Beyond the Square is coordinated by Alison Richardson and supported by Gerard O’Dwyer. The program employs professional and experienced arts workers and tutors to run workshops and projects.
Alison has worked extensively as a theatre director and tutor for community theatre companies, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Shopfront Theatre, PACT Theatre and Australian Theatre for Young People. Due to Alison’s interest and passion for working with people with disability in 2007 she established sliced bread attraction which aims to create creative opportunities for people with disability in all art forms. In 2008 she produced Bakehouse, a week long inclusive arts event held at Carriageworks in Sydney that consisted of workshops, forums, film nights and satellite events. From 2007 to 2010 Alison was the Creative Programs Coordinator for Western Sydney for NSW peak arts and disability organisation, Accessible Arts and during this time established the hip hop group, First Flight Crew. Alison has also worked as a Community producer & tutor for Milkcrate Theatre, Australia’s only theatre company dedicated to working with the homeless and disadvantaged.
In 2007 Alison was awarded the Australia Council for the Arts Young Leaders Award for her commitment to community arts and in 2012 was a finalist in Improving Social Participation for people with disability at the National Disability Awards.
Gerard currently works 16 hours a week as a casual theatre operator at Riverside Theatres. His duties include collecting the papers and mail, cleaning kitchens and the green room, helping with mail outs and putting patron’s tickets in envelopes. He also acts as an advocate and spokesperson for Beyond the Square and assists Alison with the program.
In 2009 Gerard was awarded Best Male Actor at Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival for his role in the film Be My Brother, which also went on to win Best Film. This accolade has seen Gerard become an advocate and role model for people with disability with him being invited to speak at numerous functions, fundraisers and events across the country from Hobart to Horsham.
Gerard was also an ambassador for the Don’t DISmyABILITY campaign 2010 & 2011, starred in a government advertisement for CareCareers and was awarded Best Male Actor runner up in the Short & Sweet short play festival in 2011 where he got to perform at Newtown Theatre & NIDA’s Parade Theatre. In 2012 he was awarded the Emerging Leaders Award at the National Disabilities Awards.
Just a Bit…Funny Project
Craig is an actor, director, producer and writer and holds a PhD in Comedy. He co-wrote and directed the AFI winning comedy series Double The Fist and Tropfest award winning film Life in A Datsun. Craig produced the international award-winning shorts The Picnic and The Sister. He was also Associate Producer on the ABC Comedy series- Review with Myles Barlow and recently starred in Next Stop Hollywood on the ABC. Passionate about working with people with disability he mentored Genevieve Clay-Smith on the set of Tropfest award winning film Be My Brother featuring Gerard O’Dwyer. He also directed Hard Daze with the mixed abilities ensemble at Powerhouse Youth Theatre.
BEYOND ABBA TUTOR
Suzy is an integrated arts tutor who specialises in physical theatre, drama and movement direction. She graduated with Distinction from BA Dance at UWS under the creative guidance of Bernadette Walong-Sene, Kate Champion and British choreographer, Akram Khan. Suzy has devised and directed movement for various education programs, including the Ausdance Visiting Dance Artist’s Project at Westmead Children’s Hospital, several Rock Eisteddfod finalists and Flannofest at the Q Theatre. She also facilitated the 2011 Fast+Fresh Dance festival at Riverside Theatre. In recent years she has been actively involved with independent theatre productions, including performances at the Sydney Fringe. Suzy continues to expand her physical knowledge, studying Kinesiology and trapeze. She is a regular tutor for studioQ and Access Ensemble at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.
Aimee FalzonBeyond ABBA tutor
Aimee is a multidisciplinary performing and creative artist with a passion for working with diverse communities. She loves working with an idea and bringing it to life through whatever medium it prefers – visual arts, theatre, music.. or sometimes all of this all at once!
She works with Curiousworks as an artistic collaborator – this work has taken her from Western Sydney to the Pilbara and Tasmania. Most recently working as co-creator and artist in The Other Journey for Parramasala and Ten Days on the Island festivals. Aimée has performed, written and designed for Curiousworks’ ‘The Migrant Project’. She was the lead performer in it’s final manifestation, ‘This City is a Body’ performed at the Hyde Park Barracks.
Aimee has also worked as the artistic director of Ashfield Youth Theatre, directing its theatre programs and workshops. Aimee loves workshopping, directing, devising and facilitating creative production – she has worked with Disability Services Australia, Bankstown Youth Development Service, Auburn Community Development Network, Macquarie Legal Centre, the Australian Theatre for Young People, Powerhouse Youth Theatre, Blacktown Migrant Resource Centre and SCEGGS Darlinghurst. She is most excited about building an ongoing creative relationship with Beyond the Square and it’s wonderful participants!
ruckus ensemble Supporter
Bill is an English teacher at a large Western Sydney high school. He teaches a diverse group of students from Years 7 to 12 including many from language backgrounds other than English. Bill’s interest in live theatre can be traced all the way back to his involvement in ImpACT players – an amateur performance group ran by Alison Richardson. Countless hours of Theatresports and regular participation in eisteddfods sparked an interest in live performance that would survive two university courses and various part time jobs. Bill’s participation in the ruckus ensemble reflects this passion for live theatre as well as his enthusiasm for teaching young adults.
ruckus ensemble Supporter
Jake studied Journalism at the University of Technology in 2012 as part of his final assignment he followed Riverside’s Beyond the Square program and shot a video story called ‘I Am What I Am.’ Jake grew up around people with disabilities, and it was his desire to show the world some of the amazing things they are capable of that led him to doing the video story. He has since been assisting with the Exercise (book) Classes since the commencement of them in 2011 and is a guest supporter in 2012. What he loves most about the program is the new friends (and countless laughs) it’s given him.
Tom began as a professional singer at aged 6, working for 5 years with Kent Opera (UK). He has played in Funk/Soul/Blues/Rock/Pop bands from the age of 12 to present as a singer & multi instrumentalist. In addition to being a musician Tom studied with The Australian Theatre for young people aged 14 –18 with his acting career beginning as a child actor when cast in a major role in Mad Max III, starring Mel Gibson & Tina Turner. He has numerous Film, TV & Theatre credits including playing the lead role in ‘Nightmaster’, opposite Nicole Kidman.
Guest Movement Tutor
Dean Walsh is currently on a two-year Australia Council Fellowship undergoing extensive research, both theoretical and practical, to expand his choreographic practice on many levels. He has been an influential member of the Australian dance and contemporary performance communities for the past 20 years. He has collaborated with many reputable Australian and international companies, individuals & festivals in performer / collaborator / designer / choreographer / director / mentor & teacher capacities. Companies include DV8 Physical Theatre, Stalker Theatre, Opera Australia, The oPera Project & Australian Dance Theatre. He has a repertoire of 25 short solo works and 3 full-length solos with many of these touring nationally and/or internationally and has made more than 20 works for various institutions in Australia & The Netherlands. Dean is currently directing & choreographing a new work for Restless Dance Theatre’s touring company and he is loving the ride.
Joshua started as a volunteer worker at Riverside observing the buzz and helping the staff with different tasks. After doing some data entry work for Beyond the Square he is now employed as a website administrator to maintain the creative site. Joshua has been interested in computers since his childhood, he enjoys them as a hobby and a profession. He studied computers in various fields and finished Interactive Digital Media Certificate IV and Computer Networking Diploma courses. In his spare time he uses them to create various projects such as stories, pictures, comics, movies and video games. He has also done acting, singing and piano classes and hopes to use those skills one day in the future.