Creatives

Yaron Lifschitz

Yaron Lifschitz

Director

Yaron Lifschitz

Director
Yaron Lifschitz

Yaron Lifschitz is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, University of Queensland, and National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), where he was the youngest director ever accepted into its prestigious graduate director’s course. Since graduating, Yaron has directed over 60 productions including large-scale events, opera, theatre, physical theatre, and circus.

His work has been seen in 40 countries and across six continents by over one million people and has won numerous awards including six Helpmann awards and the Australia Council Theatre Award.  His productions have been presented at major festivals and venues around the world including Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Barbican, Les Nuits de Fourvière, Chamaleon and all the major Australian festivals. His film work was selected for the Berlin and Melbourne Film Festivals. He was founding Artistic Director of the Australian Museum’s Theatre Unit, Head Tutor in Directing at Australian Theatre for Young People and has been a regular guest tutor in directing at NIDA.

He is currently Artistic Director and CEO of Circa, and was Creative Director of Festival 2018: the arts and cultural program of the 21st Commonwealth Games. In 2020 Yaron will have directed the world’s first acrobatic staging of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and circus creations in collaboration with the Queensland Opera, Brandenburg Orchestra and Melbourne Symphonic Orchestra.

Shaun Comerford

Shaun Comerford

Producer

Shaun Comerford

Producer
Shaun Comerford

Shaun Comerford is an Executive Manager and Producer who has worked across all business functions in the Arts, Events, and Music industries with extensive experience in event production, relationship management, financial modelling and control, contracting, fundraising, investment, legal compliance, marketing and public relations.

From 2011 to 2014 as General Manager of theatrical producer, Newtheatricals, Shaun supervised the executive production of musicals and entertainment projects including Jersey Boys, The Addams Family, Rock of Ages, and Blue Man Group.

In 2015 as General Manager, Production for the Michael Cassel Group, Shaun oversaw the development and launch of the 2016 Asia Tour of Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Les Misérables.

Prior to joining Circa, as Executive Director of Australian Dance Theatre, Shaun led the company through a period of change, culminating in the relocation to and refurbishment of Adelaide’s Odeon Theatre, and the presentation of the inaugural Adelaide Dance Festival.  From 2017 – 2019, Shaun was also Vice President of Ausdance National, the peak body for dance in Australia.

Dan Potra

Dan Potra

Scenic Designer

Dan Potra

Scenic Designer
Dan Potra

Dan is a NIDA-graduate designer across the full spectrum of the arts, designing sets, costumes, concepts and animation for opera, theatre, large scale events, dance and film. Dan has received six Helpmann Award nominations for his design work in opera and theatre in Australia of which he has won three, including Best Scenic Design in 2008 for DEAD MAN WALKING at the State Theatre in Sydney.

International opera and theatre productions include THE PORTRAIT for Opera North and Opera de Lorraine, IDOMENEO directed by Graeme Vicks at Coruna Festival in Spain, CYRANO DE BERGERAC for the National Theatre of Greece, SWEENEY TODD at Southbank London, THE BARBER OF SEVILLE for Houston Grand Opera, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and NORMA for St Gallen Opera in Switzerland, LA BOHEME at Staats opera in Berlin, HOFFMANS ADVENTURE with Folkoperan in Sweden and DRACULA for the Royal Swedish Opera.

Dan has designed many large scale sporting and cultural events, include designing the now famous DEEP SEA DREAMING and TIN SYMPHONY segments in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and CLUSTERS OF LIGHT in Egypt. He also designed the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2018 Gold Coast and 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, as well as the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. Dan also completed production design for the opening of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the 2008 opening and closing ceremonies of the Liverpool European Capital of Culture directed by Nigel Jamieson.

Dan designed the costumes and projections for the Global Creatures / Dreamworks US stage adaptation of HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, designed a new opera by Phillip Glass called A PERFECT AMERICAN, Opening Ceremony for the PNG Pacific Games, DOUBLE IT, directed by Shi Zheng in China.

Dan has recently completed designs for productions of BRETT WHITELY (Opera Australia), THE MISANTHROPE (Bell Shakespeare), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Malmo Opera) and THE DEER OF NINE COLOURS for the People’s Art Theatre of Wuhan in China.

Jethro Woodward

Jethro Woodward

Composer / Sound Designer

Jethro Woodward

Composer / Sound Designer
Jethro Woodward

Jethro Woodward is a Melbourne-based composer, musical director, arranger, musician and sound designer recognised for his expansive and highly layered film, theatre and dance scores. A multi Green Room Award winner and Helpmann nominee, he has worked with some of Australia’s leading major and independent companies including; Malthouse Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Victoria, Chamber Made Opera, Back to Back, Chunky Move, Lucy Guerin, Australian Dance Theatre, Aphids, Stuck Pigs Squealing, Rawcus, KAGE and more.

A composition graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, Jethro draws upon his detailed understanding of contemporary music and its uses in live performance, including innovative uses of technology, combining live instrumentation with prerecorded, electronic, musical and sound elements into a seamless flexible and responsive score.

Jethro regularly tours his work internationally and has won Green Room Awards for his work on; The Bloody Chamber (Malthouse Theatre), Moth (Malthouse Theatre/Arena Theatre), Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd (Malthouse Theatre/Arena Theatre) and Irony Is Not Enough (Fragment 31). As a guitarist and singer, he regularly performs with Meow Meow and Paul Capsis, and has been a member of the band Cordarzine over the past 15 years. He most recently was the composer of Rapture at Sydney Festival 2021, directed by Michael Kantor and starring Paul Capsis and iOTA.

Libby McDonnell

Libby McDonnell

Costume Designer

Libby McDonnell

Costume Designer
Libby McDonnell

Libby McDonnell is a director, choreographer and designer and she is currently an Associate Director at Circa. Libby works in diverse genres and forms. At the heart of her work is people and movement.

Libby has an Associate Degree in Dance from QUT. Her professional career has included working as an independent artist performing and creating dance work, as an Artistic Director of Ballet Theatre of Queensland and Choreographer for Blue Roo Theatre Company. For 7 years Libby has worked with the teams at Circa to imagine, develop and deliver productions locally, nationally and internationally. During her time at Circa she has designed costumes for 26 productions, co-directed 3 main-stage creations and led many of the Company’s engagement projects.

Libby is based in Brisbane with her family and she’s currently studying an Honours degree in Fine Art at Griffith University.

Jason Organ

Jason Organ

Lighting Designer

Jason Organ

Lighting Designer
Jason Organ

Jason Organ graduated from Queensland University of Technology in 1988. He has worked as a technician, rigger, lighting designer and production manager. During this time he has lit all manner of productions from pantomimes and product launches to ballet, festivals, military tattoos, circus and live television; contemporary dance and circus being his favourites. Jason was the co-founder of JLX productions, a lighting design and technical consultancy, based in Brisbane. Since January 2010 Jason has been working exclusively with Circa, lighting and production managing their international tours.

Craig Wilkinson (Optikal Bloc)

Craig Wilkinson (Optikal Bloc)

Video Director

Craig Wilkinson (Optikal Bloc)

Video Director
Craig Wilkinson (Optikal Bloc)

Craig Wilkinson is Creative Director of the award-winning video projects collective OPTIKAL BLOC, which creates bespoke, visual-based live theatrical experiences and video marketing campaigns. Craig’s video design work has toured across Australia and internationally, including Hong Kong, North America, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and UK. Most recent live performance video design works include the critically acclaimed ROALD DAHL’S FANTASTIC MR FOX (shake & stir theatre co / QPAC), the Australian national tour of GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT (shake & stir theatre co / QPAC), and the recent international tour of one of Australia’s most successful theatrical exports, DEIN PERRY’S TAP DOGS (Broadway Entertainment Group). In 2021, Craig joins the highly anticipated Queensland Theatre and Brisbane Festival theatrical production of Trent Dalton’s BOY SWALLOWS UNIVERSE.

Additional credits as Video Designer includes: shake & stir theatre co / QPAC: WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Australian national tour 2016), 1984 (Australian national tour 2014); Counterpilot: AVOIDABLE PERILS; Ocean Park Hong Kong / Aerial Angels: VIVA SPECTACULAR, CYBER ILLUSION SPECTACULAR; Queensland Government: CREATIVE GENERATION – STATE SCHOOLS ONSTAGE; Queensland Theatre: THE MOUNTAINTOP, COUNTRY SONG, GASP!; La Boite Theatre: PRIZE FIGHTER, PALE BLUE DOT; The Good Room / Brisbane Festival: I’VE BEEN MEANING TO ASK YOU; Polytoxic: SNAPSHOT; Home of the Arts: MISS SAIGON, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR; Opera Queensland: HANSEL & GRETEL, CANDIDE, LA BOHÈME (realisation), FIZZ!, DIRTY APPLE; Harvest Rain: THE WIZARD OF OZ ARENA SPECTACULAR (Australian national tour); HAIRSPRAY THE BIG FAT ARENA SPECTACULAR (Australian national tour); Queensland Musical Festival: FRANK & FEARLESS, THE NIGHT PARROT, HELP IS ON ITS WAY, VOICES OF REMEMBRANCE, ONE HUNDRED AND ONE YEARS; HHO Events for the Canberra Centenary: SEVEN SISTERS SONGLINE; Black Honey Company: ONE THE BEAR; Leah Shelton: TERROR AUSTRALIS.

Television credits include: Endemol Australia / Nine Network: Big Brother.

Awards include: Matilda Award for Video Design – ROALD DAHL’S FANTASTIC MR FOX; Australian Production Design Guild (nomination) for Best Video Design of Visual Effects – ROALD DAHL’S FANTASTIC MR FOX; Matilda Award for Video Design – A CHRISTMAS CAROL; Darwin Fringe Festival Cabaret Award – TERROR AUSTRALIS; Adelaide Fringe John Chataway Innovation Award – TERROR AUSTRALIS; Gold Matilda Award– optikal bloc, for projection and video work on PALE BLUE DOT, THE MOUNTAINTOP, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, GASP! and 1984; Silver Matilda Award for Best Technical Design – PALE BLUE DOT.

Craig is a proud member of the Australian Production Design Guild and is a seasonal lecturer in Live Performance Video Design at QUT.