Artists for 2015

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Access Arts music ensemble

Access Arts Music Ensemble

3:30PM – 4:45PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio (as part of Works in Development)

This hard-working group of musicians has been building upon their musical skills in a safe and fun group environment. Making music is one thing, but making music as an ensemble can be quite another!

To achieve this, the musicians have been studying popular and world music vocal arrangements in three-part harmony with the facilitation of Annie Peterson and Harmonie Downes. They discovered listening to one another is a crucial ingredient to creating music, which underpins the success of all collaborative work.

Come and listen to what has come of the Music Ensemble’s exploration to free their expression through jam sessions on blues grooves using piano, harmonica, electric and acoustic guitars, vocals and percussion. Several original pieces written by the Music Ensemble will be performed for the very first time at Undercover Artist Festival.

Categories: Music

Theatre Ensemble

Access Arts Theatre Ensemble

A List of Acquisitions (as part of Works in Development)
3:30PM – 4:45PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio

I want to spend time in the atmosphere of the theatre.
I want to fill the room with my energy.
I want to make the future brighter.
I am excited. Pumped. Fierce.
I want to keep dancing.
I love the new space. I love new ideas.
I am vertically challenged. I want to work. I want to move around.
I am a little shaky.
I want the unexpected. I want an exchange of energy.
I want to make art. I want to get in the body.
We know what this show is together.

Access Arts Theatre Ensemble has been facilitated by Margi Brown Ash and Daniele Constance.

Categories: Theatre

Reasonable & Necessary


Reasonable and Necessary
Duration of Festival, Courtyard

What is reasonable and necessary to be a Superhero?

Cape, tights and someone to do the laundry?

Reasonable and Necessary is an innovative new participatory arts project that invites Deaf and disabled people to explore what’s reasonable and necessary to achieve their goals. As a creative response to the NDIS, Access2Arts in partnership with Arts Access Australia are on a mission to discover what a new future looks like for Deaf and disabled people.

Reasonable and Necessary will be both a national website and location-specific installations. Starting with an online call for text or visual imagery related to what is considered reasonable and necessary in someone’s life, we will then use these contributions to create public works of art in various cities.

During Undercover Artists Festival, you are invited to spend time with visual artist Kirsty Martinson imagining what is ‘reasonable and necessary’ in your life and transforming the courtyard of the Queensland Theatre Company into an installation of post-it notes.

Categories: Art Installation



UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities Videos
8:00PM – 9:00PM Friday 26 June, Studio Two

To celebrate International Day of People with Disability last year, Access2Arts worked together in partnership with Adelaide City Council to produce series of creative responses responding to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

Deaf and disabled people were filmed reciting key articles from the UN convention, specifically those that related to Access2Arts and Adelaide City Council’s relations with disabled people.

All video scripts are written in plain English and feature a diverse demographic of Deaf and disabled people who appear together in each screen shot. People use their own communication styles in the videos. All videos are captioned and audio described.

Categories: Film

Alicia Jane Steele

Alicia Jane Steele

Dark humour. Live music. Body painting.
9:00PM – 10:00PM Friday 26 June, Bille Brown Studio

Fresh from a headlining season at Melbourne’s iconic Butterfly Club theatre, Schadenfreude returns home to Brisbane for a one-night-only special presentation. Inspired by early 20th Century French and German “kabarett” culture, this dark-humoured mini-musical explores the concept of “Schadenfreude” – joy in the misfortune of others.

Starring Alicia Jane Steele, the bastard child of a four-way love affair between Judy Garland, Tom Waits, Bette Milder and Ute Lemper (we’re still unsure who the mother is).

Live body painting by international-award-winning body paint artist, Ria Willering.
Live cabaret band featuring trumpet, double bass, piano accordion, drums/percussion and vocal harmonies.

Sophisticated yet bawdy. Theatrical and personal. Dark and uplifting.

Categories: Cabaret

Access Arts Australia

Arts Access Australia

Panel Discussion: Leadership Through a Different Lens
1:00PM – 2:30PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio

Join chair Kirstin Sillitoe (Co-CEO Arts Access Australia) and panelists Robyn Archer AO (Deputy Chair, Australia Council Board), Wesley Enoch (Artistic Director, Queensland Theatre Company), Emma Bennison (Co-CEO, Arts Access Australia), Gaelle Mellis (Creative, Access2Arts) and NZ stand-up comedian Thane Pullan for a discussion that will challenge artists, arts workers and leaders of arts organisations to reconsider traditional notions of leadership.

Leadership Through a Different Lens is a 30-minute film that documents experiences of prominent arts and cultural leaders with disability in the UK and Ireland. The film will be the catalyst for an open conversation covering areas such as how and why leaders lead, what training is needed to grow and sustain leaders and why diversity in arts and cultural leadership is crucial to artistic and economic success.

The film was produced by Emma Bennison, Co-CEO of Arts Access Australia thanks to an Executive Leadership grant from the Australia Council for the Arts.

Categories: Film Panel Discussion

Photo by Jeff Busby

Back to Back Theatre

Panel Discussion: Breaking into the Arts
10:30AM – 12:00PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio

In a discussion chaired by Chris Kohn, Back to Back Theatre’s Tamara Searle (Artistic Associate) and Romany Latham (Ensemble Member), JUTE Theatre Company’s Suellen Maunder (Artistic Director/CEO) and Access Arts Achievement Award 2014 recipient Doug Robins will share their thoughts on breaking into the arts as an artist with disability.

Back to Back Theatre creates new forms of contemporary theatre imagined from the minds and experiences of actors with a disability, giving voice to the social and political issues that speak to all people. Based in the regional centre of Geelong, the company is one of Australia’s most globally recognised and respected theatre companies.

Theatre maker Doug Robins has called Cairns home for over a decade. With the help of JUTE Theatre Company, Director Suellen Maunder, and a successful crowd-funding campaign, Doug developed his work Propelled through a creative development in 2013. Propelled is a play composed of Doug’s stories that gives an insight into a life in a wheelchair and aims to help change the perception of people with a disability.

Categories: Panel Discussion

Back to back workshop

Back to Back Theatre Workshop

Back to Back Theatre creates new forms of contemporary theatre imagined from the minds and experiences of actors with a disability, giving voice to the social and political issues that speak to all people.

Based in the regional centre of Geelong, the company is one of Australia’s most globally recognised and respected theatre companies. Artistic Director Bruce Gladwin nurtures a unique artistic voice from the community with an emphasis on improvisation and scripting, new work is realised via collaboration between the Artistic Director and guest artists.

Back to Back Theatre will hold a three hour workshop at Undercover Artist Festival for artists who identify as experiencing disability. Participants will be given the opportunity to enhance their practice by working with Back to Back Theatre’s Artistic Associate Tamara Searle and Ensemble Member Romany Latham.

For more information about how to book for this workshop please see the Expression of Interest Form on the Access Arts’ Website under events.

Categories: Theatre

Barry Charles

Barry Charles

8:30PM – 9:00PM Friday 26 June, Foyer

Sunshine Coast musician and singer-songwriter Barry Charles is a colourful performer and a veteran of the Australian troubadour scene. Barry has been labeled an “extreme vocalist” – his broad vocal range enables him to channel Tom Waits and scat or toss in falsetto at the drop of a hat.

Long periods of performing either solo or in small combos have allowed Barry a freedom of expression in terms of timing and song structure to the point where a given arrangement can vary widely from one outing to the next.

His songwriting touches the soul with observations of life, love, fantasy and humour. Barry will delight you with his original songs at Undercover Artist Festival on Friday 26 June.

Categories: Music

Painting by Stephen Corti-Griffiths

Brisbane Outsider Artists’ Studio (BOA)

Exhibition by Brisbane Outsider Artists’ Studio
Duration of Festival, Courtyard

Responding to the theme of “undercover artists”, BOA artists present their work on canvas capes, exploring their superhero side. Outside in the courtyard the work of BOA artist’s fly through the trees, scale walls, weave into vines and take you on a journey through the space. Look up, look down, look all around you.

Categories: Visual Art

Photo by Matthew Lys

Camera Wanderers

Exhibition by Camera Wanderers
Duration of Festival, Courtyard

Access Arts’ Camera Wanderers have been responding to the theme of “undercover artists” and traversing Brisbane taking photos under bridges, in car parks and tunnel walk-ways, looking up through tree branches to the cover of sky. Take your own wander through the festival and find a selection of their work on display and find out more about the photographers.

Categories: Photography

Christina Youhanna

Christina Youhanna

Blonde Ammunition
6:30PM – 7:15PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio (double bill with Thane Pullan: Stand-up Comedian)

Australian actor Christina Youhanna is a graduate of NIDA who has performed in television, film and theatre. She has also worked as a singing and acting teacher in Brisbane for twenty years.

After the success of Christina’s one-woman show Global Garbage at Metro Arts in 2009 she is now devising a new solo show.

Blonde Ammunition is a series of monologues featuring the very blonde “Cindy C” – a Hollywood actress who will share her stories and New Age philosophies with such outrageous conviction you might just believe they were all true!

Categories: Theatre

Dance Integrated Australia

Dance Integrated Australia

Dance Integrated Australia Residency
3:30PM – 4:45PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio (as part of Works in Development)

Inclusive dance meets new physical, artistic and collaborative heights at the Dance Integrated Australia Residency. Philip Channells will be hosting six movement and physical theatre workshops in the Moreton Bay region and Brisbane to assist in generating your creative voice.
This residency is for performing artists with and without a disability. Participants are offered a unique opportunity to take part in the final workshop, featured in performance mode at Undercover Artist Festival on the 27 June 2015 at Queensland Theatre Company.

For more information about how to book for this workshop please see the Expression of Interest Form on Access Arts’ website under events.

Categories: Dance

Photo by Alexandra Winters

Daniele Constance

People of Interest
4:30PM – 6:30PM Friday 26 June, Studio Two

Drawing on the direct experience of people who have survived unbelievable circumstances, People of Interest is a tribute, a testimony to those lived experiences. It poses as a platform for connection from one person to another, to redefine the judgment of a seemingly everyday person.

Imagine a living portrait. What if the painting of that person could speak, what would their story be? Imagine sitting in front of you is someone else’s grandmother, telling the story of how she overcame substance abuse in the 1980’s, someone’s mother telling the story of how she survived 12 hour trapped in a crashed car on a highway, someone’s son fleeing from a war torn country. People of Interest is those stories, told by true survivors, in an intimate and personal setting.

People of Interest does not employ a traditional script, set or narrative. Rather, it pulls from contemporary theatre practices to weave raw material from non-trained artists through the use of audio recordings and site-specific practices. Each survivor will be set up in their own ‘portrait’ setting, and share their stories through pre recorded audio, one at a time with each audience member.

Collecting stories from true survivors, devised and directed with professional artists, People of Interest has artistic power from the real people and real material that they share.

Daniele Constance – Director, Producer & Sound Design
Alexandra Winters – Site & Lighting Design
Anthony Pink – Sound Engineer & Production Manager

Categories: Storytelling Theatre

David Truong

David Truong and Donnelle Brooks

Ambition Road
12:15PM – 1:00PM Saturday 27 June, Foyer

Ambition Road is a music collaboration between singer-songwriters David Truong and Donnelle Brooks. Featuring David Truong on keyboard and vocals and Donnelle Brooks on guitar and vocals, Ambition Road brings to life the original songs of both artists in an acoustic-driven, reflective, folk/soft-rock style.

This 45-minute live set of original songs is full of heartfelt lyrics and haunting melodies drawn from the life experiences of David Truong and Donnelle Brooks. The performance will be a preview of content featured in their debut album Ambition Road, due to be released later this year.

Categories: Music

Doug Robins

Doug Robins

12:00PM – 1:00PM Saturday 27 June, Studio Two

Coming of age is a tricky business, especially when you’re on wheels and life keeps throwing roadblocks at you.

Doug is 25 years old. He likes football, partying with his mates, and girls. He’s pretty much your average guy except for one big difference. Doug has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy*, and negotiates life’s twists and turns in a wheel chair; not always an easy feat despite the help and support of friends, family and well-meaning strangers.

Life is no blithe spin in the park; stairs aren’t built for wheels, and some doors are easier to get through than others.

Armed with a whole lot of smarts, an impressive capacity for patience and a keen awareness of life’s absurdities, Doug takes a heroic journey into the liminal worlds between boy and man, man and machine, the real and the fantastical, to discover who he is, and in the process finds a path uniquely his own.

This film showing of theatre production ‘Propelled’ offers a rare insight into an inspiring life through the eyes of an extraordinary man on a remarkable journey. Take a ride and be transformed. The differences may not be what they seem.

Categories: Theatre

Emma Bennison

Emma Bennison

Fine Line
5:00PM – 5:45PM Friday 26 June, Bille Brown Studio

Hobart-based singer/song-writer, Emma Bennison returns to her hometown to launch her new album, Fine Line.

Emma will perform a series of poignant, funny and thought-provoking original songs and stories. From relationships to leadership, advocacy to intimacy, no stone is left unturned in the telling of this extraordinary personal journey. Audiences will be treated to stunning vocals and honest lyrics that offer a refreshing take on some universal themes from Emma’s unique perspective as a wife, Mother, sister, CEO and disability rights advocate.

Former Executive Officer at Access Arts QLD, Emma can think of no better place than Undercover Artist Festival to join with Brisbane audiences in taking the next exciting step on her own artistic journey.

Join us for this once-only, unique opportunity, and you will also be supporting Queensland artists with disability. Emma will donate all proceeds from this event to the SAFE Fund – providing professional development grants to Queensland artists with disability.

Mitch Medcalf


World Oddysey
7:15PM – 8:00PM Saturday 27 June, Foyer

Mitch Medcalf, aka GALLEON, is regarded by many as Australia’s “Stevie Wonder” of DJing. GALLEON has had segments on the Revolution (Austereo Network) in 2014, and has supported the likes of JimmyZ (Wild FM/Nova), Rich Curtis at the after party for the La Vibrations Boat Party in January, and the legendary Henry Saiz from Spain at Capulet Bar this March, while holding residencies at the Port Office and Phoenix Bar to name a few.

World Oddysey, presented by GALLEON, is set to take you on a journey across the globe and back, introducing the listener to eclectic world vibes, and worldly sounding remixes of popular tracks. From Punjabi to Salsa, Afrobeat to Reggae, German New Wave to Makossa and everything in between, World Oddysey has you covered.

If you are looking for something fresh and different, and would like to hear a new take on contemporary and traditional world music, this is a must. Through the music of many cultures and nationalities GALLEON plays, he communicates his universal message of happiness, love, acceptance and… Togetherness.

Categories: DJ

Ged Maybury Steampink

Ged Maybury

Putting on the Punk – Fantasy, Costumes and Photos
12:00PM – 3:30PM Saturday 27 June, Courtyard

‘Punk’ – the playful defiance of conventions; self-expression; stretching boundaries. A costume table offering people the chance to dress up and become something different.

Hosted by roving cosplayer Ged Maybury sporting his most bizarre costumes, always ready for photos.

Categories: Roving Performer

Hahna Briggs

Hahna Briggs and Jenny Newstead

From Conversation: Difference is our Strength
6:30PM – 7:15PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio (double bill with Monster)

From Conversation: Difference is our Strength has developed out of an eight-year movement dialogue between Jenny Newstead (MBE) and Hahna Briggs (MDanceSt). Their current work continues this energetic conversation, exploring the use of crutches as tools of play, with a sprinkle of quirkiness and a pinch of surveillance.

Jenny is a former paralympic swimmer from New Zealand, and an integrated dance educator at the University of Otago in Dunedin. She won a total of 10 Paralympic medals, including seven gold medals, and broke 37 world records in her career.

Jenny and Hahna are part of GASP! Dance Collective, Dunedin, New Zealand. In addition to choreographing and performing for GASP!, they co-teach the collective’s inclusive community dance class.

Categories: Dance

Photo by Chris Jallard and Deano Fletcher

Joshua Pether and Lynette Voevidin

6:30PM – 7:15PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio (double bill with From Conversation: Difference is our Strength)

Joshua Pether is a dance artist based in Perth, Western Australia who identifies as having a disability. He was a dancer for LINK Dance Company and Ochre Dance Company and is currently working with Touch Compass based in Auckland, New Zealand. He has performed both nationally and internationally.

Lynnette Voevidin is a visual artist based in Perth, Western Australia. She holds a Masters of Fine Art from Curtin University. Solo exhibitions of Lynnette’s films have screened in Perth and Adelaide, and she has also exhibited her work in America, Brazil, Cuba, Indonesia, England and Korea.

As a collaborative team both Joshua and Lynnette will work together to perform Monster – a solo work devised in 2014. Made in collaboration with integrated dance practitioner and 2010 Young Australian of the Year Finalist Dan Daw, Monster seeks to uncover what it is to be monstrous and how the body, particularly the disabled body, can communicate this. Utilising the skills of Lynnette, the collaborative team will transform Monster from a solo dance piece to a performance art piece, conceptual in nature – a framed painting if you like.

The character in this work fluctuates between the world of good and evil. His body is forever changing, and with this change comes his metamorphosis into the Monster.

Categories: Dance

Karen Lee Roberts

Karen Lee Roberts

It’s Not Easy Being Green
7:00PM – 8:00PM Friday 26 June, Bille Brown Studio

Karen Lee Roberts is the playwright and performer of new one-woman cabaret It’s Not Easy Being Green, which premiers at Undercover Artist Festival 2015. Directed by Sandro Colarelli, the performance has been created to entertain and educate people on the issues of mental wellness. This funny and moving, provocative and enlightening performance will invite you to learn as you are treated to a feast of music and theatre. It’s Not Easy Being Green may make you laugh, make you cry, and encourage you to live a more fulfilling life.

Karen has performed extensively in both Australia and the United Kingdom. She has sung at The Old Vic Theatre in London, acted on stage at the Queensland Performing Arts Complex, Metro Arts, Brisbane Powerhouse and Queensland Multicultural Centre, and performed her original works at the Wataboshi Festival in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Karen has also been a part of various festivals including the Brisbane Festival, Fete de la Musique and Sydney Festival. She has recently worked with OzFrank Theatre Company.

Categories: Cabaret

Second Echo Ensemble

Second Echo Ensemble

The Rite of Spring
8:00PM – 8:40PM Saturday 27 June, Bille Brown Studio

Second Echo Ensemble is a curiosity-driven ensemble that values and grows creative relationships, unique perspectives, and group devised physical theatre practice. At the core of Second Echo is the ensemble of deviser/performers. The majority are young adults, many of whom live with intellectual disabilities and have been members of the group since its inception. Integration and diversity are at the heart of the ensemble’s goals.

Second Echo Ensemble’s work is not simply about access or equality. It’s about new ways of thinking and new opportunities for engagement with a diverse pool of creative talent, serving both to widen and deepen the possibilities for the creative practices and conversations of the future. They don’t make performances about having a disability or not having a disability. They make work about life, about its surroundings, its imaginings, its rhythms, its angers and its celebrations.

Second Echo Ensemble are thrilled to be presenting glimpses of their latest project The Rite of Spring, a creative reimagining of a classic piece, at Undercover Artist Festival. Through dance, physical theatre and immersive design they explore the promise of spring. Their hopes, expectations and choices. Their rights and dreams.

Categories: Physical Theatre

Thane Pullan

Thane Pullan

Thane Pullan: Stand-up Comedian
9:00PM – 9:50PM Saturday 27 June, Studio Two (double bill with Blonde Ammunition)

Thane Pullan calls himself the stand-up comedian that doesn’t stand up, or talk. He started out in stand-up comedy last year but couldn’t do it without special software. When suitable software couldn’t be found he made his own.

Hailing from Christchurch, New Zealand, Thane is known for being blunt about how people treat people with disabilities…. and being blunt on most topics.

You can expect hard-hitting humour about having a disability and life in general from this comic.

When he is not making people laugh Thane is busy creating his own line of accessibility software.

Categories: Comedy

brotherhood of the wordless

The Brotherhood of the Wordless

Leaders of Tomorrow’s World
5:00PM – 6:00PM Saturday 27 June, Studio Two

The Brotherhood of the Wordless is a group of writers who use facilitated communication because of difficulties with speech and co-ordination. Together they write poetry and prose that expresses their creative selves.

Professional performance poet David (Ghostboy) Stavanger teamed up with the group in 2009, and his vision for the group has inspired everyone with his dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm.

The Brotherhood of the Wordless has become a united voice for people without a voice, struggling to be heard. The success of these performances has improved their lives and sense of self and increased their confidence to take their places in the world.

Over the last decade the group has produced a cabaret, a musical, books and DVDs. They have presented at Woodford, Queensland Writers’ Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival, and the State Library of Queensland.

Categories: Writing

Photo by Rosie Fyvie

The Light Ensemble

Documentary Screening
7:15PM – 7:55PM Saturday 27 June, Studio Two

The Light Ensemble will present a video of their training with acclaimed artist and Feldenkrais specialist Anna Yen, followed by a Q&A session about what they would like to make next.

The Light Ensemble is one of Backbone’s most treasured ensembles. The Light Ensemble celebrates the artistic voice of young people who identify as living with a disability. The focus of the ensemble is to create fully developed, high quality performance works. Total Eclipse of the Heart, performed at Backbone’s 2high Festival in January 2015, was the group’s favourite performance to date.

David Waldie, Ensemble Member, says, “I am looking forward to showing you all our next show. It contains lots of laughter and clowns. It will be a show stealer. Haha – that’s a clue. So come along and see it. You will laugh too!”

Categories: Film Theatre