WHO IS MARGI BROWN ASH?

Photo by Carly Komp
Photo by Carly Komp

National Artistic Team, Queensland Theatre Company
Final Year of PhD Candidature (Research focusing on belonging)
Master of Arts (Research focusing on Collaborative Practice and Directing)
Master of Counselling (Narrative, Collaborative, Solution Focused, Dramatherapy, Creative Arts Frameworks)
Graduate Diploma 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/Delegate: MEAA Actors Equity: http://www.alliance.org.au
Associate Taos Institute: http://www.taosinstitute.net/margi-brown-ash

WHO IS MARGI:
Margi Brown Ash: theatre maker, therapist, researcher, theatre director and facilitator. She joined Actors Equity in 1977, commencing her career in Sydney with 6 month solo show “Alison Mary Fagan”, Ensemble Theatre, which then moved to the Stables Theatre for Sydney Festival. Concurrently she had 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 (www.4change.com.au) 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 Relational Impulse Cultural Training (RIC), a postmodern arts training program, while studying for her Master of Counselling and Research Master of Arts. .

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 primarily focused on “The Belonging Trilogy”working with Dr. 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).

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.

OTHER WORK WITH FORCE OF CIRCUMSTANCE AND NEST ENSEMBLE:
2014:The Nest Ensemble, co-founded in 2004 with Dr. 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:
August/September 2013: Co-devised/performed “Wizard of Oz”, a collaboration with Brisbane Festival, La Boite and The Danger Ensemble, (Nominated Matilda Award for Best Female Actor). “>

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: performing in Gaybies, Brisbane Powerhouse

February 2016: directed Lotus Project, Playwriting Australia, La Boite

June/July 2016: cast in “The Wider Earth”, Queensland 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 2013,2014,2015: Margi MC’d the National WorkSmart Conference QUT.

COMPANY IN RESIDENCE, METRO ARTS:
Margi’s company 4change coaching is Company in Residence at Metro Arts, 2015 and 2016. She has 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.

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