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

Sheah Sutton

Executive Producer

Sheah tried her hand at acting but soon realised her skills lay elsewhere, and so has spent the last 15 years working in arts administration and management across the performing arts sector, with a particular passion for the small-to-medium sector. Her previous roles include Company Manager and subsequently Executive Producer with Snuff Puppets, General Manager with Midsumma Festival and Administration and Finance Manager with The Song Room.  In 2014, Sheah completed her Masters of Arts & Cultural Management with the University of Melbourne.

Sheah Sutton

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

Alexandra Macalister-Bills

Education and Programs Manager

Alexandra is an arts manager and emerging playwright. She was the General Manager of literary organisation Going Down Swinging from 2014 – May 2015, having originally joined the team as an intern in 2012. In 2014 she was awarded a RE Ross Trust Script Development Award for her play Peripheral Damage. She is a graduate of the Australian Theatre for Young People’s (ATYP) Fresh Ink Mentoring Program and National Studio for emerging playwrights. Her work has been read at Courthouse Arts, National Young Writers Festival and the Emerging Writers Festival and was produced as part of ATYP’s show The One Sure Thing. Alexandra holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, majoring in Creative Writing and Cultural Studies and is currently studying her Masters in Teaching (Secondary) at La Trobe University.

 

Alexandra Macalister-Bills

Our Board

Virginia Lovett (Chair) - Executive Director, Melbourne Theatre Company

Liz Grainger (Treasurer) - FCA, Consultant

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

Christian Leavesley - Artistic Director, Arena Theatre Company

Lee Casey - Head of Communications and Engagement, Science Gallery Melbourne

Ruth McMullin - Counseller, Sienna College Camberwell

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

 

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