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Hello!
Nice to meet you.

Meet the team behind the magic!

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Christian Leavesley // Artistic Director

Meet Christian

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 Christian co-founded multi-award winning company Uncle Semolina (& friends), whose works such as GilgameshTicky Tacky and OT were known for their innovative use of playing space and theatrical form. Leavesley’s work has appeared in festivals and venues 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, Sunny Ray and the Magnificent Moon, Trapper and Air Race.

Sharon Custers // Executive Director

Meet Sharon

Sharon has more than 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 and 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.

Gemma Robertson // Producer

Meet Gemma

Based on Taungurung Country in central Victoria, Gemma has over 20 years’ experience as a creative producer and arts project manager and has worked across numerous creative organisations, venues and festivals in Aotearoa (NZ), Scotland and Australia.

In her most recent role as General Manager of VPAC, Gemma was responsible for delivering professional development programs and strategic projects. This included 5 years as Executive Producer of the performing arts market Showcase Victoria, which plays a key role in connecting theatre-makers with audiences and venues and facilitating touring.

Gemma is incredibly excited about working with the team at Arena, being close to the art and making things happen!

Eliza Hull // Artistic Associate, Access and Inclusion

Meet Eliza

Eliza is a musician based in Castlemaine. Her music has received airplay on Australian radio as well as American television. She has composed for contemporary arts company CreateAbility for over five years and is writing the film score for feature film.

Eliza is currently writing a kids’ TV show, about the experience of having a disability as a child. It will be shown on ABCME. Eliza is a proud disabled woman, with a physical disability known as ‘Charcot Marie Tooth’.

Kerry Brown // Marketing Manager

Meet Kerry

With over 20 years’ experience in advertising and marketing roles, Kerry’s first full time role was at the heart of Melbourne’s thriving music industry, where she worked with artists and helped launch the Kool Skools program which is still running today. Working with students was a highlight of the role.

Kerry has a Bachelor of Arts (Graphic Design) from La Trobe University and a diverse portfolio, having worked across a broad range of brands and industries including Arts and Entertainment, Corporate, Government and Not-for-Profit and is skilled in Branding, Design, Art Direction, Planning and Strategy.

Kerry is also an emerging visual artist (follow @kerrylbrownartist) and works on her painting, photography and more, when she’s not wearing her Arena hat.

James Bodin // Admin & Operations Coordinator

Meet JB

JB (James Bodin) has been working in the live performance and music sectors for over a decade in a variety of roles including production management and lighting design.

JB is also a successful performer, working and producing shows that typically are centred around his love of circus, physical performance and music.

Most recently JB has spent his time at Bendigo Venues and Events as a Venue Technician, running live music and theatre events. He spends his free time writing and playing music. 

Wendy Buchan // Accountant

Meet Wendy

Wendy is the accountant at Arena and has a Bachelor of Business degree from La Trobe University, Bendigo.

She has worked for a number of different businesses including a large book publishing company, a buddhist retreat centre, numerous businesses in the hospitality industry, as well as a number of different “tradies”.

The highlight of her career to date was working with Park Avenue Productions in the UK who were responsible for the opening exhibits and content of the Millennium Dome in 2000.

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Our Board

Anne Henshall (Chair)

Sharon Custers
Executive Director, Arena Theatre Company

Christian Leavesley
Artistic Director, Arena Theatre Company

Jon Anstey
Legal Counsel, AEMO

Janice Muller
Independent Theatre Director

Liahn Nortje
Chief Finance Office, Film Victoria

Sandra Willis
Executive Director, Opera Queensland

Tom Wolff
Lawyer, O’Farrell Robertson McMahon

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