Our People

Key Staff

Christian Leavesley

Artistic Director

Christian Leavesley is the Artistic Director of Arena Theatre Company. He studied theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts, Monash University and the University of Missouri-Columbia.  Before joining Arena he co-founded multi-award winning company Uncle Semolina(& friends), whose works such as Gilgamesh, Ticky Tacky and OT were known for their innovative use of playing space and theatrical form. Leavesley’s work has appeared in festivals and venues right across Australia, and internationally in Asia, North America and Europe. Leavesley’s works for Arena include Starchaser, Marlin, Marlin Expedition, Point of View, The Sleepover and Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon.


Christian Leavesley

Sharon Custers

Executive Director

Sharon has over 20 years’ experience in the performing arts industry, including roles with Sydney Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre Company, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and Cirque du Soleil.

 She recently headed up Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre (BREC) as their Executive Director, leading them to success in receiving the Drover award for Australian Performing Arts Centre of the Year 2017. At BREC, Sharon developed and implemented a new Strategic Vision for the organisation with a focus on Youth & Education and capacity building for local artists. This included the development of a Youth Performance Company in partnership with Artistic Director, Kathryn Osbourne of The Last Great Hunt.


Sharon Custers

Jolyon James

Artistic Associate

As the Artistic Associate of Arena Theatre Company since 2014 Jolyon and has been involved in the creation of all productions throughout this time. Highlights include Cautionary Tales for Children Staring Virginia Gay, Marlin and the Marlin Expedition and Trapper. 

As a graduate of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Jolyon has appeared in theatre, television and film roles both in Australia and overseas, including Offspring, Time of our Lives, Rush, City Homicide and The Secret Life of Us and the Universal film The Wedding Date.

Professional theatre credits include Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mamma Mia, Shane Warne the Musical, Into the Woods, [MTC] A Little Night Music [MTC] All About My Mother [MTC]; and The Grenade [MTC].


Jolyon James

Gayle McClure

Admin Coordinator

Gayle graduated from Queens University Belfast with degrees in Theatre and Music. She is a founding member and former Director of Accidental Theatre in Belfast. 

Since making to the move to Australia, she has become involved in local Castlemaine theatre company Three's A Crowd as Chair and Committee member working on productions of Assassins & Sweeney Todd. 

Most recently Gayle was the Events Manager at the Old Castlemaine Gaol, running live music and theatre, and writing & producing specialty ghost tours. 

Gayle McClure

Our Board

Liz Grainger (Chair) - FCA, Consultant

Virginia Lovett - Executive Director, Melbourne Theatre Company

Darren Fewster - Executive Director, Shared Services and Strategy & Human Resources, Telstra

Christian Leavesley - Artistic Director, Arena Theatre Company

Dr Richard Sallis - Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

Sandra Willis - Executive Director, Opera Queensland

Tom Wolff - Lawyer, O'Farrell Robertson McMahon

Jon Anstey - General Manager Insight & Innovation, Coliban Water