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, and the 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. Most recently she created and directed two shows with teens, 17 things the government doesn’t want you to know about the internet, which premiered at BMEC in April 2017 and toured to ATYP Sydney, and The Beast, which was commissioned by ArtState NSW for inclusion in their festival in November 2018.
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.
Before moving to Bathurst in 2017 to study Theatre/Media at Charles Sturt University, Alexandria (Alex) grew up in Newcastle where she was involved in the arts community from a very young age. She took a variety of performance lessons during this time including jazz, tap and singing at Dance and Performing Arts Academy on Beaumont and 10 years of drama lessons at Helen O’Grady Drama Academy under the tuition of Shane Skerly.
Alexandria has toured both nationally and internationally with the Hunter Singers, a Department of Education choir which she performed with for 4 years and during this time had the opportunity to perform at incredible locations such as the Sydney Opera House, The Great Wall of China and Hong Kong Disneyland. Mid 2016, Alexandria hopped on a plane and flew to the USA where she worked as a summer camp counsellor at Camp Burgess and Hayward in Sandwich, Massachusetts where she taught drama and singing to children age 7-17.
Since moving to Bathurst, Alex has had the pleasure of being involved in many community events and institutions including; Family Fun Day, Mitchell Conservatorium’s Carols by Candlelight, Carillion Theatrical Society’s Wicked the Musical as Elphaba, as well as performances with local group, Fun Theatre for the Very Young.
Alexandria began teaching with Beloved Monster Drama Company mid- 2018 and is delighted to continue working with such a wonderful and enthusiastic group of children in 2019.