ABOUT

Lab Kelpie is a not-for-profit independent theatre company dedicated to the development of playwrights and the presentation, touring, rights management and publishing of contemporary new Australian work.

Originally operating out of Melbourne’s iconic Meat Market complex, Lab Kelpie was founded in 2011 and has recently relocated its office to Daylesford in regional Victoria.

In a decade of completely unfunded operation, we have managed to present 240 performances of thirteen new Australian works and associated touring to over 87 venues and 18,000 audience members across Australia and New Zealand.

As strong advocates of new writing, we support Australian playwrights by commissioning, developing, presenting, publishing and touring their work, encouraging our writers to take risks and inspire audiences with the themes and messages they want to explore.

“One of Australia’s most exciting independent theatre companies on the rise.” – Maxim Boon, The Music

Cassandra Magrath in Neil LaBute's Fat Pig

We actively seek out text-based work that engages audiences by interrogating with intelligence and vigour how contemporary themes like relationships, power or politics function in the twenty first century.

Described as a “well-respected, independent theatre company that does the important work of making space for new Australian writing” (The Saturday Paper), our work is highly regarded has won and been nominated for playwriting awards, Green Room Awards and State Literary Prizes alike.

We currently work on Dja Dja Wurrung country and would like to acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

Artistic Leadership Team

Artistic Director/Creative Producer

Lyall Brooks

Lyall is Lab Kelpie’s Artistic Director, driving the vision of our company to unapologetically put the writer at the heart of everything we do.

A four-time Green Room Award nominee, Lyall has been performing on stage and screen for over 15 years. Notable productions include The Pride for Red Stitch, North By Northwest for Arts Centre Melbourne and The Heretic for Melbourne Theatre Company. On screen he has appeared in Neighbours, Winners & Losers and most recently The Leftovers (HBO) and Picnic At Hanging Rock.

He co-devised and directed SuperGirly: Return of the Pop Princess with Lulu McClatchy, which enjoyed two sold out runs and interstate and regional tours throughout Australia, and developed the Green Room nominated production of A Prudent Man with Katy Warner in 2016.

In 2017 Lyall worked under Susie Dee as Assistant Director to Patricia Cornelius’ Big Love at Theatre Works and in 2018 he was nominated for his performance as Ben in Katy Warner’s latest play Spencer, also produced by Lab Kelpie, which will tour nationally in 2019.

He is currently leading the development and presentation of several new works for Lab Kelpie.

Literary Manager

Sharon Davis

Sharon is a graduate of The Victorian College of the Arts and works in both the commercial and independent theatre sector as an actor, voiceover artist, and educator for over 15 years. She has toured extensively with commercial stage productions such as Australia Day and Mother & Son as well as the highly popular and successful Shakespeare in the Vines tour for Essential Theatre.

Sharon is a fierce advocate for Australian artists and their unique stories both in her artistic work and her active role as Victorian President of Equity. She is an active member of the National Performers Committee and the Equity Wellness Committee and devotes many hours to ensuring performers and the wider industry are valued, informed, and protected in their work.

Her critically acclaimed directorial debut of Katy Warner’s Spencer garnered two Green Room Award nominations and highlighted her talent and natural instinct for the development of new Australian writing, leading her to joining Lab Kelpie’s artistic leadership team with a focus on dramaturgy the development of new writing for the stage.

General Manager

Adam Fawcett

As a playwright himself, Adam is passionate about presenting independent productions with a main stage mindset, striving to deliver outcomes for Lab Kelpie that promote the work of playwrights and the creatives that bring them to life.

In 2017 he produced Katy Warner’s Spencer, which was nominated for two Green Room Awards and A Prudent Man, which won the WA Tour Ready Award and the Bank Australia Audience Choice Award from over 400 shows at the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival and was nominated for a 2016 Green Room Award for Best Writing.

In 2016 Adam worked as a freelance producer with Influx Theatre (Susie Dee, Nicci Wilks and Kate Sherman) to co-present Animal with Theatre Works. It won Best Direction, Ensemble, Lighting and Sound at the 2016 Green Room Awards and appeared at Dark Mofo in 2018.

A playwright who focuses on putting queer narratives at the centre of his work, his first play Become The One was recently selected as the winner of the 2018 Gasworks Playtime Stage Readings Event for Midsumma, while his latest work SISSY has had readings at Seymour Centre in Sydney, Small and Loud in Melbourne and Bradford Playhouse in Leeds. His short play, Somewhere Only We Know, was recently directed by Rosie Holden in London. He is the current recipient of a 2018 Jacky Winter Gardens residency.

Creative Producer

Lauren Bennett

An internationally-raised, Melbourne-based creative producer with a keen interest in new work, emerging artists, and Australian stories, Lauren is passionate about facilitating the development and delivery of artists’ work, from inception through to presentation.

Lauren started at Lab Kelpie in 2019 as Associate Producer, and since, has worked on producing creative developments, new works for the stage, national tours, educational programs, and digital works, taking on the role of Creative Producer in 2021.

In 2020, Lauren was selected as a Theatre Works Associate Artist, and in 2021, she has joined the Theatre Works team as Associate Producer, providing producing support to programmed shows.

As an independent producer, Lauren is working with playwright/director Olivia Satchell to produce her upcoming work, let bleeding girls lie, premiering late this year. With multi-disciplinary collective, Variation Three, Lauren produced their debut work, Bent, for Midsumma 2021, which enjoyed five-star reviews and sold-out sessions, alongside producing a suite of digital works including video dance pieces, and a podcast.

Lauren is also a keen director and performer, with directorial roles on projects with Lab Kelpie, Burning House, and the Danger Ensemble. She has undertaken a directing mentorship with Petra Kalive, and trained as an actor at the Howard Fine Studio.

Lauren is currently completing a Master of Arts and Cultural Management at the University of Melbourne.

General Manager

Sam

Sam is – you guessed it – a Lab x Kelpie and our namesake. He occasionally pops into the office to keep an eye on the direction of his company, but is mostly preoccupied with sleeping and cuddles…

Trainee Something

Matilda

No one is really sure what Matilda’s official role at Lab Kelpie is, but she’s never far behind Sam and constantly in our ear to change the company name to Jack Corgi…

Board of Management

Jesse

Jesse

Cain

CHAIR

Katy

Katy

Warner

SECRETARY

Adam

Adam

Fawcett

TREASURER

Fiona

Fiona

Harris

PHILANTHROPY

Rosa

Rosa

Campagnaro

EDUCATION

Lyall

Lyall

Brooks

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CREATIVE PRODUCER

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