Explore the processes of directing for stage with Theatre Works Creative Director, John Sheedy. This masterclass series is designed for early career and recent directing graduates who would like to extend their skill set on becoming a flexible practitioner, able to work across artistic disciplines and multiple contexts of performance practice
: Learn how to create a director’s concept and gain an understanding of how to articulate your ideas to the various departments involved in realising the production
: Discover how to prepare for rehearsal and workshop the practical interplay of story, design and performance on the rehearsal room floor with your fellow participants
: Learn practical and critical approaches to develop the future of Australian performing arts.
John Sheedy – Director / Writer
John is currently the Creative Director and CEO of Theatre Works in Melbourne, programming his first season in 2017.
A multi-award winning Australian Director whose work has been staged extensively throughout Australia, John has directed productions for Belvoir Street, Bell Shakespeare, Parramatta Riverside, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre Company, Gri n and Opera Australia. John’s work has been recognized with multiple nominations for Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Awards.
John was the Artistic Director at Barking Gecko Theatre Company from 2010, delivering his final season for the company in 2015. In his first season as Artistic Director at Barking Gecko, John adapted for the stage and directed Shaun Tan’s children’s book THE RED TREE that premiered in 2011 and produced again for the 2012 Perth International Arts Festival. Also produced for the 2012 Perth International Arts Festival, in association with Barking Gecko, was Susie Miller’s DRIVING INTO WALLS directed by John. Under John’s direction, Barking Gecko was nominated for five 2012 Helpmann Awards for their productions’ of THE RED TREE and DRIVING INTO WALLS, including Best Children’s Presentation for THE RED TREE. Following the success of DRIVING INTO WALLS, the production transferred to the Parramatta Riverside Theatres and the Sydney Opera House.
In 2013 John directed HAMLET, STORM BOY and adapted and directed Wolf Erlbruch’s children’s book DUCK, DEATH AND THE TULIP for the Perth International Arts Festival. STORM BOY, a Barking Gecko/ Sydney Theatre Company co-production, was nominated for Best Young People’s Production at the 2013 Helpmann Awards and Sydney Theatre Awards. STORM BOY was also nominated for Best Production, and won Best Director at the 2014 Performing Arts WA Awards.
In 2014 John directed and designed ONEFIVEZEROSEVEN, the follow up to DRIVING INTO WALLS as an inclusion in The Perth International Arts Festival. His adaptation of Craig Silvey’s best-selling novel, JASPER JONES also premiered in August 2014 to a sell-out season and great critical acclaim.
In 2015, John’s swan-song for Barking Gecko, in conjunction with Opera Australia, was THE RABBITS adapted from the novel by John Marsden and Shaun Tan, premiering at the 2015 Perth International Arts Festival and Melbourne Festival and has had a subsequent season at the Sydney Festival and QPAC in 2016. THE RABBITS was the winner of 4 awards in the 2015 Helpmann Awards – Best Presentation for Children, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best New Australian Work. John was also nominated for Best Production and Best Director for JASPER JONES and ONEFIVEZEROSEVEN at the 2015 Performing Arts WA Awards.
In 2016 John was appointed CEO / Creative Director of Theatre Works Melbourne. He was also the assistant director to Matthew Barclay on the revival of FOR THE LOVE OF THREE ORANGES for Opera Australia and started shooting his first short film MRS MCCUTCHEON starring Nadine Garner and Virginia Gay.
MRS MCCUTCHEON was completed in January 2017 and had its World Premiere at the 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Children and Youth Competition), with subsequent screening at the 19th Mo&Friese Children’s Short Film Festival as part of the 33rd Hamburg International Short Film Festival. The film continues its festival circuit in 2017/2018.