La Mama Emerge 2024 Participants

Participants Announced for La Mama Emerge 2024 

As part of La Mama’s Pathways Program, Emerge provides valuable opportunities for young theatre artists to access career pathways, skills development and connection, providing time and space to create and develop their own work.  

20 artists from 80 applications were selected from eager young theatre makers aged 18-25, with the passion and drive of these young creatives reaffirming the desire and need for accessible programs and pathways into the industry. 

The twenty young artists selected to work with Award winning and renown theatre makers Liv Satchell and Xanthe Beesley in 2024 are:  

Ava Toon, Bridget Webster, Bridie Noonan, Charlotte Rogers, Chelsea Chua, James Madsen-Smtih, Jordan Stott, Kiara Brown, Lakshmi Ganapathy, Liv Bell, Lucy Ansell, Lucy Eidelson, Max Taylor, Orla Brooks, Oscar O’Brien, Pajara (Pari) Rodsawang, Stone J. Turner, Tiarna McPherson, Tony Song and Zoe Isabella Anastasiou. 

Throughout La Mama’s Winter Season from July to September 2024, these 20 young theatre makers will take part in weekly theatre making workshops and creative development at La Mama’s Carlton Courthouse.  These workshops will culminate with a Performance Season at the Courthouse between 16-22 September. 

Watch this space for more details regarding the Emerge Season in September. 

Ava Toon 

Ava Toon is a lover of all aspects of collaborative theatre creation and performance. She’s a current student of screen and design and thoroughly enjoys combining these skills with writing and acting in theatre. Her most recent work was as a co-creator and actor in ‘We’re Banking on It!’ presented by Bloomshed and MUST. 

Bridget Webster 

Bridget is a writer, filmmaker and aspiring theatremaker living on unceded Wurundjeri Country. Her short fiction has been shortlisted for the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize, and her poetry has been awarded an Emerging Poet Prize and publication by Liquid Amber Press and Jacaranda Journal. Short films she has edited have been programmed at various festivals across Melbourne, including Melbourne Queer Film Festival and St Kilda Film Festival. She writes across poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and for stage and screen.  

Bridie Noonan 

Bridie Noonan is an actor, dramaturg, and writer based in Naarm, whose work spans theatre, film, and print. Bridie is interested in ensemble work and taking a collaborative approach to making theatre. Creatively they are interested in exploring things like the disabled experience, sexuality, magic, and using small things to talk about big things. 

Charlotte Rogers 

Charlotte is a director and actor from Nipaluna/Hobart based in Naarm/Melbourne. A co-founder of Short Straw Theatre Company, she has directed their productions of The Effect and Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons. Her other directing credits include All I’m Saying (La Mama/MICF), Cosí (TCDS/Meat Market), and Lord of the Flies (FLW Theatre). Her performance credits include Celia in As You Like It and the titular role in Sydney Chamber Opera’s premiere production of Andrew Ford’s Peter Pan. Charlotte holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, English & Theatre Studies from the University of Melbourne.

Chelsea Chua 

Chelsea Chua is an interdisciplinary performance artist whose practice is equal parts activism, personal catharsis and radical creativity. Hailing from Meanjin/Brisbane, she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance, Drama) at Queensland University of Technology. Chelsea’s independent projects include her exhibited video performance, ‘Boxed In’; public space activation for the 2021 Anywhere Theatre Festival, ‘Dancing on the Jetty’; and digital performance, ‘LOADING, PLEASE WAIT’, commissioned by City of Melbourne for the 2024 SIGNAL Screen Commissions. Ultimately, Chelsea’s ‘raison d’etre’ is to use her artistic passions to amplify lived experience, encourage civic dialogue and revolutionise how we co-exist in the world. 

James Madsen-Smith 

James is an emerging writer and performer from the western suburbs of Melbourne, living and working on unceded Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung country. He has undertaken workshops and training as an actor with the University of Chile and 16th Street, as well as writing and theatre making workshops through Union House Theatre and the University of Melbourne Theatre Board. His debut play, Dirty Old Town, has forthcoming seasons at La Mama’s Explorations, and Melbourne Fringe at the Bluestone Community Arts Space. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (English and Theatre Studies) and a Diploma of Languages (Spanish) from the University of Melbourne. 

Jordan Stott 

Jordan’s innate passion for the weird and fringe is something he melds together with his child like playfulness and wonder, both in his performance and writing.  Since Graduating from QCGU, he has built credits in both Theatre; QTC (Goodbye Eli Anderson), MTC (Tragic Splendour), LaBoite (Assembly), ThatProduction Company (I Love You Bro), and Film; (Sandboy),(Tommy),(Ain’t it Fun).  Co-Founding SilverEye Productions, his works (Memorial For A Friend and Break Room) have been performed around Brisbane and received shinning reviews.  Eager for new collaborations and opportunities, Jordan is continuously seeking to enhance his repertoire and refine his skills. 

Kiara Brown 

Kiara Brown is a set and costume designer working out of Melbourne, Australia. She has studied a bachelor’s degree in fine arts at the Victorian College of Arts (VCA), specializing in production design. Due to her intercultural upbringing in Indonesia, Kiara is interested in works that discuss culture, minority communities and identity. Using her learning at VCA and her experiences in Butoh, physical theatre and experimental dramaturgy, she hopes to create works that creatively reflect and address the forgotten side of stories. 

Lakshmi Ganapathy 

A graduate of La Trobe University’s Bachelor of Creative Arts (Theatre and Media Studies), emerging journalist and theatre-maker Lakshmi Ganapathy seeks to voice thought-provoking, overlooked perspectives and democratise theatre through her work. She is best known for her performance as Kattrin in Damien Millar’s production of ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ (La Mama, 2021), and for directing a site-specific promenade production of ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly, under her company Mucky Puppy Theatre earlier this year. Lakshmi is currently the Melbourne Content Creator for Indian Link Media Group, an award-winning publication empowering the South Asian diaspora. 

Liv Bell 

Energetic and with a penchant for silly, Liv Bell (they/them) is a queer comedian, producer and drag king.  A co-founder of queer comedy coven, The Titwitchez (@the_titwitchez), Liv relishes in subverting gender norms through art, laughter and movement. Since 2021, Liv has been an associate artist of award-winning physical theatre troupe, the Brunswick East Entertainment Festival, regularly engaging in roving performance and spreading joy in public spaces. Liv has worked with Born in a Taxi, Cornershop Comedy, The Beryls, Dazza & Keif & more. 

Lucy Ansell 

Lucy Ansell is a writer and performer based in Naarm. She trained at the Victorian College of the Arts and received the Patricia Kennedy award upon Graduation in 2018. Recent screen credits include The Dry 2: Force of Nature (Arenamedia and Made Up Stories) and Strife (Binge Original). She’s also featured in roles for stage productions such as Hour of the Wolf (Malthouse Theatre), Escaped Alone/What If If Only (Melbourne Theatre Company), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Michael Cassel Group) and She Is Vigilante (Theatreworks) which she later received a Green Room award for. 

Lucy Eidelson 

Lucy Eidelson is an artist and nap enthusiast living and creating on Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrong land. They have a deep love for performance and experimentation, spreading across writing, dance and theatre. She is passionate about the role of performance in bringing both artists, audiences and communities together to share and express overlooked narratives. Drawing from their own experience of disability, Lucy seeks to create work that bends and breaks the boundaries of normative, linear and hegemonic systems that engulf the individual and social body. 

Max Taylor 

Max (they/them) is a neuroqueer artist, performer and facilitator. Max holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Theatre and Gender, Sexuality and Diversity studies) from La Trobe University (2021) and is currently studying an Honours year in Gender, Sexuality and Diversity studies with a focus on neuroqueer experiences. Max’s interests include birds, frogs, critical neurodiversity, The Beatles and many more! 

Orla Brooks 

I’m Orla and I have a really big passion for theatre. During school, I involved myself in many different productions and took part in acting classes outside of school. I have also had the opportunity to pick up extras work on some projects. Due to the pandemic I haven’t been able to participate in much theatre outside of my studies, so I am extremely excited to be working to create a piece of theatre and to kickstart my drive in pursuing theatre in my future. 

Oscar O’Brien 

Oscar O’Brien (he/him) is a performer and writer currently based in Maribyrnong. Oscar was brought up in Horsham, and studied a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Federation University Arts Academy in Ballarat. Since graduating and moving to Melbourne’s western suburbs, Oscar has been performing in the independent theatre scene, participating in Melbourne Fringe and Melbourne International Comedy Festival in various shows. Oscar is currently working on mounting his first written play, which he had the opportunity to workshop in February of 2024 at the Gippsland Performing Arts Centre. Oscar is extremely passionate about generating new and exciting home-grown theatre as often as possible, and as such, Oscar is looking forward to being a part of La Mama’s Emerge program in 2024. 

Pajari Rodsawang (Pari) 

Pari (she/her) is a Howard Fine Acting Studio graduate and an emerging Melbourne based story-teller from Thailand. Pari is passionate about exploring the beauty of human connection through micro-moments. She strives to develop stories that inspire people to start a dialogue with themselves, to ask themselves the questions they never have the time to think about because life can sometimes happen at the speed of light. Pari looks forward to gaining tools of story-telling at La Mama’s Emerge 2024 as well as having her theatrical debut as a playwright. 

Stone J. Turner 

Stone Motherless Cold is an Arrernte drag gem, currently based in Naarm. Smooth and sensual, bold and graphic, this crystalline trophy posing as humanoid. She is a drag artist, producer, writer and visual artist, celebrating spaces of Blak queer futurism.  Ms Cold is part of Firs Nations drag collective, MoCo. 1st Runner Miss First Nations 2021 and title winner of the VIC NAIDOC LGBTQIA+ 2019 event. 

Tiarna McPherson 

Tiarna McPherson is a Melbourne-based set, costume and graphic designer. She is a graduate of the University of Melbourne, achieving honours with a Bachelor of Design, specializing in Graphic Design and Performance Design. Tiarna is a storyteller with a passion for applying visual and physical performance elements in ways that enrich her designs with meaning. Set and costume design play a pivotal role in her love of performance, as she recognizes the power they hold in shaping audience perception.   

Tony Song 

I am Tony Song, 18 years old and a first year university student at Deakin. I was introduced to drama in year 7 and kept doing it at school up to VCE Drama. This experience of performing and developing dramatic pieces throughout high school has forged my passion for the art form. 

Zoe Isabella Anastasiou 

Zoe is an “emerging” young artist interested in the creation of explorative new works. They recently graduated from their full-time musical theatre course Showfit, where they received insightful mentorship from Katherine Tonkin, Mathew Frank and Freya List. During their training, Zoe developed a passion for storytelling through stylised movement and a vast interest in safe and respectful theatre practices. They hope to explore these aspects more within the program. As someone with much admiration for everything La Mama Theatre does, Zoe is extremely grateful to be a part of Emerge 2024 and the journey ahead. 

La Mama Emerge 2024

La Mama Pathways

La Mama Pathways Emerge Program is funded by John T Reid Charitable Trusts.