On the Couch with Christian Leavesley

Christian_leavesley_oncWho is Christian Leavesley?
The Artistic Director of Arena Theatre Company.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would ride my bike to work every day.

Who inspires you and why?
I love Anish Kapoor. Some of his sculptures feel like theatre sets to me. They are entire provocative landscapes of their own that suggest exciting imaginative worlds.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would put a theatre company in every community.

Favourite holiday destination and why?  
I love Corsica. It’s rugged and beautiful, and they have native vultures.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I would tell them to rent a little boat from Docklands and take a self guided water tour of Melbourne.

What are you currently reading?
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

What are you currently listening to?
Jethro Woodward’s Pinocchio soundtrack.

Happiness is?  
A loan car that is better than your own car!!

What does the future hold for you?
More and more fantastic work for young people!

Christian Leavesley is the Artistic Director of Arena Theatre Company. He studied theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts, Monash University and the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a writer and director, who is known for devising and adapting classics, and for directing premieres of new Australian writing.

He co-founded multi-award winning company Uncle Semolina(& friends), whose works include Gilgamesh, Ticky Tacky and OT have been programmed internationally at venues such as the London Barbican Centre, the Chao Yung Cultural Centre Beijing, Studio Eve Tokyo and the Shanghai Centre of Dramatic Arts, among others. Nationally, Uncle Semolina has been presented at venues including the Sydney Opera House, the Adelaide Festival Centre, the Malthouse Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne, and the Melbourne International Festival.

Christian has provided curatorial and artistic advice to many arts organisations and educational institutions. He is a recipient of La Mama’s inaugural Lemon Gum Tree Award for outstanding artistic achievement, and the Malcolm Robertson Prize for new writing. He was also jointly awarded the Elisabeth Murdoch Travelling Fellowship in 2005. He currently serves on the board of St Martins Youth Arts Centre.

Prior to his current position with Arena, he was Artistic Associate from 2008-2012. At Arena, Leavesley has directed the premiere of Starchaser by Lally Katz, and touring productions of Missing Link, Mr Freezy and Moth. He was the assistant director on large scale immersive installation work House of Dreaming.

His first production as Artistic Director, Marlin will be an adventure at sea played in a sea of foam at The Lawler – Southbank Theatre, 25 September – 11 October 2014. For more information, visit: www.arenatheatre.com.au or www.mtc.com.au/marlin

Image: Christian Leavesley