Hello!
Nice to meet you.

Meet the team behind the magic!

Christian Leavesley // Artistic Director

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 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

Sharon Custers // Executive Director

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.

Jolyon James // Artistic Associate

Jolyon James // Artistic Associate

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

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 LivesRush, 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).

Gayle McClure // Admin Coordinator

Gayle McClure // Admin Coordinator

Gayle graduated from Queens University Belfast with BA’s 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 and Sweeney Todd.

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

Josephine Collins // Marketing & Development Manager

Josephine Collins // Marketing & Development Manager

Josephine has nearly ten years’ communications experience and has worked as a freelance writer and editor in the corporate and public sectors.

As resident writer at Red Stitch Actors Theatre from 2015- 2017, her works included The Way Out and Whistling BirdThe Way Out was published by Playlab in 2017. Other published works include The Free Speech Fights, published in Fluid Prejudice, an Australian History Comic Anthology (Glass Flag 2014).

Josephine has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne.

Wendy Buchan // Accountant

Wendy Buchan // Accountant

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.

Our Board

Liz Grainger (Chair)
FCA, Consultant

Christian Leavesley
Artistic Director, Arena Theatre Company

Sharon Custers
Executive Director, Arena Theatre Company

Janice Muller
Independent Theatre Director

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