This initiative is the result of a powerful partnership between the four companies to identify, develop and provide career pathways for Asian Australian directors in main stage theatre companies.
More than 100 applications were received for the two-year program. After introductory directing workshops led by Paige Rattray at QT, Jessica Arthur at STC and Sarah Goodes and Dean Bryant at MTC, 13 emerging directors have been selected to continue in the next phase of the program. This entails a series of seminars, workshops, networking opportunities and placements to observe company productions up close. The following phase of the program will offer hands-on opportunities as assistant directors, directing creative developments and play readings.
The CAAP Directors are: Melbourne Theatre Company • Ra Chapman, Joe Paradise Lui, Diana Nguyen, Alice Qin Queensland Theatre • Shari Indriani, Nasim Khosravi, Ngoc Phan, Ling-Hsueh Tang, Merlynn Tong Sydney Theatre Company • Tasnim Hossain, Kenneth Moraleda, Jennifer Rani, Courtney Stewart.
CAAP Executive Director Annette Shun Wah said: ‘I’m thrilled by the exceptional artists who will form the first cohort of CAAP Directors and can’t wait to see them unleash their potential on the three biggest theatre companies in Australia.’
MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy said: “This new partnership between CAAP, MTC and our friends at QT and STC, is an important development in Australian theatre, signalling and actioning our joint commitment to increasing diversity in our artists, our audiences, and the stories we tell.”
QT Artistic Director Sam Strong said: “I’m proud to welcome such a talented group of artists into Queensland Theatre and look forward to working with them personally over the course of the program. At Queensland Theatre we’re passionate about our artists, stories and audiences reflecting the reality of contemporary Australian society. Ground-breaking partnerships like the one between CAAP, MTC, STC and QT help all of our companies achieve this. Thank you again to Annette Shun Wah for her leadership in ensuring that more Asian Australian directors will create work for the Australian Mainstage.”
STC Artistic Director Kip Williams said: “We are delighted to be working with these thirteen talented directors for this important CAAP initiative. STC is committed to seeing more diverse stories and storytellers on our stages and we are so happy to be partnering with our friends at QT and MTC on this project. I can’t wait to witness the progress of these amazing young artists.”
CAAP is a Sydney-based company dedicated to developing contemporary Asian Australian performance. Led by Executive Producer Annette Shun Wah it aims to engender greater cultural diversity in every level of the theatre sector. In partnership with Playwriting Australia, CAAP’s LOTUS Playwriting Project fulfilled its goal of developing a new generation of Asian Australian playwrights. The CAAP Directors Initiative will have a similarly profound impact on the cultural landscape.