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Next Level 2024 Participants

Congratulations to the 5 Artists Selected for Next Level Creative Mentorships

We’re delighted to announce the five talented artists with disability accessing professional mentorships through our 2024 NEXT LEVEL Creative Mentorship program.

Bria McCarthy, Bedelia Lowrenčev, Gemma Hudson, Josh Anderson and Freia Kirkaldy will each receive a mentorship within a leading performing arts organisation and $3000 in project funding to develop an innovative new project.

Each of the selected artists will receive up to 20 hours of one-to-one support through our partnering organisations. This exciting program will involve assessing their ideas, developing concept briefs and drafting detailed project outlines.

“We’re so excited about this new program and the valuable opportunities it provides for artists with disability,” says Accessible Arts CEO Liz Martin. “We’re delighted to be partnering with leading performing arts organisations to facilitate these mentorships and can’t wait to see how each of these talented artists takes their projects to the Next Level!”

Next Level Creative Mentorship Participants

Bria McCarthy – Bangarra Dance Theatre Mentorship

Bria McCarthy is a Wiradjuri artist working on Dharug and Gundungurra land. She writes and directs work for theatre, literature, film and education, with a speciality in experimental shadow puppetry. In 2023 her debut solo show “Dragon Hearts” won the Sydney Fringe Award for Best Emerging Artist, and the show was selected to play in the Melbourne Fringe BlakLodge. In 2022 she was the recipient of the ACE Indigenous Artist Residency, and her debut manuscript “Finding Liminas: The Sudden Tree” was shortlisted for the Text Publishing Prize. Her work is characterized by an emphasis on multispecies storytelling, neurodivergent imagination, and playing magic. 

Bedelia Lowrenčev – Griffin Theatre Mentorship

Bedelia (they/she) is a groovy disabled actor, dancer, singer, agitator, theatre maker, producer and Access Coordinator, living and working on Wategoro and Wangal Land. Bedelia frequently collaborates with their Deaf twin Jeremy on their current work COLLISION, exploring the intersection of queerness, disability and deafness. Most recently, Bedelia was Assistant Producer for Raghav Handa’s THE ASSEMBLY at Campbelltown Arts Centre, the recipient of the Performing Lines NSW Producer Platform, Acceds Coordinator at Performance Space for Liveworks2023 and Griffin Studio Residency. Bedelia performed in COLLISION at Sydney WorldPride at PYT Fairfield, ANIMATE LOADING at Casula Powerhouse, Assistant Producer for Queer Nu Werks and the Griffin Theatre Fellowship the year prior. Presently, Bedelia is preparing for their performance at the Sydney Bienalle Festival, learning lines for the upcoming disabled led short film ‘Love, Lottie’, and keen to get cracking on their disabled musical spenanza with Griffin Theatre through this Next Level Creative Mentorship.

Gemma Hudson – Belvoir St Theatre Mentorship

Gemma Hudson (she/her) is an emerging playwright, director, and actor, based on Gadigal land/in Sydney. She is interested in writing work that explores her experiences as a queer, disabled woman through the lens of the horror genre. Recent work includes co-writing and directing queer roller derby Shakespeare adaptation “Rolleo and Juliet” (Sydney University Dramatic Society, 2024), and writing and directing netball slasher “PLAY ON” (Sydney University Dramatic Society, 2023). She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney.

Josh Anderson – Merrigong Theatre Mentorship

Josh is a BFA graduate of NIDA. Theatre credits include This Heaven for Belvoir, The Removalists for Critical Stages, Sweeney Todd for the New Theatre, The Gruffalo for CDP, Shivered for Mad March Hare Theatre Co, Belleville, Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo and The Cripple Of Inishmaan for The Old Fitz and Lost Boys for Merrigong Theatre Company. Josh is the creator of Embarrassing Parents Anonymous (Catalyst Content 2019, SeriesFest 2020, Stareable NYC 2021 and Stareable LA 2022). Josh is a Type 1 Diabetic hoping to create space for people living with the disability through his new play, Lazarus.

Freia Kirkaldy – Sydney Opera House Mentorship

Freia Kirkaldy is an emerging writer, director and producer. Most recently, she wrote and directed ‘Main Character Energy,’ which won the Judges Choice and Festival Director’s Award at Short + Sweet Festival, and was the Researcher for ABC’s Australia’s Best Competition Competition,’ starring Michael Hing and Lewis Hobba. Passionate about arts education, she has also developed and led programs focusing on arts-based learning, disability, equity, and inclusion for youth audiences. She graduated with an Executive Master of Arts from the University of Sydney and has studied playwriting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. 

This program has been made possible by Create NSW with thanks to our partnering organisations Bangarra Dance Theatre, Griffin Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre, Merrigong Theatre and the Sydney Opera House.

Image description: Headshots of the five participants including Bria McCarthy, Bedelia Lowrenčev, Gemma Hudson, Josh Anderson and Freia Kirkaldy.


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