Festival Lab

A chance for emerging artists to be fully immersed in the Festival

Perth Festival Lab is an opportunity for emerging practitioners from across disciplines to get stuck into the big ideas in the Festival program, and to reflect on their own artistic practice within the context of our local and international arts environment.

An intensive program of events is created, responding to the Festival and opportunities that arise to engage with artistic companies and artists. This may include performances, discussions, workshops, gallery tours and attendance at rehearsals.

Lab participants are invited to connect with the Festival team and key arts industry representatives, providing insight into way a Festival is programmed and the context in which it operates.

Importantly, the Lab creates an opportunity to find community from within the cohort itself, creating relationships with artists and practitioners from other disciplines, over an intensive period of discussion and discovery.

There are no outcomes associated with the Lab. This is an invitation to make space for contemplation and inquiry, and a vehicle for connecting with artists working in different ways – but not a skills development workshop.

Meet the 2020 Perth Festival Lab

Amber Norrish is an artist and arts facilitator who lives and works in Bunbury, Western Australia on Wardandi Country. Her practice is concerned with the communication and accessibility of arts in regional areas. Norrish’s research considers strategies to engage diverse audiences in positive art experiences. These outcomes are explored in her role as the Education Officer at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery (BRAG).


Desmond Tan is an emerging artist and multidisciplinary designer based on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar/Perth. His practice has a focus on collaboration and visual story-telling through design, print, publishing, image-making and sound. He has worked closely with many artists, producers and organisations which include Community Arts Network WA, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Spectrum Project Space, Heathcote Museum and Art Gallery, The Blue Room Theatre, Crack Theatre Festival, Propel Youth Arts and Bunbury Regional Art Gallery. Desmond was previously a Co-Director at artist-run initiative Paper Mountain where he currently works as a studio artist.

Pavan Kumar Hari is a composer, performer, dancer and director who creates vibrant, dynamic, expressive and dramatic music for theatre, film, dance and the concert hall.


Pavan has been performing since the age of three in dance and music productions, and has always loved the performing arts. He began to study dance and music in Perth at Saraswati Mahavidhyalaya, the Indian School of Performing Arts. He then progressed to study Composition and Percussion at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, where he plays percussion and piano, and is currently completing the fourth year of his Bachelor of Music degree (Honours).


Pavan’s compositions have featured in main stage dance and theatre productions at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, and he has recently been commissioned to create music for professional productions with the Barking Gecko Company and the Black Swan Theatre Company. Many of his works have been premiered by the award-winning Defying Gravity percussion ensemble. Pavan has been a member of the Western Australian Youth Orchestra, Western Australian Charity Orchestra, Western Australian Wind Symphony, and Defying Gravity Percussion Ensemble, and recently took part in the Australian Youth Orchestra’s National Music Camp. He has also performed with the Perth Symphony Orchestra as a guest artist on the Indian drums known as tabla.

Phoebe Sullivan is an emerging artist who lives and works on the lands of the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation. Graduating from the Performance Making course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) in 2016, Sullivan’s artistic inquiry is concerned with contemporary ideas of rabid, conspicuous consumption. Consumption within contemporary culture, her local community, her personal narrative and more broadly how art audience consumers can find agency and participate more holistically in her projects.

Since graduation Phoebe has worked and taken up residencies with companies such as the Australian Theatre for Young People, Queensland Theatre, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, pvi collective, and The Blue Room Theatre. Her recent credits include being an actor in Cloud 9 for West WA Youth Theatre Company (2018); director/deviser for Let me finish. (2018/19);  an actor in The Double (2019); an actor in Somnus part of the Fremantle Biennale (2019), a director for GRACE (2019); and a director for Boxed In as part of WAYTCo’s Body Rights for FRINGE WORLD (2020). 

Pip Lewi is an emerging artist currently living and working on Whadjuk Noongar Boodja (Perth, Western Australia). Their practice is primarily concerned with capturing the essence of everyday middleclass Australiana within the mediums of painting and illustration. They are interested in flânerie and psychogeography as a lens through which to investigate motifs and iconography as it pertains to the suburban landscape.

In 2019, Lewi had their first solo exhibition, Suburban Musings and Other Curious Finds, at Cool Change Contemporary and also curated their first group show with emerging women and non-binary artists, Dame Natura, at Pigmelon. They have previously shown work at various local galleries and institutions including Paper Mountain (2018), Moore and Moore (2018), The Art Gallery of Western Australia (2015 and 2018), Smart Casual (2017), City Arts Space (2017) and YMCA HQ (2016).

In 2018, they won the City of Fremantle’s 25under25 Highly Commended Award for their work Three Weeks of Transperth and was selected for The Clyde and Co Art Awards. Pip Lewi completed their first residency at Artsource’s Another Project Space in 2018 and will be an upcoming artist in residence at Midland Junction Arts Centre in 2020.

Currently they are working on a community arts project as a project artist in residence with Mercycare and Community Exchange Swan that involves facilitating kids workshops and designing postcards for the Swan area.

Max Juniper is a graduate of the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, acquiring an undergraduate degree with honours in Composition and Music Technology. Having written his thesis on binaural spatialisation (3D audio for headphones), Juniper has a keen interest in the interaction between music and spaces, both physical and social. This highly technical and somewhat esoteric aspect is counter balanced by a deep love of traditional choral composition, fostered by over a decade of choir singing.

Since graduating in 2017, Juniper has worked with writers and directors to adapt lyrics to new melodies or compose original songs, and has coached actors in singing these works. Juniper’s song writing supports a broader sound design practice, having designed for Riptide Youth Performance Company’s Tide Tales, WA Youth Theatre’s CLOUD NINE, Hayman Theatre’s In Case of Emergency, and The Last Great Hunt’s Perpetual Wake

Sam Nerida is a multidisciplinary performance maker and producer, and a cofounder of Static Drive Co. They are also a Simulation Specialist for Murdoch University.  They graduated from WAAPA’s Bachelor of Performing Arts course in 2015, and have since worked with a multitude of companies, including as the Associate Producer for The Blue Room Theatre from 2018-2019. Their credits as a performer include ‘Is This Thing On’ (Zoe Pepper & Andrea Gibbs) ‘Toast’ (Maiden Voyage Productions) ‘Bash’ (Tempest Theatre) and ‘The Wolves’ (Red Ryder Productions). They recently participated in Propel Youth Arts x PICA’s ‘Still Here LGBTQ Artist Lab’, Australian Theatre For Young People (ATYP) & Barking Gecko’s Fresh Ink program, and were a member of the 2019 Black Swan Emerging Writers’ Group. They also participated in ATYP’s 2017 National Playwriting Studio, and they have written three plays for Static Drive Co, See You Next Tuesday (2019), Well Mannered (2017) and Tissue (2016).


Simone Detourbet is an emerging actor, writer and director from Darwin. She moved to Perth to attend the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts where she completed the Aboriginal Theatre Course in 2015 and the Screen Performance Course in 2016. 

Since then she has worked as an actor in Conversations With the Dead with Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company (2017), Less Light (Summer Nights 2018), Grace (Summer Nights 2019) and I Feel Fine (The Blue Room Theatre 2019) and was the Assistant Director of Let Me Finish (The Blue Room Theatre and FRINGE WORLD 2018/19). In 2018 Simone attended a development program in Los Angeles, was a key creative on a documentary project filmed in Rwanda and was a participant in the 2018 Screen Diversity Showcase. Since 2016, Simone has also been developing film and screen projects with artist Nicholas Harle, working as creative team at Something Productions. Currently she works as the Partnership Manager for Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company.

Siobhan Maiden is a storyteller who creates works for screen, stage, radio and the classroom.  An interest in language, history and cultural identity is evident in all her projects.

A graduate of Victorian College of the Arts, Siobhan has written, directed and edited hundreds of documentaries and was the host of Schools’ TV news.  She has performed with independent theatre companies in Melbourne, Tokyo, Berlin, Hobart and Bunbury. Most recently she played Dionysos in Euripides’ Bakkhai at Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre; was a performer in PVI collective’s Deviator and was one of two performers in a 48 hour improvised performance Narrowcast at Bunbury Regional Art Gallery.

Siobhan’s delight in building rapport with people and sharing their stories is well utilised at ABC Radio. She presents live radio to local and national audiences and creates content for the ABC website.

Siobhan also teaches Drama, English, Media, and History to secondary students and revels in the days where she can combine all subject areas to create eureka moments.

Since moving to Bunbury in 2012 Siobhan has been researching local stories and finding original ways to tell them. She is keen to create new theatrical work for regional audiences using a verbatim theatre approach, and is currently researching and writing a play about Belvedere, the site of a faded South West utopia. 

Zoe Street is an interdisciplinary place-based social artist who performs, designs, facilitates and initiates social change through holding co-creation spaces with artists, community and young people. Zoe focuses on connecting to people and place, listening and creating experiences that bring people together.

Her work branches across visual practice, performance, participatory installation and community engaged art. Zoe has recently graduated from the International Youth Initiative Program, a year long social entrepreneurship education based in Sweden, Brazil and Scotland. Here she focused on arts practices for systems change, experimenting with visual scribing, movement practice, collaborative performance and large-scale participatory story-telling.  Most recently Zoe has collaborated and performed in Two Canaries at the Blue Room Theatre (Sept, 2019).

Zoe currently works as a visual scribe and co-design collaborator in the Community Impact team at the Centre for Social Impact. She wholeheartedly believes in play, dancing and asking big questions. As an artist and human living on Whadjuk Noongar Country in Perth, Zoe is asking the questions: ‘How to I decolonise myself and the processes I engage with to live and work here?’ and ‘As artists how do we be of service to the healing and thriving of this place?’

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