Sally Richardson | Director

Sally Richardson

Sally is a Western Australian based director, writer, dramaturg, arts consultant and producer working across the performing arts. 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 theatre, dance and performance.

Sally has been commissioned, created and directed for companies and organisations including: Sydney Theatre Company, Black Swan Theatre Company, Perth Theatre Company, Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Deckchair Theatre, The Flying Fruitfly Circus, The National Institute of Circus Arts, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, WAAPA ECU, NAISDA, Performing Lines, amongst others.

Commissions and productions range from intimate boutique works, through to new circus, puppetry and film projects, in addition to facilitating large scale community events and programs.

Productions of her work have been presented nationally and internationally and been a winner/finalist for Helpmann Awards, PWA, Green Room and Blue Room Awards, Ausdance Awards and selected for Dance Australia Critics Choice. Sally is a past recipient of an Australia Council Dramaturgy Fellowship and a Creative Fellowship (WA Department of Culture and the Arts) She is a former Artistic Director of Playworks Australia and Stages WA, and is currently Co-director & producer of MAXIMA Circus.

Image: Shantel Liao

Sally is a passionate advocate for the performing Arts in Australia, and roles here include; Theatre Board of the Australia Council 2001-2005, past board director of SWY Theatre, Playworks, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre, Circus WA, Yirra Yaakin, 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) & NICA.

She is a previous Director of script development agencies Playworks:National Women Writers Workshop (Australia) and Stages WA. Sally worked with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company over 17 years as a dramaturg, director, Partnerships and Special Projects Manager with two periods as Acting General Manager.

She regularly acts an assessor for government and industry panels/awards including Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries in WA, The Australia Council, the Ministry for the Arts, amongst others. She is a current Helpmann Awards panelist for Theatre, and Deputy Chair of CAN - Community Arts Network (WA). Sally is an associate artist with Co:3 Australia.

In 2016 Sally launched circus theatre company MAXIMA in a first-time partnership with Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. She has collaborated with Performing Lines WA since 2008, has been an artist in residence and Guest Lecturer at WAAPA, Curtin and Edith Cowan Universities, and in 2014/15 was a Guest Director at the National Aboriginal Islander Dance College NAISDA (NSW).

She has undertaken artist residencies across Australia including Bundanon (NSW), PICA (Perth) and internationally in Iceland, Hong Kong and Taiwan (Taipei Artist Village in 2015 & 2019)

Sally has been the Creative Director/ Producer for various large-scale events and productions including Live@Woodside, an award-winning three-year community partnership of Steamworks with Woodside Australia. She was the Creative Director 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 and the Western Australian Museum (Perth).

Sally has actively pursued growing relationships and connections in the Asian region. As a 2015 Asialink Arts resident she exhibited a selection of short films in the International group show ‘False Start: Situational Exploratorium’ collaborating with 10 Taiwanese artists on The Ghost Project. She has been selected to participate in forums/events including Oz Asia Connect & Asia TOPA Connect, China SPAF & Wuzhen Theatre Festival (2017), Performing Asia Program (APAM 2018), ADAM 2 (Asia Discovers Asia Meeting in Taipei, 2018), Borak Arts Series (2018), Dance Massive (2019) and in 2019 premiered the four-year collaboration with Australian/Taiwanese artists GUI SHU at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts.

In 2019 she showcased Steamworks works #thatwomanjulia & GUI SHU at Dance Massive, premiered CATCH! (MAXIMA for AWESOME Festival) in addition to directing MEDEA for Black Swan Theatre Company. Sally participated in Playwriting Australia's DUOLOGUES program and the Australia Council Arts Leaders Program 2019-20. In 2020 she showcased GUI SHU at APAM at AsiaTOPA & JULIA at PLWA Creative Hub, and her work MUSE was part of Strut/Tura New Music program Situ8 at STCWA.

In 2021 Sally is scheduled to direct Savage Grace by Alana Valentine and JULIA, a co-creation with Natalie Allen. Her online dance on film International collaboration with Emma Fishwick, Feminism Has No Borders, premieres at the Perth International Arts Festival.

In 2021 Steamworks celebrates 21 years of operation as an independent project company.

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