Dr Margi Brown Ash founded 4change coaching in 2003 and based it at Metro Arts in Edward Street Brisbane where she worked with local artists and corporate clients for over 14 years. 4change coaching has expanded and is now based in the Pullenvale hills, 25 minutes out of Brisbane CBD, where Margi presents workshops several times a year and hosts clients and artists either in small groups or one on one sessions. In Sydney, Margi works out of her home studio in Forest Lodge, close to Sydney University. She is a supervisor for counsellors and a mentor for artists.
PhD “House of Homes” (Research focusing on belonging)
Master of Arts (Research focusing on Collaborative Practice and Directing)
Queensland University of Technology
Master of Counselling (Narrative, Collaborative, Solution Focused)
Queensland University of Technology
Graduate Diploma in Adolescent Health & Welfare (specialising in arts and adolescents)
Graduate Diploma Experiential and Creative Arts Therapy (focusing on performative)
BA. Dip.Ed (specialising in Communication and English Literature)
Member of The National Artistic Team, Queensland Theatre 2016, 2017.
Ambassador at State Library Queensland 2018.
Member/Delegate MEAA Actors Equity
Associate Taos Institute
Tutor/Facilitator: National Institute Dramatic Art (NIDA) Corporate
Guest Lecturer: Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
Guest Artist-in-Residence: Queensland Academy of Creative Industries (QACI)
WHO IS MARGI:
Dr Margi Brown Ash: theatre maker, therapist, researcher, theatre director, facilitator, and MC. She joined Actors Equity in 1977, commencing her career in Sydney with the 6-month solo show “Alison Mary Fagan”, Ensemble Theatre, which then moved to the Stables Theatre for Sydney Festival. Concurrently she had a sustaining role (“Shanie”) in Australia’s first soapie, “Number 96”. She worked with “Australia Theatre for Young People”, touring NSW and then moved to New York in 1978-81 to train with Stella Adler and Polish mime Stefan Niadziakowski, performing Off-Off and Off-Broadway, including the Actor’s Studio. On her return she worked as Arts Co-ordinator for one teacher schools in outback NSW; Full Company Member N.S.W. Theatre of the Deaf; Full Company Member Murray River Performing Group; Teacher Ensemble Studios; guest director Rae Gibson Mime, Perth; guest director SWY Theatre Company; guest director Spare Parts Puppet Theatre.
Since moving to Brisbane in 1989 with her partner Bill to raise their four children, Margi has worked with most of Brisbane’s theatre companies including Queensland Theatre Company, La Boite, the nest ensemble, Zen Zen Zo, Danger Ensemble, Frank Theatre, green, Lucky Hearts, The Good Room, Grin & Tonic Theatre Troupe, as well as directing shows at Griffith University, Metro Arts, La Boite, Queensland Academies of Creative Industries and Queensland University of Technology.
Margi is a coach with 4change, her own creative arts studio where she conducts supervision/workshops/sessions with artists and community workers adjusting to life/work/creative transitions. She employs a collaborative, narrative and experiential/arts framework to help artists and organisations re-script their approaches to work and living. She created RIC PROCESS, a postmodern arts training program. RIC, or Relational Impulse Cultural Process, emerged from Margi’s PhD research (2018) HOUSE OF HOMES.
In 2010-11 she was invited to be one of three national artists to participate in the year-long Process Project at Metro Arts. This experience encouraged Margi to leave academia where she lectured/subject coordinated the Master of Counselling and return full time to the theatre where she writes/devises/performs and directs original contemporary performances.
MARGI’S THE BELONGING TRILOGY:
Margi’s creative work in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 primarily focused on “The Belonging Trilogy” working with Assoc.Prof. Leah Mercer and Dr Benjamin Knapton as directors and dramaturgs.
1. HOME (directed by Leah Mercer with her youngest son Travis Ash, musician/performer) won Creative Development Season, Metro Arts; won La Boite Independents 2012; Return season as part of Diva Series, Queensland Theatre Company, 2015 with Travis Ash as co-writer/musician/ performer; published by PlayLab; winner Gold Matilda Award, Body of Work, 2012. Margi performed and presented performance workshops called “HOME” at Theatre of the Oppressed Conference in Chicago; in Mexico for Taos Institute; at La Boite and at 4change coaching.
2. EVE, directed by Leah Mercer, won Metro Arts Independents 2012; Gold Matilda Award, Body of Work, 2012. Won season in Perth, The Blue Room Independents; two Blue Room Awards: Best Performer 2012 and Member’s Choice Award for best show 2012 (nest ensemble). Return season July 2017 Brisbane Powerhouse.
3. Man in Quotation Marks, working title, finally called He Dreamed a Train, the title of her brother’s (David Brown) book of the same name, directed by Benjamin Knapton with Travis Ash (co-performer/composer/musician). Margi was nominated “LabRat” ; won funded Work-in-Residence, Metro Arts 2013 (5 creative developments). . Won SWEET, a funded season at Brisbane Powerhouse, 2014: Nominated Silver Matilda Award for Best Technical Design (Benjamin Knapton and team). In June 2014 she presented “He Dreamed a Train” to Theatre of the Oppressed Conference in Nebraska. Return season 2017 at Brisbane Powerhouse with Benjamin Knapton directing and Travis Ash as co-writer/composer/sound designer and performer where he received a nomination for best-supporting actor. “He Dreamed a Train” received five Matilda nominations.
OTHER WORK WITH FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCE AND NEST ENSEMBLE:
2014: The Nest Ensemble, co-founded in 2004 with Assoc.Prof. Leah Mercer: co-devised/performed three seasons of “The Knowing of Mary Poppins”; Won Gold Matilda for Best Actor; co-wrote/performed “Joey the Mechanical Boy” with Leah Mercer at The Blue Room, Perth in November 2014. “Joey the Mechanical Boy”: nominated Western Australia Equity Awards as Best Play 2014, winning Best Director, Leah Mercer.
2015: Margi worked with QACI year 10’s, alongside Benjamin Knapton and Travis Ash co-devising a new version of “Coming Home”, based on The Belonging Trilogy. QACI was invited to perform Coming Home at Drama Queensland Conference, 2016.
In 2016 Margi’s company FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCE has been invited to remount these three shows as part of The Belonging Trilogy. Brisbane Powerhouse, October/November 2016.
OTHER COMPANIES SINCE 2013
2014: Assistant Director QTC’s Australia Day, directed by Andrea Moor (Playhouse, QPAC); Margi won an Arts Queensland Individual Fund Award, beginning her more sustainable directorial journey of working in larger theatre spaces, having always favoured small, intimate venues.
2014 Directed new work “Hedonism’s Second Album”, written by Dave Burton and Claire Christian, La Boîte Indie.
April-December, 2015: Margi directed/facilitated Access Arts Theatre Ensemble.
May 2015: Margi worked alongside Niz Jabour in the co-devised production of RAIN(La Boite).
June 2015: Margi co-wrote and performed The Paratrooper Project with Pluxus2 Dance Company at The Judith Wright Theatre.
September, 2015: Margi performed in new work by Future Fidel, Prize Fighter at La Boite for Brisbane Festival 2015.
September/October, Greece, 2015: Margi co-facilitated HOLON, The Aeschlepian Journey, with Dr Jean Houston.
December 2015: “I Want to Know What Love Is”, The Good Room and QTC, Brisbane Powerhouse. Part of Wonderland Festival.
February 2016: performed in Gaybies, Brisbane Powerhouse
February 2016: directed Lotus Project, Playwriting Australia, La Boite
March 2016: Artist in Residence, Denmark
June/July 2016: performed in “The Wider Earth”, Queensland Theatre Company
September 2016: storyteller in You, Me and The Space Between, Brisbane Festival, Terrapin Puppet Theatre
January 2017: Luke in Prize Fighter, Belvoir Street and Sydney Festival
April 2017: Artist in Residence, Arteles, Finland
October 2017: Guest Mentor, Tasmania Performs Residential
January 2018: The Wider Earth, Sydney Opera House and Sydney Festival
June/July 2018: Artist in Residence, Curtin University of Technology
August/November 2018: National Tour Prize Fighter with La Boite Theatre Company
FACILITATION and TRAINING:
Margi has presented Master Classes at Playlab, La Boite, Imaginary Theatre, QACI, and Zen Zen Zo. Overseas she has presented workshops for Taos Institute (Texas, Mexico, and New Mexico); PTO-Theatre of the Oppressed conferences (Chicago and Nebraska), Mexico City and Houston, Texas and workshops in Greece (with Jean Houston). She presented a series of workshops at QTC Youth Ensemble; lectured/tutored/directed at Griffith University (Applied Theatre). Margi also guest lectures at QUT in the Acting Program, creating a series of workshops focusing on the actor’s culture.
Margi’s creative pursuits include continual training with a wide variety of practitioners, including international performance practitioner Richard Schechner, BodyWeather’s Tess de Quincey, Leisa Shelton, Margaret Cameron, John Howard, Helen Sharp and John Bolton.
In 2014,2015 and 2017: Margi MC’d the National WorkSmart Conference QUT.
COMPANY IN RESIDENCE, METRO ARTS:
Margi’s company 4change coaching was Company in Residence at Metro Arts, 2015 and 2016, where she initiated two programs: The Re-enchantment Project, working pro bono with artists to re-dream their stories and The Women in Theatre Bridge Club, a group of women who are creating bridges within the theatre industry to ensure gender parity.