Untold Stories – Recipients Announced
APT is excited to announce the 2023 Untold Stories participants. These participants have headed on Retreat in the Kangaroo Valley and will receive ongoing support as they develop new plays in 2023.
Egan Sun-Bin (QLD)
Egan is a storyteller based in Meanjin (Brisbane). He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in Acting from the Queensland University of Technology.
Earlier forms of artistic training stem from his time being a part of the Queensland Theatre’s Youth Ensemble from 2015-2017. His theatre credits include working with Queensland based companies like Queensland Theatre, Debase, Shock Therapy Productions, Shake and Stir and La Boite.
As a playwright, Egan worked on some initiatives with Australian Theatre of Young People participating in the Roomworks collaboration in 2020 and through their Fresh Ink Mentoring Program in 2022. In 2021, he was awarded best new script for More of Us at Short + Sweet QLD Gala Finals and has received funding from the AQ’s Individual Fund to work on his play Blue Iris.
For the Untold Stories Lab, Egan will be working on his play Kung Pow Cambodia (Working Title) inspired by his family’s and various recounts of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge Regime.
Iolanthe Francis-Brophy (NSW)
Iolanthe is an actor, writer and model who creates and collaborates in works that redefine the ‘norm’ and centre culturally diverse stories. Spending her life between Australia and the UK, Iolanthe’s artistry is impacted by her understanding of multiple cultures and creative landscapes. She is a biracial woman of Afro-Caribbean, British and Norwegian background. Inspired by the lyricism, emotionality and rhythm infused in Black British artistry, Iolanthe aims to bring this dexterity to her work in Australia.
Iolanthe’s introduction to performance was through movement and dance, from replicating Rihanna’s music videos in the living room, to joining ‘Shift’ Contemporary Dance Company at The Place, London. Feeling that her love of storytelling mustn’t be confined to the body, she honed her writing skills and was published as a Foyle’s Young Poet in early adolescence. In a blur of LAMDA exams, watching West End productions and full time secondary performing arts education, she soon embraced a vision: acting.
In late 2021 Iolanthe was cast as Kara in Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s touring production of ‘Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner’. In 2022 she co-headlined the Sydney (Eternity Playhouse) and Brisbane (LaBoite) shows and continued to perform at Malthouse in January 2023. Since graduating NIDA in November 2022, she debuted as a model at Afterpay Australian Fashion Week walking for the independent designer, ‘Youkhana’. She writes opinion pieces on culture, fashion and lifestyle and is currently writing her first play. The only question left is : where to next?
Michele Lee (VIC)
Michele Lee is a multiple award-winning and critically acclaimed Hmong-Australian writer who creates character-driven stories often from the perspectives of imperfect women. Across stage, audio and live art, her works include Rice (2022, 2021, 2017), Security (2022), Single Ladies (2021), Going Down (2018), The Naked Self (2018, 2016), Talon Salon (2014, 2013, 2012) and See How The Leaf People Run (2012). For screen, Michele wrote on TV shows Hungry Ghosts (2020) and Retrograde (2020), and wrote two 6 x 2-minute stories released on TikTok (2022). Her sex-romp memoir Banana Girl (2013) is published by Transit Lounge.
George Lazaris (VIC)
George Lazaris (they/them) is a theatre director, playwright and dramaturg who has worked at Melbourne Theatre Company, Hayes Theatre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Seymour Centre, Butterfly Club, Gasworks Arts Park and La Mama. George has directed experimental, contemporary and classic plays, cabaret, opera and musical theatre, including Hamlet at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Guerilla Sabbath at La Mama, Caryl Churchill’s Seven Jewish Children, Genesis, Spring Awakening, An Oak Tree, Misery Loves Cabaret starring Shannen Sarstedt as part of Bondi Feast, as well as world premiere productions of the opera Somewhere Between the Sky and Sea at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and Ella Arendelle’s Wellness. George recently assistant directed Cyrano at Melbourne Theatre Company (dir. Sarah Goodes), directed the MTC Cybec Electric reading of new play HELL FIRE, mortal boys by Henry Kelly and directed the workshop process and development showing of the new musical Girls Are Hot by Green Room Award winning company Flesh Coloured Panties. They graduated from a Masters of Directing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts and Honours in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of New South Wales and were a 2022 Associate Artist of Theatre Works.
Medina Dizdarevic (WA)
Medina Dizdarevic is an emerging Bosnian Muslim playwright and theatre-maker from Boorloo. Her work explores displacement, culture and intergenerational trauma. She graduated from Curtin University in 2015 with a degree in Creative Writing and endeavours to use theatrical storytelling as a means of community healing, joy and connection. She was a participant in Playwrights to the Front with Static Drive Co in 2021 as well as Performing Lines WA Kolyang Lab cohort. In 2022, she was the writer for The Complete Show of Water Skiing in Blue Room Theatre’s Summer Nights season and developed her newest work The Strangers with Performing Lines WA and Black Swan State Theatre Company through the DLGSC Playwright Partnership Program.
Jordan Shea (NSW)
Jordan Shea is a Filipino-Australian writer and teacher, based on Gadigal Country. A graduate of the VCA (Writing), and Notre Dame (Theatre/Education), his work has been produced and developed by Sydney Theatre Company, Australian Theatre for Young People, Belvoir 25a, Old 505, the Old Fitz, the Hayes Theatre Company, CAAP, the Sydney Fringe Festival and the Joan, Penrith. Jordan was one of the co-recipients of the Philip Parsons Playwrights Fellowships, and is the 2022 Varuna House Fellowship, awarded by Writing NSW.
There were 38 applications to the Untold Stories program in 2023. Applicants to APT’S programs have the option to self report on certain identifiers. These identifiers are not factored into assessment of applications, but help APT assess the reach of our programs.
Below is a statistical breakdown of these applications:
Australian First Peoples: 3%
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse: 92%
Living with a disability: 8%