John TNA’s Erica McCalman in conversation with La Mama’s Caitlin Dullard, Red Stitch’s Ella Caldwell, Melbourne Fringe’s Danny Delahunty, 45 Downstairs’ Cameron Lukey & Theatreworks’ Dianne Toulson

Presenters: TNA’s Erica McCalman (chair) with La Mama’s Caitlin Dullard, Red Stitch’s Ella Caldwell, Melbourne Fringe’s Danny Delahunty, 45 Downstairs’ Cameron Lukey & Theatreworks’ Dianne Toulson

Ella Caldwell 

Red Stitch Artistic Director Ella Caldwell is a theatre director and actor with a particular interest in new Australian writing. Ella grew up on the far south coast of N.S.W, later studying Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne. A founding member of Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre, Ella has been Artistic Director of the company since July 2013. During this time Ella has steered the company’s new writing program, INK, and established PLAYlist, a biennial site-specific festival of music and new writing. In 2023 Ella directed the critically acclaimed world premiere seasons of Flakeby Dan Lee co- created by Chi Nguyen and Monument by Emily Sheehan, with Monument receiving are turn season in early 2024. Previous directorial work includes the celebrated Australian premieres of Ella Hickson’s Oil and Annie Baker’s The Antipodes, and the world premiere of Caleb Lewis’ The Honeybees. Ella also co-directed the sold out Victorian premiere season of Joanna Murray-Smith’s Fury and the Australian premiere production of Incognito by Nick Payne. During 2020 lockdowns Ella directed Watching, an audio play commissioned by Red Stitch and written for 18 actors by Vidya Rajan and Morgan Rose.  

As an actor, Ella most recently featured in Morgan Rose’s Fast Food and desert, 6:29pm, both directed by Bridget Balodis. desert, 6:29pm went on to a sold out season at Wuzhen Theatre Festival in China on the company’s first international tour. Previous acting credits include The Realistic Joneses by Will Eno, The Village Bike by Penelope Skinner, Love, Love, Love by Mike Bartlett, Midsummer–A Play with Songs by David Greig and Gordon McIntyre, Oh Well Never Mind Bye by Stephen Lally, The Laramie Project– 10 Years Later by Moises Kaufman, Stop. Rewind by Melissa Bubnic, The Winterling by Jez Butterworth, Crestfall by Mark O’Rowe, Outlying Islands by David Greig, The Night Season by Rebecca Lenkiewicz and Bugby Tracy Lett. 

Caitlin Dullard 

Caitlin Dullard began working at La Mama in 2006. Starting out as a volunteer, then working Front of House and went onto roles as Mobile (touring) and Access (community) Producers from 2010. Caitlin was appointed Company Manager/Creative Producer in January 2014, became co-CEO in February 2019, CEO in January 2023 and Artistic Director in April 2023. She has curated La Mama’s Explorations program since 2014 and was Project Manager on the La Mama Rebuild, after the devastating fire of 2018. 

Caitlin holds a Masters of Teaching (English and Drama), a Post Graduate Diploma of Arts (Theatre), a Bachelor of Arts (Drama and Literature) and a Post-Graduate Certificate of Arts & Community Engagement at the VCA. Caitlin has also worked with Auguto Boal and trained in Forum Theatre. 

She has worked extensively across New Zealand and regional Victoria, devising and presenting works and developing exchange programs and collaborations. Since 2014, Caitlin has produced the site-specific durational version of Uncle Vanya in Avoca, Stieglitz, Eganstown, Bundanon and The Cedars as part of the Adelaide Festival. She has also produced Coranderrk: We Will Show the Country, as part of the Minutes of Evidence Project, in various locations, including on site at Coranderrk. 

Danny Delahunty 

Danny Delahunty is an arts manager, producer and director who is currently the Head of Programming and Deputy Creative Director at Melbourne Fringe, leading a team to program and deliver the yearly arts festival as well as year-round programs of artistic development and support for Melbourne’s independent arts sector. 

An experienced arts leader, Danny has been working in the development and support of the independent sector for over a decade. Before Melbourne Fringe, Danny was a founding member and Artistic Director of award-winning theatre company Attic Erratic, the Business Manager for Barking Spider Visual Theatre, and a prolific freelance theatre director and producer, working contracts across many of Melbourne’s festivals and arts organisations. 

With a background in both law and performing arts, significant time spent on the rehearsal room floor as a theatre director, the experience of building and running an independent theatre company from scratch, and years of working across duties in arts leadership, management, producing, accessibility, business, and finance… Danny is an indie theatre jack of all trades, keen to share his learnings with the community. 

Cameron Lukey 

Cameron Lukey’s producing credits include acclaimed productions of 33 Variations by Moisés Kaufman at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre in 2019 (starring Academy Award winner Ellen Burstyn), Angels in America by Tony Kushner at fortyfivedownstairs in 2017 (featured in The Age, Time Out Melbourne and The Guardian’s annual top 10 lists), and the Australian premiere of The Inheritance by Matthew López at fortyfivedownstairs in 2024. 

Cameron began his career as an opera singer. From 2011-13, he performed as a chorister for Opera Australia and as a principal artist for the company’s schools program. From 2014-15, Cameron collaborated with producer Michele Bauer to present a new production and tour of Master Class by Terrence McNally (featuring a Green Room Award winning performance by Maria Mercedes as Maria Callas) and the Australian premiere of Harvey Milk – The Opera in Concert at the St Kilda and Sydney Town Halls. 

In 2016, Cameron presented a tour of Resident Alien by Tim Fountain (featuring a Green Room Award nominated performance by Paul Capsis as Quentin Crisp), and in 2018, an acclaimed new production of Strangers in Between by Tommy Murphy.  

Cameron joined the team at fortyfivedownstairs in 2016 and was appointed Artistic Director of the theatre in 2023. 

Erica McCalman 

Erica McCalman (She/Her) is a creative leader and advocate with more than 15 years of contemporary and experimental Performing Arts practice working across Australia and internationally.  
As a producer she is dedicated to facilitating arts outcomes which are rigorous, relevant, and reflective of the communities they serve. Specialising in festivals and major events she has worked for Sydney WorldPride, Performance Space (Sydney), Next Wave (Melbourne) Darwin Festival, Sydney Festival and many more. In 2019 she was the recipient of the Green Room Award for Innovation in Curation and Programming. Erica has professional links with other multi-art producers globally, through her work with the Festival Academy and association with the Asian Producers’ Platform. 
As a consultant and facilitator, she has been an active advocate for a strong creative sector. Erica initiates online spaces for discourse around class, power dynamics between artists and institutions, and interrogating what a healthy, inclusive arts practice is. She provides accessible and affordable mentoring and producing solutions to independent artists, and advice to funding bodies, arts organisations and government.  
Born and raised on Wurundjeri country in Narrm (Melbourne) Erica is a proud Ballardong Noongar woman with Irish Convict, Scottish and Cornish heritage. She is also Neurodivergent. 

Dianne Toulson 

Dianne is the Executive Director / Creative Producer at Theatreworks and an innovative strategic arts manager with over 25 years’ experience as Executive Director, Executive Producer, General Manager and Board Member across a diverse range of theatre sectors including women’s theatre, disability sector, regional and ensemble theatre. 
Dianne is a highly motivated and dynamic leader with extensive skills in business art management, touring, production and marketing. Dianne has a strong skill set in conceptualising the future needs of an organisation, driving change, building capability, improving outcomes and managing information and technology. 
She is passionate about developing artists and audiences as well as pushing the boundaries of creative and community arts by diversifying the narratives, practices and voices on our stages. Dianne has an extensive background in the not-for-profit arts and culture sector including project management and cross-cultural development. As an arts management leader, Di has conceptualised and implemented strategic developments for companies including Theatre Works, Red Stitch, Women’s Circus, Rollercoaster Theatre, ACAPTA and has been an active member of the VAPAC Network. 

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