MEET THE FACILITATORS: Young Punk Creative Lab

August 11, 2021 | 3 Min Read

Applications are now open for the Young Punk Creative Lab, a free week-long masterclass for circus, variety and physical artists to enhance their existing skillset to translate onto screen and engage with creation strategies for narrative-based circus.

The workshops are devised and led by experts with a background in live performance, theatre, circus, film, television and media. Let us introduce you to the key team members!

HAYDEN SPENCER

Actor, Clown, Writer, Director, Coach and Fight Director. Most recently appearing in the premiere Australian cast of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD (nominated for 8 Helpmann Awards) at The Princess Theatre, Melbourne. Hayden has travelled the world, performing as THE KING in Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA and as CLOWN VINCENTI in Cirque du Soleil’s DRALION. Hayden has been a long term Director and Coach at the National Institute of Circus Arts – NICA.

Together with his wife, Carita, he has produced and directed a number of innovative productions for this institution including: Things Not of This Earth; Alwin in E-minor; The Cardboard Box Show; and PESCADO – a cabaret circus fusion; and numerous Graduation Showcase performances. Most recent stage credits for Melbourne Theatre Company are box office hits THE ODD COUPLE and JASPER JONES. Hayden recently appeared on the big screen in the acclaimed Australian feature film JUDY AND PUNCH. In 2014 Hayden was nominated for a Helpmann Award for his portrayal of Anthony in END OF THE RAINBOW with the Queensland Theatre Company. He also won a Matilda Award for this performance.

CARITA FARRER SPENCER

Writer, Singer, Actor, Cabaret Performer, Director and Visual Artist. Carita has been a long term Director and Coach at the National Institute of Circus Arts – NICA. Together with her husband Hayden, she has produced and directed a number of innovative productions for this institution including: PESCADO – a cabaret circus fusion; Flight; and Graduation Showcase performances.

Carita was an original cast member of the smash-hit Australian musical LADIES IN BLACK, directed by Simon Phillips with original music by Tim Finn and was the winner of the 2016 Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work. Carita’s one-woman cabaret show LARRY & THE DAME (a double bill, with herself), received an Arts Review TOP 10 PICKS at the 2015 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and has since gone on to tour extensively to various venues and festivals. She has also performed countless time in the WOMEN IN VOICE Cabaret Series.

Carita was most recently seen on our TV screens as Mrs Judd in MS FISHER’S MODERN MURDER MYSTERIES for Channel 7, and Barbara Collins in the ABC TV series SEVEN TYPES of AMBIGUITY.

KELLY WEST

Kelly is a Producer and Camera Operator at Youthworx and brings significant industry experience to her role. She is the Camera Operator on ‘Resto My Ride’ a car restoration series for 9Now and Discovery Turbo with Custom Entertainment. She also is a Teaching assistant/Marker for Melbourne University’s ‘Making Movies’ course.

Kelly has worked on numerous productions including ‘Superwog’ Season 1 and 2, ABC series ‘Wrong Kind of Black’ with Princess Pictures, ‘Big Brother’, ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’, ‘Brown Paper Bag’, ‘Returning to Guugu Yimithirr Sea Country’, ‘The Hills of Kadjina’ to name a few, and has produced, edited or filmed countless short films, docos, ads, promo videos, social justice films and workshops.

Her work for ‘Wrong Kind of Black’ has been nominated for an International Emmy Award and is currently screening on Netflix.

Kelly also has many years of experience working in the Mental Health, AOD and the Disability Sector as a Support Worker with IEMHSA, NEAMI, Interact Arts Australia and Sacred Heart Mission.

LAURA WATERS

Laura Waters founded Princess Pictures in 2003 driven by a vision to support creative ideas, pushing audiences to see the world in new ways.

Born in the US, she studied at Boston University and produced current affairs and documentary television in London and LA. She’s produced all five of Chris Lilley’s ABC/HBO/BBC comedy series, We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys, Ja’mie: Private School Girl and Jonah From Tonga, as well as Chris’s most recent series, Lunatics for Netflix.

Laura has overseen the production of a range of groundbreaking series with recent productions including: ABC ME’s ‘vlogumentary’ series My Year 7 Life and My Year 12 Life; the award-winning documentary, The Graceland Happiness Project; Foxtel’s sketch comedy show Open Slather; landmark series from John Clarke, Sporting Nation and The Sounds of Aus; Jonn Safran’s look at cross-cultural love, Race Relations and his documentary on the 2016 Australian vote The Goddam Election!; Peter Helliar’s acclaimed comedy anthology It’s a Date and feature film I Love You Too; Australia’s first Aboriginal sitcom, 8MMM; and Outland, a comedy series about gay science fiction fans. Currently she is delivering a unique comedy/documentary/musical series to the ABC written by Andrew Hansen and Chris Taylor from The Chaser and developing as many mind-boggling things as she can handle.

Recently Princess partnered with the acclaimed animation company Bento Box to not only produce original Australian adult animation, but also establish a studio based in Melbourne. Currently Princess Bento is in production on several animated series, including Yolo and Smiling Friends for Adult Swim, and Koala Man for Hulu.

Laura has won two TV Logie awards, one AFI award, the NYC Webfest and been nominated for dozens of international television awards for various Princess Pictures productions.

EMMA FITZSIMONS

Emma has been working in the film and television industry for 17 years as an executive producer and lawyer. She is a partner at Princess Pictures and works across its entire slate as Managing Director.

She has executive produced the landmark unscripted series My Year 12 Life and My Year 7 Life as well as a number of scripted projects including Yolo Crystal Fantasy, The Divorce, Superwog S1 & S2, How to Stay Married S1, S2 & S3, The Slot and the Emmy Award nominated Wrong Kind of Black. Having previously worked for UK broadcaster Channel 4, global production company ITV/Granada and children’s TV production and distribution specialists, the ACTF, Emma is experienced in all aspects of content development and financing.

JOHN KASSAB

John’s career in film launched in 2009 as the sound designer of Shaun Tan’s Oscar winning animation The Lost Thing and Ariel Kleiman’s groundbreaking short film Deeper Than Yesterday.

Shortly after, John received a Winston Churchill Fellowship and eventually relocated overseas where he has produced films in Los Angeles, New York, Baltimore, Massachettes, Atlanta and London.

John’s productions include the acclaimed documentary film 12 O’Clock Boys which premiere at SXSW, the Spanish language Debris which premiered at Telluride, Nobody’s Darling which premiered at Sidewalk Film Festival and the British sci-fi They Wait for Us which premiered at Fantasia Film Festival. John also produced and directed Renaissance Woman, a web series written and performed by Hannah Gadsby. Collectively, his productions have received over 40 international festival and guild awards and nominations.

John is now developing a number of scripted and factual projects as a producer, writer and director. He is also the president of diversity film education and outreach organisation Cinespace, Inc.

Plus special guests presenters!

 

Applications for the Young Punk Creative Lab close on Wednesday 18 August. Apply to be part of this unique program by clicking this link.

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