Australian Plays Transform

Developing the Dramaturg – Participants Announced

We are proud to announce the dramaturgs joining our Developing the Dramaturg initiative in 2023! Developing the Dramaturg aims to increase diversity in the field of dramaturgy through a comprehensive story lab, mentorship opportunities, and placement in producing organisations. Six early career dramaturgs from underrepresented communities will receive training and support to play a vital role in shaping the future of the theatrical landscape.

Kate Baldwin

Kate Baldwin is an emerging, neurodivergent, Japanese-Australian lighting designer, who lives and works on the lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation.

Since graduating from NIDA in 2019, some of her credits as Lighting Designer include: Lose to Win (Red Line Productions); The Great Australian Play (Red Line Productions and Montague Basement); Nothing (National Theatre of Parramatta), Tom at the Farm (KXT); Albion (New Ghosts Theatre Company, Secret House & Seymour Centre); Top Coat (Sydney Theatre Company); The Box Show (Critical Stages Touring & Junkyard Beats); Guards at the Taj (National Theatre of Parramatta); Chewing Gum Dreams (Green Door Theatre Company and Red Line Productions); seven methods of killing kylie jenner (Darlinghurst Theatre Company and Green Door Theatre Company); Ching Chong Chinaman (Slanted Theatre); and House at Boundary Road, Liverpool (Bontom).

She completed a residency at Sydney Theatre Company as Design Associate (Lighting) in 2021 and 2022. She was also a part of Ka-llective, which had residencies with PACT and CPAC in 2021 and 2022.

Kate is passionate about creating more opportunities and safe spaces for First Nations Artists and Artists of Colour, as well as Disabled Artists. She is committed to working with other artists who are actively and openly breaking down barriers against Inclusion and Accessibility.

Kate will work with Belvoir St. Theatre as part of the program

Jasper Lee-Lindsay

Jasper is an actor, writer and theatre producer.

As an actor, his stage credits include Blessed Union (Belvoir), Follow Me Home (ATYP)and Moon Rabbit Rising (Little Eggs Collective/25A). Screen credits include Legend of the Five (Benjamin Jon Creative Media) and Too Many Ethnics (In-Between Productions).

For his writing, Jasper first short play, Arthur & Marilyn, received awards from the Short + Sweet Festival in both Sydney and Los Angelesand his second short play, The Iceberg, was featured in ATYP’s Intersection: Arrival. He also wrote and performed Percentages, a spoken-word poem which was included in Diversity Arts Australia’s I Am Not A Virus project.

He has produced Chewing Gum Dreams for Green Door Theatre Company, andYellow Face for his own indie theatre company, Dinosaurus Productions.

Jasper studied acting at AFTT, received writing mentorship through ATYP, and has been supported by KXT bAKEHOUSE, Green Door Theatre Company and Montague Basement in various aspects of theatre-making. 

Jasper will work with the National Theatre of Parramatta as part of the program

Ayah Tayeh

Ayah Tayeh is a Palestinian theatre maker and emerging dramaturg that has worked as a stage manager on new works that challenge the perception of underrepresented communities. Throughout her career, Ayah has advocated for more opportunities for people of colour in creative, backstage, and management spaces. She deeply believes that representation must exist further than what the audience can see onstage, and diversity in those positions will enrich the new and exciting work that is being made. Over the last year she has been involved in ATYP’s inaugural Cultivate program, which focuses on Western and non-Western dramaturgy, as well as worked as a literary associate at Belvoir St Theatre, where she has been able to participate in and observe the creation of new works. She is driven to create more SWANA focused stories in the future, as well as work that challenges formal conventions. This year she has delved into the world of poetry and is open to all recommendations. 

Ayah is honoured to be part of APT’s Developing the Dramaturg program and is motivated to develop her practice through their mentorship and her placement at Belvoir St Theatre. 

Her recent stage management credits include: Constellations (Sydney Theatre Company), The Jungle and The Sea (Belvoir), Counting and Cracking (UK, Belvoir), City of Gold (Sydney Theatre Company), seven methods of killing kylie jenner (Darlinghurst Theatre Company), The Boomkak Panto (Belvoir), A Room of One’s Own (Belvoir), My Brilliant Career (Belvoir), Breaking Glass (Sydney Chamber Opera), Double Delicious (Contemporary Asian Australian Performance).

Ayah will work with Belvoir St. Theatre as part of the program

Mara Willingham

Mara Willingham is a Worimi woman who lives and works on Dharawal country (Illawarra NSW).

A storyteller at heart, Mara recently graduated from the University of Wollongong and spends her spare time writing short stories and screenplays. She is currently working on a coming of age/science fiction novel.

In 2020, Mara worked on a collaborative theatre project called Deja Vu which was performed at the Phoenix Theatre in Coniston, NSW.

Mara will work with Merrigong Theatre Company as part of the program

Ryan Whitworth-Jones

Ryan is a proud Wiradjuri man and an Award Nominated Director and Dramaturg. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Diploma of Education from Macquarie University and a Masters Fine Arts Directing from NIDA. His directorial work includes: Cloudstreet (Lane Cove Theatre Company), Life Cycle (NAISDA), Venus in Fur (Sydney Fringe Festival), Cheats and Liars – Jawbreakers Music Video (Triple J/ABC Rage, 2023 Webby Nominee), Desire a Kabarett (NIDA), I’m not Inspirational (PACT) and How to Win a Plebiscite (and Tennis) as part of the Festival of Emerging Artists (NIDA). His Assistant Directing credits include Picnic at Hanging Rock (NIDA) The Job I took (Triple J/ABC Rage) ,The Stratford Drama Arts Festival (UK) and co-collaborator on the Taming of the Shrew (Greater School’s Program, Globe Theatre UK). Ryan recently completed a Directing Secondment on the Australian Premier of the Broadway Musical ‘Natasha, Pierre and the Comet of 1812’ (Darlinghurst Theatre Company).

Ryan will work with Moogahlin Performing Arts as part of the program

JoJo Zhou

JoJo Zhou (she/they) is a writer and dramaturg across many mediums. Her recent writing for stage includes Porpoise Pool (Belvoir’s 25a), One for the Ages (ATYP’s Fresh Ink), Sunlit (developed with Critical Stages Touring), Sowing Seeds (Gasworks Arts Park), The Great and Powerful Oz(zie) (Old 505), and Carpark. After School. (published Intersection: Beat). As a dramaturg, they have worked with The Monologue Collective (PYT Fairfield), on P#rnscape (Assorted Tarts), Flora (NIDA Festival of Emerging Artists), Romeo and Juliet (Outpost Theatre) and Too (Sydney Fringe Festival). For screen she has written Planet B (Shopfront Arts Co-Op), audio drama Cloudy Tales: Episode 1 (JMC Academy), digital multimedia Opening Doors: Digital (Tantrum Youth Arts), and for video games Innchanted (DragonBear Studios/Asmodee) and Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital). They studied a Master of Fine Arts (Writing for Performance) at NIDA, a Bachelor of Communication (Theatre/Media) at CSU, and was a recipient of the Young Regional Artist Scholarship in 2018. JoJo is passionate about the way storytelling is transformed by the medium of delivery, and creating unique and powerful experiences for both artists and audiences.

JoJo will work with Griffin Theatre as part of the program

This project is proudly supported by the NSW Government through CreateNSW

We acknowledge that we live and create on unceded lands. We pay our respects to the First Peoples of Australia, and to their elders past, present and future.

© Australian Plays Transform 2024