Our Teachers. We believe it is our role to foster in young people a desire to explore, discover, invent and learn different ways of performing and provide opportunities for them to do so. 

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ANNE SORENSON - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Anne Sorenson has been empowering young people through the performing arts in Western Australia for over 30 years. With a strong physical theatre and group devised methodology, Anne has used theatre as a community engagement tool, a research methodology, for performances and for health promotion. Anne has produced and directed youth arts projects creating performances with disengaged youth, former refugees, first nations youth and with young emerging artists. The high
quality of her work has attracted a number of awards and award nominations across a variety of sectors and she has published journal articles and research reports about using theatre as a tool for social change. Anne has been for the AD at SEA for seven years and has overseen the delivery of two strategic plans, sixteen productions and two festivals. She teaches the Actors Club at SEA and now calls herself an Kinjarling Albany local.

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CASSY TURNER - CIRCUS ARTIST

A dedicated SEA member since 1999, Cassy has been participating in Circus, Hip Hop and Drama classes since she was 5 years old. She was one of the members who helped found CircaSEA; which has since toured around the state performing for Circus Joseph Ashton, the West Australian Circus Festival, as well as many community events. In 2011, Cassy attended the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, and now holds a Certificate 4 in Circus Arts. Cassy is also the Secretary of Creative Albany, a community based association aiming to develop the creative and economic capacity of Albany. Cassy’s most significant performance opportunity was The Incredible and Phenomenal Journey of the Giants in Perth, 2015. For the Perth International Arts Festival Cassy was one of 15 Australians selected to perform as a Lilliputian with Royal De Luxe.

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ZAK LAUNAY - STREET ACRO + CIRCUS ARTIST

Zak, a teaching artist for more than 8 years, has brought a range of new skills to the members of SEA; his talents in Capoeira (Afro-brazilian dance/acrobatic martial art) and parkour (French street gymnastics, running, climbing and jumping, known as “free running”) have been introduced into the new Street Acro program.

Zak trained for 10 years with the WA Capoeira federation under the teaching of Master Draga and Master Goioere, in many different countries including Brazil. He has also participated in a number of circus training activities including at the Lunar Circus school.

Zak has taught numerous groups of people including refuges, “at risk” youth, and children remote aboriginal communities.

His performance career highlights include Southern Art and Soul Festival, Brazil spectacular at Kulcha, Busselton beach festival, Fairbridge festival, Denmark markets, Albany Agricultural show, the Snake Run and the Beauty Index.

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NELSON BLAKE - THEATRE ARTIST

Nelson graduated from Murdoch University and University of Tasmania with a BA Politics and International Studies and a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts respectively. He currently works as a drama tutor at Southern Edge Arts, most recently directing HE@RD  an original contemporary theatre piece examining the process of community consultation and MOON_SHIP 2020, a loose adaptation of Lord of The Flies that explored colonialism and power dynamics within a survival context.

Nelson has exhibited at The Powerhouse Gallery in Launceston and worked with Marina Abramovic at MONA in Hobart, to activate her works. He has co-created a production for Auckland fringe festival (Dead Boys Are Blue) and worked extensively in technical and artist-liaison roles, specifically for Junction Arts Festival in Tasmania and Brave New Works in Denmark WA.

He has acted in numerous productions including The Balcony by Jean Genet, Richard III by Shakespeare and Attempts on Her Life by Martin Crimp.

FORMER TEACHING ARTISTS

LEANNE MCLAUGHLIN -  THEATRE ARTIST

Leanne is a full time Drama teacher who has been working in schools for three decades. Her teaching practice has been based on the works of Stanislavski, Laban, Artaud, Brecht, Boal and Grotowski. She has a particular interest in contemporary Australian theatre, Aboriginal theatre and Lighting. During 2014 she participated in an exchange program teaching Drama at Glebe Collegiate in Ottawa, Canada, where she was able to extend her knowledge of Improvisation skills.
Her personal strengths include problem solving, critical thinking and Devising Theatre. She has been a regular participant in YOHFest. This Festival uses Drama to explore social issues relevant to young people. Her entries have consistently been selected as finalists, and have been awarded first, second and third place on numerous occasions.
Her passion for the Arts and personal quest for ongoing learning has been a key motivator for searching out guest artists and workshops trainers. For more than a decade she has taken small groups to work with Artists from Melbourne Theatre Company. This has provided her with the opportunity to network with some of Australia’s leading theatre practitioners. As a result, she has been able to bring new skills to the Southwest regional theatre community.

RACHAEL COLMER - THEATRE ARTIST

Growing up in Albany, Rachael has always been interested in the performing arts.

After finishing high school, Rachael moved to Perth where she joined the amateur

theatre group KAFF. In 2000, she successfully auditioned and was offered a place

at the WA Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). While at WAAPA, Rachael

played such roles as the character of Masha in Three Sisters directed by Gillian

Jones, Hippolyta/Fairy A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Chris Edmund,

Arabella in The Innocent Mistress directed by Rhys McConnochie, Cerimon in

Pericles directed by Kate Cherry, Rosie in The Devils Tunic directed Chris

Edmund and Kate in the short film Echoes directed by Julian Argus.

Rachael also played Monica in the play Out in the Open directed by Pete Nettell

as part of the 2004 Mardi Gras Festival at the Darlinghurst Theatre in Sydney. In

2007, Rachael appeared as Doctor Wallace in the TV series Lockie Leonard.

In 2016, Rachael graduated from University of WA with a Masters of Primary

Teaching. She currently teaches in local primary schools. Rachael also sings,

plays violin and mandolin with her brother David Rastrick in the musical duo

Riverbeats, whose repertoire is an Australian blend of popular music and original

songs.

JODIE SEXTON - CIRCUS ARTIST

Jodie has a passion for circus and after attending classes at Southern Edge Arts became a teacher herself. Not long into her time with SEA Jodie discovered circus was in her heritage... back in the early 1800s, Louis Sentinella, one of Jodie's ancestors in Naples, Italy, was a circus performer who travelled and performed throughout Europe! Jodie's love for circus led to her creating SEA's Little Squircus classes to share circus basics and developmental benefits with the little squirts - kids aged 2-5 yrs. In Mt Barker, Jodie also runs the Wriggle, Giggle, Grow program at the library and previously she was a former Happy Feet presenter for 3 years, which was a dance/fitness class for 2-5 yr olds. Jodie is a dedicated board member at SEA and a loving mother of 4 children, and each of her little squirts have attended SEA.

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TRISTAN MAITLAND - CIRCUS ARTIST

Tristan is a modern day circus strong man. His passion for sports and fitness began in high school where he participated in many local competitions in volleyball, soccer, hockey, cricket, athletics and touch rugby. In 2013 he joined the circus program at Southern Edge Arts and quickly advanced to the performance class – CircaSEA.

Since then he has been training at SEA as well as with other circus professionals such as Vague Du Cirque (France), Chris Mayhew (Perth), Chris & Iris (Netherlands), 360 Allstars (Brisbane), plus more. Tristan’s performance career began with CircaSEA’s Le Cirque d’Evolution, and has grown to countless community performances and in house projects including the WA Circus Festival, Albany Car Classic, Balingup Small Farm Field Day and CircaSEA’s Enigma: Leonardo’s Realm.

An active member of the youth community in Albany, Tristan can relate well to young people, through his passion for both sport and art and his understanding nature.

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