Announcing our 2020 Artistic Advisory Committee

May 14, 2020

Feast is excited to announce our 2020 Artistic Advisory Committee, featuring an incredible group of LGBTIQ+ Australians, from a variety of artistic backgrounds.

Neil Armfield AO

Joint Artistic Director (with Rachel Healy) of Adelaide Festival 2017-2023. Neil was inaugural Artistic Director of Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre, a position he held for 17 years. He has worked with many companies including The Royal Opera Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Zurich Opera, Opera Australia, as well as National Theatre UK, Sydney Theatre Company, State Theatre Company SA, Windmill, Black Swan, Queensland Theatre Company,  Melbourne Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre and more. Neil has directed several award-winning television productions and four feature films including Candy (2006) and Holding The Man (2015). In 2007 he was made Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the arts, nationally and internationally, as a director of theatre, opera and film, and as a promoter of innovative Australian productions including Australian Indigenous drama.

Will Sergeant

Will has been a passionate gay activist for almost 50 years.  He was involved in the early Australian gay liberation movement, participating in Adelaide’s first Gay Pride March in 1973 and Sydney’s first Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gra in 1978. Will and his alter ego, Dr Gertrude Glossip, have participated and performed in every Feast since its inception in 1997.

Dr Nikki Sullivan

Nikki Sullivan is the Manager, Centre of Democracy – run by the History Trust in conjunction with the State Library of South Australia.

Prior to working for the History Trust of South Australia Nikki spent twenty five years in academia where she taught in Gender and Cultural Studies. She has published widely on issues of gender, sexuality and the body, and is passionate about feminist activism.

Nick Hays

Executive Director at Australian Dance Theatre since January 2020. Nick has been working in the cultural sector for more than 15 years, including time at leading organisations, The Australian Ballet, Arts Centre Melbourne and Heide Museum of Modern Art, and is also currently on the board of Melbourne’s Dancehouse. Most recently Nick was a senior member of The Australian Ballet’s Philanthropy team, working with dance lovers around the country to bring great art to the stage.

Alison Coppe

A singer-songwriter and poet, Alison has performed at multiple Feast Festivals including her popular k.d Lang tribute show – Constantly Craving k.d in 2014. After receiving her PhD in Creative Writing in 2019, Alison’s current work focuses on many areas including queer feminism, teaching, community arts, gender and sexuality.

Robert Reason

Museum Director of The David Roche Foundation House Museum. Robert joined TDRF as Senior Curator in 2015 and was then appointed Museum Director in June 2019. He is recognised as one of Australia’s leading decorative arts authorities with over twenty years’ experience in the art profession. Robert has curated significant exhibitions and published extensively for the Art Gallery of South Australia and TDRF.

Edwin Kemp Attrill

Founder and Artistic Director of ActNow Theatre. Edwin Kemp Attrill is a South Australian theatre maker and former Artistic Director of the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild.

Edwin’s work focuses on interactive theatre and participatory storytelling exploring social justice themes. As a community arts practitioner, Edwin has worked with people with disabilities, prisoners, LGBTIQ communities, young people, refugees and migrants.

Lori Bell

Listed in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Comic Stars of Tomorrow Lori Bell has been smashing her way across the comedy scene and playing all over Australia. Lori has performed in many Feast Festivals and has hosted the Comedy Debate and Gayla on numerous occasions, to the delight of audiences.

Lori’s accomplishments in comedy and advocacy/support for the LGBTIQ+ community has been incredibly valuable to Feast, which is why Lori has been an integral part of the Artistic Advisory Committee. Lori has previously been on the Feast Board and other advisory committees for the Festival.

Fanny Jacobson

Former Artistic Director of Feast, Fanny has worked with Feast on arts programming and has a special interest in film, writing and basket weaving. Fanny continues her advocacy for the LGBTIQ+ community with a focus on queer representation, mental health and accessibility to the arts. Fanny will be presenting an event in Feast 2020.

Troy-Anthony Baylis

Visual artist, occasional curator and writer since 1993, his work was profiled recently in The National 2019: New Australian Art at Carriageworks, Sydney and is the inaugural recipient of the Guildhouse Fellowship for a South Australian mid-career visual artist, craftsperson, or designer. His work has been presented at Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Midsumma Festival, and Feast, where he has also been Program Manager – First Queers, twice a Board Member, and advisor in various capacities.

Jesse Budel

A South Australian composer-performer, sound artist, curator and arts entrepreneur. Born in Bordertown and raised in Murray Bridge, he recently graduated with a PhD from the Elder Conservatorium of Music, The University of Adelaide, for which he received a Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. Last year Jesse was Producer and Conductor of Considering Matthew Shepard, which had the Australian premiere at Feast Festival in 2019.

Damien Ralphs

Damien from the Gunnai/Kurnai and Wotjabalok people currently works for the Drug and Alcohol unit at SA Health, working with the homeless. Damien has had 17 years involvement with Feast since the age of 16 in a range of events. Damien has been a dancer for 10 years and continues this passion by exploring queer aboriginality and mental health through his work.

Mitchell Butel

Mitchell is the Artistic Director of State Theatre Company South Australia. As an actor, director and writer, he has worked for STC, MTC, QTC, ATYP, STCSA, Belvoir, Bell, Griffin, Malthouse, Opera Australia and the Sydney, Adelaide and Perth Festivals. For STCSA, he has recently appeared in Dance NationMr Burns and Rumpelstiltskin (with Windmill). Directing credits include Caroline, or Change and Violet (Hayes Theatre), Dead Cat Bounce (Griffin Theatre), Candide (Sydney Philharmonia), Funny Girl and Porgy and Bess (Sydney Symphony Orchestra), Spring Awakening (ATYP) and Killing Time (Adelaide, Brisbane and Summersalt Cabaret Festivals).

Eliza Thomas

A queer autistic comedian, who performed in her first Feast in 2019 with her show Ambispectrous. Eliza is an advocate for queer mental health and explores autism, narcolepsy and queerness through her work.

Gail Ellis

Runs TLLPC Pty Ltd, which is a human rights company, with her partner Lisette. The company owns Kindred Spirits Australia, which is a social and community arm that promotes LGBTIQ+ activities. Gail champions LGBTIQ+ rights and is also kind enough to offer her services to the Feast office.