Our People

Sally Richardson

Sally is a multi-platform artist working as a director, writer, dramaturg, producer and consultant in the performing arts in Australia. She is passionately committed to the creation of new Australian work and developing collaborations with other artists in the region with a focus on contemporary physical theatre and dance. Commissions and productions range from intimate boutique works, through to new circus, puppetry and film projects, to facilitating large scale community events and programs

She has developed and presented works for companies and organisations including Sydney Theatre Company, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Deckchair Theatre, Black Swan Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, The Blue Room Theatre, The Malthouse Theatre, Belvoir Theatre, La Mama, The Flying Fruitfly Circus, The National Institute of Circus Arts, National Institute of Dramatic Arts, Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts, ABC Radio amongst numerous other Independent project companies & artists.

She is a previous Director of scriptwork development agencies Playworks, National Women Writers Workshop (Australia),and Stages WA. Productions of her work have been commissioned & presented at Festivals nationally and internationally.

Her work has been winner/finalist for Helpmann Awards, Green Room Awards, Equity Guild Awards, Ausdance Awards, Dance Australia Critics Choice Awards, Fringeworld Awards, Blue Room Theatre Awards amongst others.

Successes include:
H2O (Perth Festival) Helpmann Finalist Best Visual/Physical Production, Best Presentation for Children 2004
Alice (Perth, Melbourne & Sao Paulo International Arts Festivals)
The Drover's Wives (Perth International Arts Festival 2005) China tour to Shanghai & Beijing International Arts Festivals 2007
Helpmann Finalist Best Original Score & Best Costume Design 2005. Winner Ausdance WA Awards Outstanding Achievement in Design, Finalist Best Choreography, Best Female Performer.
The Promise (The Flying Fruitfly Circus/Sydney Festival 2009) Winner Helpmann Award for Best Presentation for Children 2009
Standing Bird 2 Finalist/Winner 9 awards including Most Outstanding Performance by a Female Dancer, 2013 Ausdance WA Awards, Outstanding Achievement in Design 2014 Ausdance WA Awards, Hong Kong Tour 2014.

Sally is a past recipient of an Australia Council Dramaturgy fellowship in 2006, and a Creative Fellowship from the Western Australia Department of Culture and the Arts in 2008. She has been Artistic Director of Steamworks Arts since 2001.

Sally is a passionate advocate for the performing Arts in Australia and roles here include; member of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council 2001-5, past board member of Swy Theatre, Playworks, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Circus WA, the artistic advisory of Deckchair Theatre, NICA, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, the development advisory for Strut National Choreographic Centre and the industry advisory of ACAPTA (Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association). She has acted as an assessor for various panels and awards and is a regular peer assessor for Department of Local Government, Sport & Culture in WA, The Australia Council, the Ministry for the Arts, amongst others. She is a current Helpmann Awards panelist for Theatre. In 2017 she joined the board of CAN - Community Arts Network(WA)

2010 Australian representative dramaturg, New Visions, New Voices International Festival, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC.
2014 Skills development in Cultural Leadership (Australia Council Theatre Board).
2015 Asialink Arts Resident 2015, Taipei Artists Village, Taiwan supported by Dept.of AIR Taipei Cultural Foundation, The Australia Council and WA Department of Culture & the Arts. (Featured in in joint exhibition False Start: Situational Exploratorium and collaborated with local artists in the creation of a new multi-artform work The Ghost Project:Jhih.
2016 Strut Choreographic Centre, Seed Residency (Ghost:JHIH)
2016 Moorings Residency, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre (Ghost:JHIH)
2016 OzAsia Connect as part of the OzAsia Festival (SA)
2016 Directors Lab, Theatreworks & Melbourne Festival
2017 AsiaTOPA Connect (Melbourne)
2017 Bundanon residency (Ghost:JHIH)
2017 China SPAF & Wuzhen Theatre Festival - selected participant
2018 Circus Industry Forum (Sydney Festival) - invited panelist
2018 Performing Asia Program at APAM 2018

Current projects include TRIGGER WARNING, produced by Performing Lines WA/PICA, which premiered in a sold out season at PICA Performance Space in 2016 and is published by Australia plays.org. New works in development VOSS featured in MICROMOVE for Summer Nights at the Blue Room Theatre Fringeworld 2018, and GUI SHU (BELONG) being co-produced with Performing Lines WA, PICA & Taiwanese partners.

In 2017 Sally launched a new circus theatre company MAXIMA Circus beyond limits in a first time partnership with Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. Their inaugural work FEARLESS successfully piloted at MPAC & Fringeworld in February 2017 & premiered at the WA Regional Arts Summit in October 2017.

Sally was a core artist with Performing Lines WA 2008-2016. She has been an artist in residence & Guest Lecturer at WAAPA, Curtin & Edith Cowan Universities and in 2014/15 was a Guest Director/artist in residence at the National Aboriginal Islander Dance College NAISDA (NSW).

Sally has been the Creative Director and Producer for a number of large scale events and productions including Live@Woodside, an award winning three year community partnership of Steamworks with Woodside. She was the Creative Directer for the Opening of the Place of Reflection at Kings Park, commissioned by Lotterywest and produced by Steamworks. Other clients include: WA Business News, WA Department of Culture and the Arts & the Western Australian Museum (Perth).

Sally worked with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company over many years as a dramaturg, director, Partnerships & Special Projects Manager with two periods as Acting General Manager. She was the dramaturg & producer of Waltzing the Wilarra which premiered at the 2011 Perth International Arts Festival. A finalist for three 2011 Helpmann Awards including Best Original Score, and finalist for nine WA Equity Guild Awards, winning three including Best New Play.

Writer/Director/Adaptation credits include:
2016: Trigger Warning
2014: Rites: Dying to Dance
2013: Standing Bird 2
2012: Snap
2012: Standing Bird
2012: The Ghost's Child
2012: Lucy & the Lost Boy
2011: Trojan Woman
2010: Antigone
2009: The Magic Garden
2009: The Promise
2008: Rhapsody
2007: Rare Earth
2007: Splat!
2006: The Drover's Wives
2005: Medea 05
2003: 3 Sisters
2004: H20
1997: I am Nijinksy
1994: Kamarade
1993: Five Fingers
1992: So is it a Lover?
1991: Picasso and Francoise

Projects include:
2018: VOSS
2015: The Ghost Project (now Ghost:JHIH)
2013: Mermaid X
2012: Nullabor (Road Trip)
2013: Dreamhouse
2012: Eliza
2010: Virginia Who?
2001: This Body has a Story
2000: P.O.V
1999: F

Additional Directing credits include:
The Dirty Cowboy by Tim Solly (Fringeworld/The Blue Room Theatre)
The Danger Age by Kate Mulvany (Deckchair Theatre)
The Odyssey adapted by Tom Wright, Directed by Michale Kantor, Associate Director (Malthouse Theatre/Black Swan Theatre Company)
Alice by Alice Haynes (Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company/Perth International Arts Festival)
Decadence by Stephen Berkoff (Perth Theatre Company)
Miss Julie by August Stringberg/adapted by Sally Richardson (Perth Theatre Company)
Mindimi by Rakini Devi (in association with Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts)
Milk and Honey adapted by Ingle Knight (Perth Theatre Company)
The Other Woman by Heather Nimmo (in association with Black Swan Theatre Company)
Savage Grace By Alana Valentine (in association with Performing Lines)
Nocturne by Adam Rapp (in association with Black Swan Theatre Company, B Sharp Belvoir & Performing Lines)
Kid's Stuff by Raymond Cousses (PICA/Eat Life Productions)
The Morning After the Night Before & So, do you come here often? by SHOTT Theatre

Short Film projects: The Drover's Wives, Eliza, Standing Bird, Mermaid X, Standing Bird 2, The Ghost Series: Belonging, Jhih, Pulsate & Mandurah

For additional information see also Consultancy & Advocacy

Associate Artist and Photography/Documentation: Ashley de Prazer


Sally Richardson has been collaborating with Western Australian based photographer/filmographer Ashley de Prazer since Steamworks inception.
Many of the videos and images that appear on this website have been created by this nationally recognised, award winning artist.

Ashley created with Director Sally Richardson the dance films; The Drover's Wives, Eliza, Standing Bird and Standing Bird 2

Ashley won an WA Ausdance Award for his work on The Drover's Wives,and was also a member of the creative & design team for Standing Bird & Standing Bird 2. He is currently working as the Vision Designer for Ghost:JHIH and, in collaboration with Sally, creating a suite of short films; The Ghost Series.

Ashley De Prazer