Penelope (Nel) Kentish is a theatre maker and teaching artist. She has been teaching drama with young people professionally since 2009. She has run workshops and made shows with young people from Tantrum Theatre, Australian Dance & Talent Centre (both Newcastle, NSW), Flag Inc (Melbourne, Vic), Appel Farm Arts & Music Center (New Jersey, USA), Bathurst Theatre Company, and various community projects in Bathurst. She was a selected playwright for Australian Theatre for Young People’s Fresh Ink writing program in 2009, and has been mentored by acclaimed Australian playwrights Debra Oswald and Lally Katz.
Since 2011 she has written, performed, and toured with Big One Little One, an award-winning live art and performance company which she co-created. The company’s work has toured across Australia, and featured in festivals such as Adelaide Festival (2013), Brisbane Festival (2012), Melbourne Fringe Festival (Winner Best Live Art – Confetti, 2013), Junction Festival (Launceston, 2014), Harvest Festival (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, 2012-13), Darwin Youth Week (2013), and three Village Bizarre Festivals (Sydney 2012-14). I might just take you on the Astroturf, written and directed by Nel, debuted in Bathurst in July 2014 featuring local performers. We always wanted to be professional dancers, co-created and co-starring Nel, premiered in Bathurst in September 2016, and toured to Newcastle in Sep/Oct, 2016, and appeared as part of Big One Little One’s Pick Me Up in Nov/Dec, 2016, at Australian Theatre for Young People.
Nel has a Master of Arts Practice (Performance), and a Bachelor of Arts (Communication – Theatre/Media) from Charles Sturt University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Cultural Development Practice from the University of Melbourne. She has also lectured in theatre, communication, and teacher’s education at Charles Sturt University, and for two years worked for Bathurst Regional Council as a programs officer at Kelso Community Centre, and events officer on the Bicentenary celebrations.
Nel’s theatrical interests include utilising non-traditional performance spaces, site-specific performance, and participatory/immersive theatre experiences.
Nel has satisfied the NSW Working With Children Check. She has completed her First Aid Certificate in Education and Care, including asthma and anaphylaxis care (2017). She has completed Child Protection training and is a mandatory reporter to Community Services NSW.
Nel’s directorial show reel, 2017