governor’s Family, and most recently, the inaugural Emerge program’s Carpe DM. Deeply invested in the necessity of live performance, Caitlin is thrilled to take the next step in her career with Canberra Youth Theatre.


Sophie Tallis

Sophie Tallis is an emerging director, performer, and writer originally from Melbourne. She is in her final year of a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Languages at ANU, and in 2022 Sophie will undertake an honours year examining youth representation in film. This interest extends to her theatrical practice, and while at ANU Sophie directed It’s Not Creepy If They’re Hot (2019) and Love and Information (2021). She was also the President of the ANU Shakespeare Society and performed in a range of productions including the ANU Law Revue, The Island of Doctor Moreau (2017) and The Importance of Being Earnest (2018). She is delighted to be a Resident Artist with Canberra Youth Theatre.


Linda Chen

Linda Chen is a performer and writer working across theatre, film, interdisciplinary art and applied drama. Her work often explores migrant stories and stories of displacement and identity; notions of family and home and coming into agency from youth or marginalisation. She has just completed The Street Theatre’s Early Phase program where she has been in concept development for her play Linger, and was  a recent resident artist with Shopfront Arts where she presented what is saudade is yuánfèn is longing – a one woman show turned audiovisual installation due to COVID. Past acting credits include Maura Pierlot’s debut play Fragments, as well as in Anna Breckon and Nat Randall’s durational film project Rear View. Linda is also a trainee with Rebus Theatre’s Actorvate program and is undertaking a producer mentorship with Sport for Jove.

Caelan Kaluder

Caelan Kaluder is a twenty-two year old writer, theatre director and actor from a farm near Tamworth, NSW. He is in his final year with his Bachelor of Arts at ANU and has had his passion for theatre awakened by coming to Canberra. Caelan was the Co-Artistic Director of the National University Theatre Society in the long year of 2020 and has directed a range of plays and musicals, including 9 to 5 (2018), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (2019) and Arcadia (2021). He has also tutored children and teenagers for Multicultural Aid Canberra. Caelan is thrilled to be a Resident Artist with Canberra Youth Theatre and is excited for what this year will bring.

Annika Kendall

Annika Kendall is an emerging theatre-maker, dramaturg and performer. Annika currently works as a drama teacher; having attained a bachelor’s degree with honours in contemporary theatre, and a master’s degree in drama teaching. Annika has previously worked as co-artistic director of NoRoom Theatre Company, where she co-devised, directed and performed A Cat’s Tongue (2018) at Melbourne Fringe Festival, and her original solo work: Objectophilia (2018), as part of her honours research. Annika is deeply interested in live art, audience affect and visual aspects of contemporary performance; and is incredibly excited to experiment with form, ideas and methodology as part of her residency with Canberra Youth Theatre.

Natsuko Yonezawa

Natsuko Yonezawa is a recent graduate from the ANU School of Art and Design. She is a multidisciplinary artist, performance artist and director who often works with dance, physical theatre, film, sound, visual arts and digital media. Natsuko trained in contemporary dance with QL2 Dance from 2014 to 2020 and participated in many of their projects. She has also been active in the Canberra arts scene, directing her first short dance work which premiered at the 2019 Art Not Apart Festival. Since then, she has created a full-length physical theatre work, Mess, which premiered at Belconnen Arts Centre and she has also made multiple works for festivals.


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.

Claire Holland

Claire Holland is an emerging theatre maker and director. Claire was the Artistic Director of the National University Theatre Society in 2019, directing a production of Noises Off (2018), Peter Pan (2019) and producing and performing in a range of shows including the ANU Arts Revue, ANU Women’s Revue and the Musical Theatre Company production of Dogfight. Claire has also worked as Assistant Director on The Experts with ShopFront Arts Co-Op, Assistant Director on SALT from the House That Dan Built and Production Assistant on Two Twenty Somethings from Bite Productions for the Melbourne Fringe. Claire works with Music for Canberra and Broad Encounters Productions in marketing and project coordination and is delighted to be a Resident Artist with Canberra Youth Theatre.

Holly Johnson

Holly Johnson is a director, actor and a lawyer from Yass, NSW. She has a double Bachelor Degree in Art History and Curatorship / Laws (Honours) from the Australian National University and is a lawyer in the Workplace Relations, Employment & Safety team for Mills Oakley, Canberra. Holly has a passionate interest in theatre and arts development, having extensive involvement with the Canberra artistic community whilst at university and more recently as a Board Member at the Belconnen Arts Centre. She has performed in many ACT theatre initiatives and including, The Street Theatre’s original production of Fragments by Maura Pierlot, directed by Shelly Higgs and at the The National Gallery of Australia as part of their public programs.