Thomas Banks lives with a moderate case of cerebral palsy, but his art and performance making interjects with his personal life with the added layer as a gay guy. He makes theatre to educate communities about the notions of disability and sexuality. From 2006 – 2009 Thomas was a member of Back to Back Theatre’s experimental theatre laboratory, Theatre of Speed and has also worked regularly with Platform Youth Theatre. Thomas is an active committee member on Youth Disability Advocacy Service (YDAS) at the Youth Affairs Council Of Australia, the Victorian Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commission Disability Reference Group (DRG), the Youth Reference Committee at the Youth Affairs Council Of Victoria and the QUIP Advocacy Group (ALSO Foundation).
Phuong Ngo’s practice explores the individual and collected identity of the Vietnamese Diaspora through the exploration of history, politics and culture. He completed an honours degree in fine art at RMIT in 2012, and has exhibited at numerous galleries throughout Melbourne including the Centre for Contemporary Photography and participated in Fresh Produce the closing event for NW12. He was a finalist in the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize (2012) and the National Photographic Portrait Prize (2011).
Louris van de Geer is a female playwright from Melbourne. This year she will write Face Fall (Northcote Town Hall) and Sea of Trees (Malthouse Besen Family Artist Program). She has written Tuesday (MKA 2012, Theatreworks In the Works, MKA@MTC 2011), The Summit as part of Living Cities (Punchdrunk/Arcola Theatre, Playwriting Australia), Hunny-Bun & Baby Doll (Melbourne Fringe Festival 2010), Fried Cutlets (Emerging Writers Studio, St Martins 2010) and others.
Creative Nonfiction is a new independent creative audio production company interested in exploring new approaches to sound and storytelling. Formed by Jesse Cox, Mike Williams and Que Minh Luu at the end of 2012 Creative Nonfiction collaborates with radio producers, writers, musicians, sound designers, theatre makers and artists. Creative Nonfiction was awarded the inaugural Vivid Ideas Vibewire Fellowship at the end of 2012 and will be collaborating on a number of exciting projects in 2013.
Wael Zwaiter. Unknown is a new project from Creative Nonfiction’s Jesse Cox & Que Minh Luu and is being developed in collaboration with artist Matt Huynh, musician Jamieson Shaw and sound designer Luke Mynott. First performed as part of Radio with Pictures, a live storytelling event and radio broadcast produced for FBi Radio and GRAPHIC Festival at the Sydney Opera House in 2012. After collaborating on a short version of the story, the creative team was interested in further developing the work into a stand-alone live documentary theatre piece. They are thrilled to be doing this through Next Wave’s Kickstart program.
I’m Trying To Kiss You is a feminist theatre collective comprised of Allison Wiltshire, Zoey Dawson and Anna McCarthy. Performances include: I Know There’s A Lot Of Noise Outside But You Have To Close Your Eyes, Melbourne Fringe 2011 and If You Lived Here You’d Be Home Now for Anode Festival 2009.
Koedal (Crocodile) and Waumer (Frigate Bird) woman Ghenoa Gela is a strong Torres Strait Islander from Rockhampton Central Queensland. Her background is in Torres Strait Islander dancing, and since getting a Diploma in Careers in Dance she has been an independent artist working across several mediums including hip-hop and Indigenous contemporary from urban to remote communities.
Recently, Ghenoa was host and choreographer for Deadly Vibe Australia’s television show Move It Mob Style. Some of her other performance credits include ‘From the Ground Up’ with Circus Oz (2012/2013), ‘Briwyant’ with choreographer Vicki Van Hout (2011, Performance Space), ‘Happy As Larry’ with Shaun Parker (2010, Marguerite Pepper Productions) and ‘Wagana Like Lyrebird & Eagle’ with Jo Clancy (2010).
Ghenoa also does extensive work facilitating dance workshops in regional and remote communities and has worked in programs such as Young, Black & Deadly, ARM Tour and Vibe Alive, just to name a few. Ghenoa’s inspired by her family’s stories and wants to increase awareness of Torres Strait Islander culture through her emerging dance company, ‘Malungoka’. In 2011, Ghenoa completed a cultural residency on Moa Island; this will form the basis for her research in an upcoming Critical Path Residency. In 2013/2014, she is very excited to be working on her own work “Winds of Woirr”, with the support of Kickstart and the Ausdance NSW Space Residency.
Brienna Macnish is a theatre maker based in Melbourne, whose work sometimes looks more like live art than theatre. Her practice is characterised by an interest in non-traditional forms, a thoughtful engagement with site, striking visual aesthetics and social relevance. Recently Brienna has developed new Australian writing, created immersive performances and designed participatory installations. In 2012 Brienna directed Tuesday by Louris van der Geer for MKA, The Hide with Mattie Young for the Melbourne Fringe Festival and currently serves on the National Steering Committee for Young People and the Arts Australia.