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Mayu Iwasaki : Creator / Perfromer

Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, Mayu Iwasaki is an award-winning actor, puppeteer, and cultural consultant who is bilingual in Japanese and English. Mayu moved from Tokyo to Sydney to complete her BA in Film Studies and Performing Arts at the University of New South Wales. Mayu is also a graduate of the Atlantic Theatre Conservatory and trained extensively with the SITI Company in New York. Mayu is an inaugural Penny Cook creative associate of Monkey Baa Theatre Company since 2020, for which she wrote an original puppet show, "Little Bozu and Kon Kon", based on Japanese folklore. Since her mother is also a puppeteer and Mayu grew up watching her perform puppet shows for children with disabilities, she is passionate about creating an imaginative theatre for young audiences. Mayu is a founder of Omusubi Productions, and its inaugural production, The Face of Jizo, earned four Sydney Theatre Awards nominations. She is determined to connect people through culturally rich stories that bypass language barriers and enrich the world's spirit.

Theatre credits include: The Face of Jizo (Old Fitz), White Pearl (STC), Love and Honor and Pity and Pride and Compassion and Sacrifice (NIDA), directed by Priscilla Jackman, Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Japan and Doha Tour (ERTH Visual & Physical Inc.), Fallen (Mozawa) in Chicago, Love and Information (Atlantic Theatre Company) in NYC, and One woman show Morgan O-Yuki: Geisha of Gilded Age (Shakespeare&Co) in MA. Her TV credits include Top Knot Detective on SBS.

Mayu’s work exists at the intersection of international collaborative work, Theatre production, community engagement and education.

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Katrina Gaskull : Puppet Designer

Katrina Gaskell is a puppetry designer/maker working in the industry for more than 25 years. Trina began her puppetry journey learning from members of Handspan Theatre and other industry artists, and has gone on to work as a freelance artist for many companies including Ilbijerri, Moomba Festival, and Malthouse Theatre.

Trina is currently one of Polyglot Theatre’s generator artists and works for the company as a freelance artist in the areas of creative development, design & making, and as a workshop facilitator. In 2023, she designed the participatory production "Come Back Home" for Polyglot in collaboration with Esplanade - Theatres On The Bay, Singapore.

As a co-creator of Bonkel Theatre Trina works with musician Enio Pozzebon, to make original puppetry and music-based work. They have appeared at festivals including Melbourne Fringe, White Night, Cresfest, and The Melbourne Festival of Puppetry. Bonkel projects include "The Way We Were" (2017/18), the giant puppet duo "The Hopefuls" (2019), and "I Once Was A Tree" (2021/22). In 2022, Bonkel Theatre premiered "Rolling!" at Melbourne Fringe with the support of the Merri-bek Festivals Development Fund (2021).

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Me-Lee Hay : Composer

Me-Lee Hay composes for film, TV, dance and theatre. A Chinese-Malaysian-Australian, she has composed for theatre productions seen at Sydney Opera House, Sydney Theatre

Company, National Theatre of Parramatta and the Old Fitz in Sydney as well as internationally touring. Me-Lee received her debut nomination at the Sydney Theatre Awards in 2024 for Best Composer and Sound Designer in Independent Theatre for The Face of Jizo.

In 2023 she performed and composed for the 5 star Guardian reviewed theatre show Things Hidden Since theFoundation of World season at Edinburgh Fringe Festival co-produced by Javaad Alipoor Company (UK) and National Theatre of Parramatta which also did its Australian premiere at Sydney Festival, Drama Theatre Sydney Opera House in 2024.


She has had screen works shown across many platforms including Netflix, commercial TV channels, mainstream cinemas and planetariums and 2024 saw her first nomination at Australia's leading film industry awards AACTA for Best Original Score in Film for the film Suka.


Classically trained in piano and cello, Me-Lee is a graduate of the Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS), is an Associate Composer Representative of the Australian Music Centre and was the Vice President of the Australian Guild of Screen Composers between 2019 to 2023.


Freya Pragt : Performer

Fraya Pragt

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Shingo Usami : Performer

Originally from Japan, Shingo has worked extensively in theatre, film, TV and voiceover in Australia since 1998. His theatre credits include Twelfth Night (Fingerless Productions), Measure for Measure (Sport for Jove), Servant of Two Masters (Sport for Jove), The Floating World (Griffin Theatre Company), Coup d’Etat (bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company), Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes (Canute Productions), Underland (Sydney Theatre Company Rough Draft #13), Someday Suddenly (Tunks Productions) and the Australian tour of Miss Saigon 2007/2008. For recent TV and film credits, Shingo played a season regular role Henry Nakayama in the US network AMC’s The Terror: Infamy, and a recurring role of Akira Hashimoto in Apple TV’s Invasion. Other film and TV credits include Unbroken (Universal), Paper Planes (Paper Plane Production), Backyard Ashes (Crow Crow Productions), The Wolverine – Samurai (Fox Films), Emperor (Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment), Red Dog (Red Dog Productions), Broken Sun (JackaFilms), The Pacific (HBO), The Strip (Channel 9) and Curtin (ABC). The short film RICEBALLS, written and directed by Shingo, has been accepted for a number of film festivals around the world including TIFF Kids International Film Festival and Heartland Film Festival and received several awards.

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Matt Cox : Lighting Designer

Since 2003, Matt has designed numerous theatre productions including; Bangarra Dance Theatre: Waru Journey of the Small Turtle, Dubboo, One's Country, OUR Land People Stories, Blak, Belong. For Carriageworks: Lake Disappointment. For Ensemble: A Christmas Carol, Boxing Day BBQ, A View From the Bridge, A Broadcast Coup, The Caretaker, Nearer the Gods, Diplomacy, Murder on the Wireless. for Marrugeku: Burrbgaja Yalirra, Burrbgaja Yalirra 2. For Monkey Baa: Edward the Emu, Possum Magic, The Unknown Soldier, Diary of a Wombat. For Soft Tread: Wharf Revue 2023 Pride in Prejudice, Wharf Revue 2022 Looking for Albanese, Wharf Revue 2021 Can of Worms. For Sydney Theatre Company: Wharf Revue 2020, Wharf Revue 2019, Wharf Revue 2018, Ruby Moon.

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