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Maddie Little, Undercover Artist Festival Director, is the recipient of the 2022 National Arts and Disability Award for Early Career Artist. This award is in recognition of her work as an artist, advocate and mentor for artists with disability.


As well as leading and directing the Undercover Artist Festival, Maddie is a performer, theatre maker, writer, advocate, and access consultant for the performing arts based in Brisbane. Her credits include her recent portrayal of Dr Emma Brookner in The Normal Heart at Ad Astra Theatre Company (November 2022).


Madeleine has dedicated her work to accessibility in the performing arts with the aim of increasing opportunities for authentic representation of disabled voices on stage. She was the inaugural recipient of both the Stella Young Award (Arts Access Victoria 2018) and National Leadership Award (Arts Access Australia 2019). Madeleine is currently the Festival Director of Undercover Artist Festival, Australia’s premier performing arts and disability Festival, which is due to return in September 2023.


In 2019, she contributed to The Last Avant-Garde – Disability and the Performing Arts in Australia: Beyond the Social Model research project. She also wrote, produced, directed and performed her original play, Hold, which she then presented as part of her Master of Arts research. In her research she was testing accessible theatre practice conventions and the impacts and implications of people with disabilities in the performing arts and as a part of this body of work. Her research has been published in part in Australasian Drama Studies Journal Hold On: Australian Innovations in Access Aesthetics


Maddie has worked tirelessly to improve accessibility in the performing arts, and to encourage those living with disabilities to pursue this career path. She’s a well deserving recipient of the Early Career Artist Award.