Michael Pigott - ArtsLab resident Mentor & Director

Michael Pigott - ArtsLab resident Mentor & Director

Michael Pigott

Michael Pigott is a director, teacher and writer. A regular favourite at Shopfront, Michael has directed RAW in 2006 & 2007, and has worked with ArtsLab08 as season director and mentor. His directing credits include:La La Land (Darlinghurst Theatre); Pugilist Specialist (Darlinghurst Theatre); The Golden Ass (B Sharp); The Young Tycoons (Darlinghurst Theatre); Dahling You Were Marvellous (NIDA Studio); Meet the Candidates (Darlinghurst Theatre); King Lear (Harlos Productions); The Doglogs (National Tour); Crescent Moon, Yellow Star (Belvoir Downstairs); Backpacker (Darlinghurst Theatre); Barnsey the Harbour and You (Darlinghurst Theatre); Rozencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Harlos Producations). As a writer his work includes: Between the Seabed and the Sky (VCA / Darlinghurst Theatre); Walking on Eggshells which premiered in Slovenia and toured to Germany.

TJ Eckleberg

TJ is the Artistic Director at Shopfront. His projects fuse technology and multi-media across disciplines, with an immersive approach to theatre, incorporating sound design, organic approaches to lighting, design and movement. In 1999 his experiences with Welfare State International led him to create two large-scale site specific performances with boys at Birrong Boys High School – one of Sydney’s tougher schools. He was dramaturg for Enda Murray’s Westies development and the subsequent film Jammin in the middle E (SBS). In his time at Shopfront he’s directed CODA (2003) with residents of the Juvenile Justice system; How Sachi Lost His Leg (2004 – a site specific spectacular combining puppetry and Capoeira); Wadya call me? (2004) performed in a back lane, incorporating a 4 x 4m rolling screen, puppetry, radio broadcast, and 19m graffiti wall; the landmark Angels in the Architecture (2005) – an aerial urban ghetto / song cycle with an ensemble of performers with and without disabilities; POP UP! (2006) a performance featuring krumping, puppetry and multimedia;  A City of Shadows and Ice (2007) an award winning site specific performance installation with fire and ice in the middle of Kogarah CBD. In 2008 he directed (lost toy story) – a site specific interactive multimedia festival on the streets of Hurstville – awarded a Local Council Government Cultural Award. He is currently directing Superperfect – a cross cultural collaboration with Nibroll and Keio University in Japan – exploring the pursuit of perfection and burden of expectation in young people. He is also a record producer, songwriter and musician.

Darren Green

Darren is a performance artist, contemporary dancer and choreographer, university lecturer and regular resident tutor at Shopfront. He has performed in a range of circus, physical theatre, and contemporary dance works nationally and internationally. Darren has been involved in multiple youth events as mentor and facilitator including Australian Youth Dance Festival, Stamping Ground Men’s Festival and Australian Choreographic Centre.  In Australia he has performed with Dance Elixir, Strange Fruit, and Stalker Theatre Company. In 1996 he received a Green Room nomination for Best Emerging Artist in Dance for When the crock crows (dir: Jodie Farrugia).

Sarah Emery

Sarah is a performer, director and teacher. She is currently the Outreach Director at Shopfront Contemporary Arts Centre. Sarah’s primary performance practices include clowning & comedy, devised theatre and contemporary performance. In 2007 Sarah completed Shopfront’s ArtsLab residency creating a performance with an Army of Brides and mass amounts of confetti. Prior to this she was a member of the Impact ensemble at PACT. She has trained with Clare Grant, Rosie Dennis, Frank Newman, Caitlin Newton Broad, Chris Ryan, Dean Walsh, Martin del Amo, Sue Broadway and Bill Pepper, and undertaken playwriting workshops with Hilary Bell and Timothy Daly. This year Sarah was a recipient of a Vacant Room residency at PACT and directed a piece of devised theatre: Chewing Bob Fosse under the mentorship of Kate Gaul. Also in 2008 Sarah was a delegate at the Brightest Young Minds Conference – where she pitched the ‘Grounded’ project (a performance festival that celebrates new migrants & refugees) that won funding support by Westpac. Sarah has performed in many diverse productions including Chewing Bob Fosse (PACT 08), The Birds (PACT 08), Army of Brides I-V (Shopfront 07), A City of Shadow’s & Ice (Shopfront 07), The Whistling Man (PACT 06) and many more. Sarah likes creating work with frantic movement, nostalgic music and fake moustaches.

Victoria Hunt

Victoria is an Australian-born artist living in Sydney on Gadagal land. Victoria is of mixed descent, Te Arawa, Tuhourangi, Rongowhakaata, Ngati Kahungunu, English, Irish. Her visual arts background and years in a Bodyweather dance practice provide a basis for engaging in concepts of Maori creativity, embodiment of place and philosophies of being. Victoria’s work generates understandings that reflect twenty first century artistic practice whilst delving into deep histories of indigenous expression. With support from the Australia Council and Performance Space, Victoria is currently creating a hybrid solo work titled Copper Promises. This work is based on research in Aotearoa New Zealand; a WINTEC artist-in-residence (03); skills development with Maori Bodyweather choreographer/dancer Charles Korenoho (05); dancer with MAU Dance Company, presenting work in Auckland, Vienna, Brussels, London (06/07); 3 months in Japan with dancer/choreographer Min Tanaka (07) and research residencies at Performance Space (07) and Critical Path (09). Victoria is also a founding dance performer with the Body Weather ensemble, De Quincey Co since 1999. She has been involved in the development of company work, which has comprised of more than 20 productions and residencies, nationally and internationally.

Alexandra Harrison

Alexandra Harrison has been engaged in the creation and performance of dance and theatre for ten years. As an ensemble member with Legs on the Wall Alexandra created work, and performed nationally and internationally. Between 2001 and 2004, Alexandra directed, devised and performed in three seasons of short works for the Downstairs Belvoir St Theatre. She was a performer and deviser in the transformation of three of these pieces into the award-winning films Together, Elevator and Shadow Play. Alexandra performed in, and devised, Nigel Jamieson’s award-winning Honour Bound and Branch Nebula’s Paradise City. Most recently Alexandra developed and performed Half Life with NVA/National Theatre of Scotland and Bubble for the Sydney Opera House.  She has been supported in her own ongoing theatrical and choreographic research by Critical Path and the Rural Residency program.

Stephen Hawker

Stephen’s involvement with Shopfront has been for the last 4 years in the capacity of Lighting Designer for their major works Pop Up, City of Shadows and Ice (associate LD) and (lost toy story). He has also mentored and lighting designed with the Arts Lab artists for 07/08. His other lighting credits run over a number of years and many companies, designing for Open House, The Small Poppies, Svetlana in Slingbacks and The Pianist (Company B) Holding the Man, Wicked Sisters, Rabbit, Torrez, The Secret Death of Salvador Dali,  Mr Bayles Minder and The Peach Season (Griffin Theatre Company) Leunig / Neil Finn Parables tour and Carnival Of the Humans (Australian Chamber Orchestra) Jane Austen and Earth Cry (Musica Viva), Survival Tatics a sold out Hip Hop theatre hybrid (Melb, Bris and Sydney) Hedwig and The Angry Inch (Showtune Productions) Marinheiro and The Waiting Room (PlatForM 27) Mother and Child, Empress of China, Terminus and Death Variations (East Coast Theatre Company) Silence and Redheads (Queensize Productions/B Sharp) The Golden Ass and Pugilist Specialist (Flightpath Theatre/B sharp) . Stephen most recent work was on Whore (Arts Radar/ B Sharp)

Eddi Goodfellow

Eddi is a creative artist with over 17 years professional production experience. She has a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Directing, Lighting Design, media and video production. Her main focus is on the development of projects in creative media. Eddi’s most recent production credits include: Company B Production coordinator,  Scorched (dir. Neil Armfield) & Yibuyung (dir. Wesley Enoch). Lighting Designer, A Stretch of the Imagination (dir. Lyn Wallis), The Glory of Living (dir. Lyn Wallis), Puppetry of the Penis (Footbridge Theatre). Eddi is currently the Stage Manager for Meryl Tankard’s The Oracle (Sydney Opera House Playhouse)

Nicholas Higgins

Nicholas completed his advanced Diploma in Production & Design (lighting) at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. He is most happy when working in a creative capacity on a project that explores visual elements whether it be in production, as Director of Photography, Lighting or multimedia designer. His most recent credits include: Production Manager – Big hArt, Lighting Designer – Antigone (PIAF), Junk Theory, This Living (Ten Days on the Island), Villainous Business (Shopfront).

Katja Handt – Designer

Katja started out as a dressmaker and assistant to painter/sculptor Yael Niemeyer in Germany before graduating in BA (Hon)Theatre Design at Central Saint Martin’s College in London in 1999. In London design credits include the British premieres of Sympathetic Magic (Steam Industry/ Finborough) and Spiel-Satz-Tod (Three Mills Island Studios). She also worked as a scenic assistant on a number of productions for the National Theatre,  The Royal Shakespeare Company and the Almeida Theatre. Since moving to Sydney in 2002 she has been designing  set and costumes for Redheads (Old Fitzroy), The Golden Ass (B-Sharp), The Young Tycoons (Darlinghurst Theatre), A Family Affair (B-Sharp), Crescent Moon, Yellow Star (Downstairs Belvoir), Rhinoceros (B-Sharp), Fidelity (TRS/ Old Fitzroy), TheFireraisers (Old Fitzroy), Little Malcolm and his Struggle against the Universe (Old Fitzroy). She designed the set for a Bollywood production of Twelth Night (Bondi Pavilion), The Frail Man (Darlinghurst Theatre) and costumes for King Lear (Harlos Production/ Bondi Pavilion, directed by Michael Pigott).

Jarra McGrath

Jarra has been creating change through design for eight years.

Introduced to Shopfront by Kate Clugston in 2007 as photographer for the production of A City of  Shadows & Ice , Jarra has been key to the development of Shopfront’s visual profile in both engaging design and photography. He has also worked closely with ArtsLab in unleashing their creative talents in design.

In 2001, he moved from Sydney to Canada to join pioneering web 2.0 youth social network as Director of Visual Innovation. Passionate about film, he returned to Australia in 2005 to work for Warner Bros. marketing – filming and editing on the set of Superman Returns, before joining GetUp as Creative Director. At GetUp, Jarra has designed branding for tens of campaigns, hundreds of print pieces, and several full-page newspaper advertisements.

In addition, Jarra has filmed and edited two documentary films on HIV/AIDS and social technology – traveling to Sierra Leone, the Philippines, Nigeria, Tunisia, Switzerland and Canada to document inspirational stories of young people leading change. In 2008, as a photojournalist, he joined Olivia Newton John on her walk for cancer research along the Great Wall of China.


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