Bendigo has a strong performing arts scene filled with inspiring and creative professionals with distinct creative vision.
Join us as we speak with Christian Leavesley, Creative Director at Arena Theatre, Abe Watson, President of Bendigo Theatre Company and Alise Amarant, Company Director at Props Theatre.
In this Studio Session, our panel will dive into discussions about the role the performing arts plays in telling the stories of our time.
Diversity, creative freedom, connection during isolation and arts management practice. We look forward to your questions for this session and can promise some rich and creatively nourishing content from our panel.
Before joining Arena, Christian co-founded multi-award winning company Uncle Semolina (& friends), whose works such as Gilgamesh, Ticky Tacky and OT were known for their innovative use of playing space and theatrical form. Leavesley’s work has appeared in festivals and venues across Australia, and internationally in Asia, North America and Europe. Leavesley’s works for Arena include Star chaser, Marlin, Marlin Expedition, Point of View, The Sleepover, Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon, Trapper and Air Race
Abe Watson is an experienced arts manager and creative based in Central Victoria; he is Production Manager at Melbourne Theatre Company and President at Bendigo Theatre Company. A true lover of art and community, Abe has worked with many organisations in various producing roles; he has a deep understanding of all aspects of theatre and loves sharing this knowledge with those around him. Abe has a wealth of knowledge in all areas of technical theatre and operations, his passion (and first love) being theatre lighting design and electrics.
Abe holds a Bachelor of Arts (French/Media Comms), and is currently studying a Master of Arts and Cultural Management at The University of Melbourne.
Abe’s producing and production management work includes: Torch the Place for MTC; Wicked, One Man Two Guvnors, Peter Pan for BTC; Assassins for 3’s A Crowd Inc.; First Date for Pipedream Productions; and, [title of show] as an independent production.
In 2020, Abe will be Production Manager for MTC’s Berlin, The Heartbreak Choir, and, Girls & Boys.
With a vision to allow drama to be accessible to all students, Alise stepped out of the school setting to begin her own drama program in Bendigo in 2012. Alise has worked in education both in the classroom and in community settings with a number of drama and theatre programs across the Bendigo region. This includes developing theatre pieces for La Trobe Univeristy, NIDA and building a Victorian regional based theatre company,Tripwire Inc. who produced original theatre pieces, Black Dog (toured 2015), Hollow (Daylesford Town Hall, 2017) and The Bellydancer (Bendigo 2018).
In 2018 Alise launched Props Theatre with the goal to create relevant, engaging drama lessons and productions for students in regional towns and to cement the concept of creating for skill development as well as confidence throughout their future lives. Alise has seen more than 500 students pass through her dramatic doors each with their own goals and ambitions for finding their voice. Props Theatre was expanded to Mildura, Victoria in 2018.
As a small business Alise fills the roles of Teacher and Company Director but also now trains staff, writes curriculum, produces theatre and manages all the ins and outs of running her own business (with kids!). She loves to connect with others in the Bendigo community, a hub of passionate and creative small business owners.
She could not imagine doing anything else with her life.