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Speaker Biographies

Director of the ABSOLUT Fringe – Dublin.
ABSOLUT Fringe is Ireland’s largest multi-disciplinary arts festival. The festival is now in its 16th year, and stages up to 650 events in over 40 venues every September. For 16 days the festival transforms Dublin into a ‘dream factory’, an exposé of great creative talent from around the globe. It is a platform for the best new, emerging Irish arts companies and a showcase for the best contemporary theatre and dance shows touring internationally. For artists, the Fringe facilitates an opportunity to innovate, to cross disciplines and boundaries and to find new ways and places to create work. ABSOLUT Fringe, unlike many Fringes internationally, is a wholly curated festival seeking innovative and daring work that impacts, moves and invigorates its audience.

Producing Artistic Director of New York International Fringe Festival.
New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multiarts festival in North America, with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days in more than 20 venues. FringeNYC uses a juried application process to ensure the festival is a cross-section of the best emerging performance from around the world. An important part of the FringeNYC mission is to create a community that provides an opportunity for the untried and the untested, as well as a gathering place for lively discussion and interaction among artists and audience. FringeNYC will celebrate its 15th Anniversary in 2011.

Festival Director of Prague Fringe.
Fringe Festival Praha (Prague Fringe) is a truly boutique fringe, running over 9 days across 9 venues in the beautiful Mala Strana area of Prague with a program that is hand-picked and limited to around 40 groups. The festival showcases the work of companies from across the world covering comedy, theatre, music and dance. Over the last ten years, it has come to be known for its fun, friendly, intimate atmosphere and the inclusion of audiences in all the festival action. Steve attends many Fringe Festivals around the world annually, and has been on the Board of Directors of the Edinburgh Fringe for the last three years.

Co-Artistic Director of M1 Singapore Fringe FestivaL.
The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival is an annual festival of theatre, dance, music, visual arts and mixed media created and presented by Singaporean and international artists. It aims to be a creative centre,with a twin-purpose of innovation and discussion; a platform for meaningful and provocative art to engage an increasingly connected and complex world. Each year the festival changes its thematic focus in order to keep its offerings fresh and relevant. The festival has run for the last six years, and initially started when M1 partnered with The Necessary Stage to make the arts more accessible to young people. It has evolved and grown to become a staple event on the Singaporean arts calendar.

Independent Program Producer – Melbourne Fringe.
Melbourne Fringe is the leading organisation for the independent arts in Victoria. The organisation has managed the annual, open access Melbourne Fringe Festival since 1982, and has presented some 50,000 artists to more than 2,000,000 people at hundreds of venues across Melbourne and Victoria. The 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival presented the work of 4,815 artists at 143 venues across the state, to audiences of 564,039. As a vital resource to independent artists, Melbourne Fringe is constantly evolving to meet the current needs of this community and to provide the best possible support, professional development, advocacy and presentation opportunities. The festival operates primarily as an open access platform, whilst curating programs at various ‘hub’ spaces, and producing special projects.

Previous Director of Adelaide Fringe.
Adelaide Fringe began in 1960 as an alternative to the Adelaide Festival. As an open access event, the Fringe allowed anyone with ideas and enthusiasm to register and be a part of the program, showcasing their arts to a welcoming public. Now the biggest festival in the southern hemisphere, the Fringe completely takes over the entire city. Highlights of the event include a huge opening night party, parade and concert, street theatre, the Garden of Unearthly Delights and Fringe Family Weekend. Artists from across the globe participate alongside home-grown talent in all artforms. For independent artists, it’s an inspirational environment. For audiences, it’s an atmosphere that encourages taking a chance on something new. 18% percent of the Fringe’s 1,004,440 audience members are visitors to the city

Artistic Director of Next Wave (previous Melbourne Fringe Creative Producer)
Next Wave is Australia’s leading festival for young emerging artists. It is both a biennial festival and an artist development organisation, presenting genre-busting new work by the next wave of Australian artists. Established in 1984, Next Wave has remained at the forefront of presenting a broad range of contemporary art practices to a national audience. With a consistently changing audience and artist make-up, the Next Wave Festival remains responsive to critical issues in contemporary culture. Next Wave’s vision is of a world where all young people are empowered to express themselves and engage with creative activities.

General Manager of New Theatre, SYDNEY
New Theatre is one of the oldest continuously producing theatre companies in Australia with a proud history that is intertwined with much of Sydney’s social development and Australian theatre history. From our beginnings as a political workers’ theatre, we have grown to become one of Sydney’s leading independent community theatre companies. Our productions range across drama, comedy, musicals, gay theatre, family shows, political cabaret and specialised education programs. We have revisited classic texts with bold new interpretations and premiered some of the finest contemporary writing. We pride ourselves on providing unique opportunities for the development of artists of all ages and backgrounds through collaboration with professional theatre workers. We have a long tradition of nurturing directors, actors and designers and are committed to the development of new Australian writing. We aim to service our community by providing affordable theatre of a very high standard to a wide range of audiences. We believe in a theatre that provokes, stimulates and entertains.

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