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Artist of the Month

In 2023, we're making it our mission to highlight a new artist from the Australian theatre scene each month.

This individual could be a performer, director, writer, reviewer, sound designer, musician, lighting designer, set designer, stage manager and so on.

If you feel like you'd know someone who would be perfect, contact us or hit us up on our socials @theatrethoughtsaus.

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June - Ziggy Resnick

Actor, Writer & Clown (they/she)

Ziggy graduated the NIDA (BFA acting) in 2020 where they worked with and learnt from many inspiring and change makers and artists: Jim Sharman (Twelfth Night), Leticia Caceres (SIX), Priscilla Jackman (Ghosts).

 

Since the institute Ziggy starred in Girls in Boys Cars (Riverside, dir. Priscilla Jackman), Feminazi (Belvoir’s 25A), A is for Apple (Griffin Theatre), How to Defend Yourself  (Old Fitz Theatre) and The Eisteddfod (Old Fitz Theatre). Ziggy also toured with The Bell Shakespeare Players in 2022 and worked as a clown on Opera Australia’s Ernani. 

 

Ziggy had their writing debut at TheatreWorks Naarm where they wrote and performed in Pear-Shaped, co-written by Ziggy and their creative partner Miranda Middleton. 

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My Story

It feels like a history that is at once only just beginning and simultaneously is centuries old. I recently watched a documentary for Sydney Film Festival called a Welcome to Yiddishland that spoke to (amongst many many other things) the history of theatre and art in connection to this ancient, endangered language. It’s on my blood. 

I often say that I never thought of doing any else but that’s not quite true. I began taking ballet classes at the age of four and my ballet teacher said I’d never be a ballerina but that I would end up on the stage. I left school, applied for med science, got in, didn’t even start, worked, travelled, but I always came back to “You will end up on the stage”. She was right. I was and still am a stubborn being and I have always known this is what I wanted to do, and so, in true Resnick fashion, in true Jewish fashion, here I am.

 

Still kicking down doors, banging my head against walls, knowing that I will do this for the rest of my life. I went to NIDA, lost myself, graduated in peak covid, didn’t get any industry interest, tried to find myself, tried to move to Naarm (is that the same thing?), Covid again, moved back, A is for Apple (Jessica Bellamy), met people who changed my life, wrote my first play (Pear shaped) with my best friend (Miranda Middleton), performed it at TheatreWorks, re write, re write, more writing, Feminazi (Laneikka Denne), more incredible life altering creative connections and soul mates, Lemon Tree on Dreg Street (Amy May Nunn), more writing, failed attempts at baring my soul, Girls in Boys Cars (Priscilla Jackman), best friends made and lost, The Eisteddfod (Lally Katz); my first play as a producer and actor. There’s plenty missing from that. Career heartbreak and love heartbreak, developments and projects started and failed, short films, pitches rejected, accepted, started, still being workshopped. And here I am.

What inspired you to get involved in theatre? 

Billy Elliot. With my dad. I said, "I will be like those kids". Kate Mulvany in Richard the Third (Bell Shakespeare 2017). Emily Barclay in Lethal Indifference (STC 2018). The cast of Oedipus doesn’t Live Here Anymore (ATYP 2017). The Laden Table (KXT 2017). Barbara and the Camp Dogs (Belvoir 2017). There Will Be A Climax (Alex Berlage the Fitz 2018). 

I know I’m going to regret that because everyday I will think of another one and be like AAaaaaaa YOU FORGOT THAT ONE !!! (The Drovers Wife - Leticia Caceres!) 

In 2016 I auditioned for Mitchell Butel’s Spring Awakening wi th no experience. No ability to read sheet music. None. And he gave me a callback. I spent every waking hour learning the harmonies for the songs by heart. And when I went into the callback they said “just sing the melody”. I didn’t even know what the melody was by this point. I recall this experience as lava in my bones. Ringing in my ears. The PITY in that judging panel’s eyes. But I went outside afterwards. Still elated. I GOT A CALLBACK. A few weeks later I saw the show, the first preview and Mr Mitchell Butel waved to me. TO ME. I said. I belong here. 

Where did you start? 

In my parents living room. With my best friend Taryn. Every Shabbat was dinner and a performance. And it might be some of my best work of my career and Taz would agree. I am constantly striving to return to that person who was unabashedly ashamed of making our families sit down and watch a 30 minute (at least) of a three act performance; a musical theatre spectacular with puppetry, song, dance, clown, shouting from the ‘wings’ and every outfit in the dress up box. I started with the absolute audacity of someone whose family is confused, consistently asking them to do something real and has never followed anyone's advice in their life. I started in musical theatre at AIM which I only really went to for a few months before realising I really, well, was in it for the acting (I passed my music theory class with a score of 51 and failed every harmony class). I knew I had to go to NIDA. The big Cate Blanchett. The. NIDA. I am still in awe and am so privileged to have studied for three years. To spend five days a week doing the thing. THE THING. I still can’t believe I had that privilege. But it has truly been the little beautiful families I have been blessed to have found in the shows following graduating that perhaps was my ‘start’. 

What have been the highs? What have been the lows? 

Today the high, yesterday the low, the day before that the high. And the day before that the low. And most likely tomorrow the low and the high, the low, the high, the how the ligh, the flow, the flow. If I have learned anything. Take it one day at a time.

 

My people. They are the high. The highest of highs. My creative partners. Thank you Theatre Thoughts because it is really not often as an artist that you sit down in front of a laptop and must acknowledge the highs. And it scares me a thousand times more than confronting the lows. If I say the ‘highs’ out loud maybe they will dissipate. Maybe someone will read these words and think “they don’t deserve such good things...Wow how silly those aren’t actually highs”. Huh. Well. I wrote a play called Pear-Shaped and one day people will see it because it is important, urgent, it uses art and magic to try and interrogate the all encompassing world of an eating disorder. When someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, with mental ill-health, it is almost impossible to articulate. Art, the stage, acting was my way through it. It still is. This play is my whole heart, my world. And doing it all with my creative partner in crime Miranda Middleton.

 

Also, meeting my best friends doing Feminazi and Laneikka Denne gifting me the world’s most bonkers insane, wonderful, gut wrenching character to truly find myself within. Bloody meeting more best friends on Girls in Boys Cars. Working with Priscilla Jackman. Working with Kate Mulvany!!!! The other DAY!!! Doing The Eisteddfod with my best friend Fraser Crane. Life man. 

The lows are every day. The lows are choosing the instability, the uncertainty every single day. The lows are the rejection, the parents saying “well you could always…”. But hey, it flows. It flows. 

Where do you see yourself going or want to go? 

Ah that’s really difficult to answer. I want to be a working actor. To create an “Australian” industry that forges a way for inclusive, innovative, accessible art practice that prioritises the unheard voices, and unseen bodies and makes space for young, queer, gender fluid humans. I want to create an accessible theatre space, that makes art for young people, that isn’t catering the cis white straight man. I want Yiddish theatre. I want more diverse bodies on stage. On our screens. I want change. I want the weirdos to be the main characters. I want accessible practice to be apart of the conception, not an after thought. I am going to be doing this for the rest of my life, by hook or by crook. That’s what I see. I see creation, play, sitting on couches writing stories with my best mates, rehearsal rooms while the sun sets, feeling despondent and feeling elated, I see more ‘failures’ and scripts on the cutting room floor, I see opening nights, and breakdowns and breakthroughs. 

Contact

Find out more about Ziggy on their Instagram @ziggyresnick

Instagram: @ziggyresnick

Email: resnickzoe@gmail.com

Our Artists of the Month Gallery

Who will we highlight this year? Sign up to our Monthly or follow our socials to find out.

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Lily Hayman (she/her)

Lily Hayman is a young writer, director and producer who lives and works on unceded Gadigal Land. She is the current Young Leader and Associate Producer at Shopfront Arts Co-Op, and one half of the all-female team behind Purple Tape Productions. Having received a Bachelor of Performance and First Class Honours (Theatre) at the University of Wollongong, Lily has since created and presented two fully realised productions: Fledgling (KXT 2022, MerrigongX 2021) and The Infinity Mirror (Shopfront ArtsLab 2021, BrandX Flying Nun Residency 2022). She has worked as Assistant Director to Margot Politis with Milk Crate Theatre and has been a member of the Harness Ensemble of artists with and without disability since 2021. In 2023 Lily is looking forward to directing Expiration Date and Party Girl as well as developing her own works Preparing for the Inevitable and Perfect Match. 

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Hayden Tonazzi (they/him)

Hayden Tonazzi (they/he) is a theatre and musical theatre director, and creative producer based in Gadigal. A graduate of the NIDA MFA Directing program, this year they commence their appointment as Artistic Associate with the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), after being an Associate Artist at the Kings Cross Theatre (KXT).

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Sarah Carroll (she/they)

Sarah Carroll (she/they) is an award winning Pasifika queer and neurodiverse writer, performer and producer working on Dharug Land (Western Sydney). Sarah has two successful one woman shows under her belt, ‘Cherry’ (Sydney Fringe Award Winners and Hollywood Fringe Nominee) and ‘Unkissed’ (Developed with Shopfront – ArtsLab). They also run their own production company Sour Cherry Productions that has successfully produced works in the indie theatre scene and fringe circuits. 

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Almitra Mavalvala (she/her)

Almitra (She/Her) is a Sydney-based, Persian Pakistani, performing artist, writer, composer and independent producer.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music (Music Theatre) from the Australian Institute of Music. Almitra’s theatre credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Willoughby Theatre Company) & Kinky Boots (Packemin Production). She was also part of the Feminist Comedy show ‘Tough Titties’ as a featured musical artist. Her screen credits include, a short film, ‘Red Lantern’ (Noah Films, Supporting Female Lead)

 

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Tiffany Wong

Tiffany Wong is a theatre-maker with a disability working across Gadigal and Wurundjeri lands. She is an Australian-born Chinese artist with Singaporean and Malaysian heritage.

 

Tiffany is a director for stage. She is the 2024 Cosgrave Associate Artist for Bell Shakespeare. Her credits include Boom (Slanted Theatre & KXT bAKEHOUSE), Short Blanket (Slanted Theatre & Meraki Arts Bar), Lady Precious Stream (Slanted Theatre & The Flying Nun at Brand X), Three Fat Virgins Unassembled (Slanted Theatre & KXT bAKEHOUSE), and Ching Chong Chinaman (Slanted Theatre). She has also worked as an Assistant Director to Courtney Stewart for Top Coat (Sydney Theatre Company), to Lucy Clements on Iphigenia In Splott (New Ghosts Theatre Company), and as a Directorial Assistant to Richard Carroll on Murder For Two (Hayes Theatre Co), and to Javaad Alipoor on Things Hidden Since The Foundation of the World – Creative Development (National Theatre of Parramatta).

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Ava Madon (she/her)

Ava is an Actor and Singer graduating from Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. Her work spans theatre, musical theatre and television. She was most recently seen in Sport for Jove’s I Hate People/Timon of Athens, a production praised by the Sydney Morning Herald as “the pinnacle of Shakespeare in Sydney this century”.

 

Her other recent stage credits include If/Then (Neglected Musicals), Venus and Adonis (Sport for Jove),The Lucky Country (Hayes Theatre Co.), Macbeth, Othello (Sport for Jove), Merrily we Roll Along (Hayes Theatre Co.), Bells are Ringing (Neglected Musicals), Titanic the Musical: In Concert (The Marrollo Project) and Cinderella in Into the Woods with both Belvoir and Watch This, for which she was nominated for a Greenroom Award.

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Jess is a multi-disciplinary creative living and working in Sydney. She has experience as a writer, director, designer, artist, and musician. Jess graduated from the University of Sydney in 2019 with a double major in Gender Studies and Theatre and Performance Studies. Jess is passionate about diversity and challenging stereotypes through theatre and storytelling.

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Maeve Hook (she/her)

Maeve Hook is a queer director, writer and actor, and co-founder of TART Theatre Collective. Maeve has a rich performance history in circus and is a BFA Acting graduate from Queensland University of Technology. In the final year of her studies, she received the Jennifer Blocksidge Memorial Award, allowing her to train with Shakespeare and Company (Massachusetts USA) post-graduation. She has several independent performance credits, some of which include the title role in ‘Anna Bella Eema’ (Dir. Anja Homburg), Mercutio in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (Dir. Shaz Mullens, Fresh Theatre) and the lead in Queer historical short film ‘Ballad’ (Dir. Roe Bonnici). Maeve was a chosen playwright for ATYP’s Emerging Playwrights National Studio (2021) and is currently a part of She Writes at Theatre Works (2022-2023). Her directing work has most recently been seen by national and international audiences with the 2022 tour of ‘POLES: The Science of Magnetic Attraction’.

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Tyler Fitzpatrick (she/her)

Tyler (she/her) is a stage and production manager, producer, lighting designer and theatre maker currently based on unceded Dharawal Land. She graduated with distinction from the University of Wollongong, earning the Merrigong Theatre Company Production Prize. Tyler has been the Production and Operations Manager at Shopfront Arts Co-Op since 2020 and services arts organisations as a Production Associate with The Paperjam Partners. With Paperjam, she has production managed Jailbaby and Pony (Griffin Theatre Company, 2023), A Practical Guide to Self-Defense (National Theatre of Parramatta/Merrigong Theatre Company, 2022), Nothing (NTofP, 2022), and Dust (Milk Crate Theatre Company, 2022). 

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Bria McCarthy (she/her) is a Wiradjuri/Irish writer and theatre-maker working on Dharug and Gundungurra land. In 2019 she wrote and directed her debut play ‘A Game For Flies’, which played at PYT Fairfield. In 2022 her debut manuscript ‘Finding Liminas: The Sudden Tree’ was shortlisted for the Text Prize 2022.

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Eleni Cassimatis (she/her)

Eleni Cassimatis (she/her) is a Sydney-based actor, and a graduate of the Actors Centre Australia. Eleni’s theatre credits include productions of Macbeth, Hamlet, The Comedy of Errors and In A Nutshell for Bell Shakespeare. She was also a member of Bell Shakespeare’s national touring company The Players in 2020 and 2021.

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Em Tambree (they/them)

Em Tambree is an emerging director & producer based in Naarm. Em undertook intensive Musical Theatre training at Centrestage, SHOWFIT (2016) and received their Diploma of Music for Musical Theatre at The Australian Institute of Music (2019). Post graduation & disability diagnosis, Em Tambree's exploration into accessibility within the industry led them to develop experience in almost every aspect of stagecraft.

 

They founded TART Theatre Collective with Maeve Hook in
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Aloma Barnes (she/her)

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Her career trajectory includes notable roles, such as a costume designer for various theatre productions in London and a design intern for an Amazon Prime web series in Mumbai.

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