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Build Your Audience

Access Ideas and Insights: Build Your Audience

Join in person or online for our fourth Access Ideas and Insights panel for 2023 – Build Your Audience.

Learn from leading Sydney venues and organisations as they explore ways to better connect with and engage the 18% of Australians with disability through prioritising access and accelerating representation. Join in the discussion led by expert panelists including Olivia Ansell (Director of Sydney Festival), James Winter (Co-Founder and Director of Brand X) and Janelle Ryan (Accessibility Operations Manager of Sydney Opera House). This event will be MC’d by James Evans (Associate Director of Bell Shakespeare).

Where and When

Tuesday 19 September

10:15am: Morning Tea and Networking (in person)
11am – 12pm: Panel Discussion (in person and online)

There will be a 45-minute panel conversation, followed by a 15-minute Q&A. Audience questions can be submitted from both in person and online attendees.

Join in person

Bell Shakespeare – The Seed
Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay

The entrance The Seed is located midway down Pier 2/3 located at 13A Hickson Road, Dawes Point. It is located on Level 1 and is accessible by both stairs or a lift.

For details on how to get to Bell Shakespeare, check out the Visual Story.

Join online

A link will be emailed to you upon registration.

Book Now

FREE event – Registrations essential.

Please note registrations are required for both in person and online tickets.

Click here to book tickets or phone (02) 9251 6499.


This wheelchair accessible event will be Auslan interpreted and captioned with hearing loop available.

The in person event at Bell Shakespeare will be open captioned. The online event will be closed captioned.

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The accessible hybrid platform for this event is being managed by Pyrus Event Services – a specialist event production partner that crafts elegant and inclusive experiences for virtual and hybrid events.

About the Speakers

Olivia Ansell – Festival Director, Sydney Festival

Olivia is a leading curator and producer with over 20 years’ experience as a director, choreographer and performing artist. She is currently the Head of Contemporary Performance at Sydney Opera House, presenting a broad mix of genre defying productions spanning contemporary dance, theatre, circus, magic, comedy, music theatre, cabaret and pop culture from Australia and around the world. Voted one of Vivid Sydney’s Top 100 Creative Catalysts, her experience includes roles as the co-executive producer and creative force behind the hugely-popular, immersive experience Hidden Sydney, Artistic Director of Sydney Comedy Festival at Sydney Town Hall and Curator of Kings Bloody Cross for Vivid Ideas. Olivia is the Lecturer in Movement for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s Con Opera School. Olivia has been appointed Festival Director 2022-2025 for Sydney Festival. 

James Winter – Co-Founder and Director Brand X

James graduated from the Centre for the Performing Arts (Adelaide) in 1993. As a Theatre Director, James has worked for the State Opera Company of South Australia, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Restless Dance Company, D Faces of Youth Arts, Urban Myth Theatre of Youth, AIT Arts, Shopfront, Ashfield Youth Theatre, Belvoir Youth Express and The Studio at the Sydney Opera House. James co-founded Brand X in 2005 and since then has worked on 17 re-purpose projects with the company and consulted for the private and public sectors on cultural infrastructure. He currently sits on the City of Sydney Cultural and Creative Sector Advisory Panel. 

Janelle Ryan – Accessibility Operations Manager, Sydney Opera House

Janelle has worked in the arts industry for over 23 years. In 2018 she took on the maternity leave position as the Accessibility Manager at the Sydney Opera House. After this appointment she took the role of Accessibility Operations in 2019 where she manages the annual Access programs and performances and is responsible for ensuring the successful fulfilment of the Opera House’s Access Action Plans which involve whole of house strategies to improve access for staff, audiences, performers, and visitors. Janelle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. 

James Evans (MC) – Associate Director, Bell Shakespeare

James is a graduate of NIDA (Acting) and holds a Master of Arts (English) from The University of Sydney. For Bell Shakespeare James has directed two national touring productions, ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ and ‘Julius Caesar’, also directing ‘Macbeth’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for young audiences. James co-wrote and presented the acclaimed iPad App ‘Starting Shakespeare’ (named Best New App by Apple in 17 countries) and co-directed the ABC online series ‘Shakespeare Unbound’. He has been a visiting artist at the University of San Diego, as well as presenting a series of Shakespeare and leadership seminars in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Mumbai and Singapore. James’s work with Bell Shakespeare in juvenile detention centres is the subject of the award-winning feature documentary ‘Kings of Baxter’.

Accessible Arts is proudly supported by Create NSW and this Hybrid Event Series has been made possible with support from the City of SydneyBell Shakespeare and Pyrus Events.


Image Description: Headshots of the three panelists, from left to right: Olivia Ansell (photo by Daniel Boud), James Winter (photo by Meg Hewitt) and Janelle Ryan.

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