DATE: 28 October 2021, 4pm AEDST

APT is pleased to host an in-conversation featuring leading playwrights and creatives exploring the craft of playwriting in the digital realm.  

Please join our host Anchuli Felicia King in conversation with Chris Bendall, Jo Kukathas, Jared Mezzocchi, Richard Nelson and Rhen Soggee



HOST: ANCHULI FELICIA KING is a multi-disciplinary artist of Thai-Australian descent. Felicia had her playwriting debut in 2019, with three original plays staged at major institutions around the globe. 

In television, she has written on shows including THE BABY (HBO/Sky), DEADLOCH (Amazon Studios), and projects with Netflix, Foxtel and HBO. She is also creative and executive producing shows in development with BBC Studios, Sister Pictures, and AMC.

The Royal Court Theatre’s mainstage production of Felicia’s play White Pearl marked her professional debut in May 2019, directed by Nana Dakin. White Pearl was subsequently produced by Sydney Theatre Company / National Theatre of Parramatta in Sydney and the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC in the United States. 

Golden Shield had its world premiere in 2019 at Melbourne Theatre Company directed by Sarah Goodes. This play was shortlisted for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and is currently slated for an Off-Broadway production at Manhattan Theatre Club in 2022, directed by Danya Taymor. 

Slaughterhouse premiered at 25A an indie season of theatre at Belvoir in Sydney, directed by Benita De Wit. This play was previously selected as part of Melbourne Theatre Company’s (MTC) Cyber Electric 2018 readings. 

The American Shakespeare Centre awarded Felicia’s play Keene the Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries Award and Keene will be produced at their traditional Shakespearian theatre in 2021. 

Felicia was the 2020 Patrick White Fellow at Sydney Theatre Company and is currently under commission with the Royal Court Theatre, the Manhattan Theatre Club, Atlantic Theatre Company, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Melbourne Theatre Company. 

CHRIS BENDALL is a nationally respected and award-winning arts leader, artistic director, programmer, producer & dramaturg. He has been Director & CEO of Critical Stages Touring since 2014, connecting outstanding professional theatre and live performance with regional and metropolitan audiences across Australia and New Zealand (2014- present). He was previously Guest Curator of the 2013 National Play Festival for Playwriting Australia; Artistic Director & CEO of Deckchair Theatre (2008-2012) in Fremantle WA.  He was Artistic Director of Theatre @ Risk in Melbourne (2001-2007) &  Resident Director at Melbourne Theatre Company (2002-2006).

Critical Stages Touring won the PAC (Performing Arts Connections) Australia Touring Legend Award for 2019. Chris has won the WA Equity Award for Best Director in both 2009 and 2011 and was nominated for a Green Room Award for Outstanding Direction in 2001.  He has been awarded the Queen's Trust Australia and Foundation for Young Australians Centenary Grant (2001) and the George Fairfax Memorial Award for Theatre (2003).  He is currently a member of PAC Australia & Regional Arts Australia’s Touring Advisory Group and is on the nominating panel of the Helpmann Awards for Regional Touring (Deputy Chair) and for Theatre.

JO KUKATHAS is an actor, writer, dramaturg and director and co-founder/ Artistic Director of The Instant Café Theatre Company, Malaysia (1989) best known for its political satire, its FIRSTWoRKS new play program and theatre reflecting Malaysia’s diverse ethnic, linguistic, religious, migratory composition. She has run arts spaces, produced/curated festivals, staged productions and toured and/or worked in Singapore, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, Australia and Indonesia. She is an API Fellow (Asian Public Intellectual) and DDS Fellow (De La Salle Democracy Discourse). 

JARED MEZZOCCHI is an Obie award winning director and multimedia designer, playwright, and actor. Mezzocchi’s work spans the United States at notable theaters such as: The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Geffen Playhouse, Woolly Mammoth, Cornerstone, Portland Centerstage, South Coast Rep, HERE Arts, and 3LD. In 2016, he received The Lucille Lortel and Henry Hewes Award for his work in Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone at the Manhattan Theatre Club. In December of 2020, The New York Times highlighted Jared on a list of the top 5 national artists making an impact during the pandemic. His work on Sarah Gancher’s Russian Troll Farm, Caryl Churchill’s What If If Then and his own work Someone Else’s House was all praised for being some of the first digitally native successes for virtual theater. He is a two-time Macdowell Artist Fellow, a Princess Grace Award winner, Artistic Director of Andy’s Summer Playhouse, and an Associate Professor at The University of Maryland.

RICHARD NELSON (Playwright and Director). His plays include the recent Pandemic Trilogy (three Zoom plays) as well as The Michaels, What Happened?: The Michaels Abroad, Illyria, The Gabriels, The Apple Family Plays, Nikolai and The Others, Farewell to the Theatre, Conversations in Tusculum, Goodnight Children Everywhere(Olivier Award, Best Play), Two Shakespearean Actors (Tony nomination, Best Play), Some Americans Abroad (Olivier nomination, Best Comedy), and others. His musicals include James Joyce’s The Dead (with Shaun Davey, Tony Award Best Book of a Musical); his screenplays include Hyde Park on Hudson (Roger Michell, director). He directed Uncle Vanya in 2018 for the Hunter Theater Project. With Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, he has co-translated plays by Chekhov, Gogol, Turgenev, and Bulgakov. He is an honorary associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company and recipient of the PEN/Laura Pels “Master Playwright” Award.

RHEN SOGGEE is an arts manager living and working as a migrant on unceded Kaurna land. They are Executive Director & Co-CEO of ActNow Theatre and Co-Chair of Post Office Projects. They are interested in contemporary, experimental, multicultural, inter/multi-disciplinary and participatory arts. They seek to affect social change through the arts, specifically with multicultural, intersectional, feminist and queer agendas. Rhen has worked across many arts organisations, cultural hubs, and festivals, recently including OzAsia Festival and Next Wave. They joined ActNow Theatre from Carclew, where they were Arts & Events Coordinator. They are in the final stages of a Masters of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) at NIDA.