How it all began
The Ball Room Projects creative directors, Cat Sewell and Nancy Sposato, started collaborating in 2004. Freshly graduated from the School of Creative Arts (Melbourne University/VCA) they asked ourselves what sort of performing arts work they wanted to see in the world? Their ideas resembled a visually evocative performative playground of sorts and the activities that occurred within this space appealed to both children and adults. The space was both safe and risky.
Both Sewell and Sposato continued to explore these themes as participants of the Australia Council Spark Mentorship Program. A creative development period in 2015 through the City of Melbourne’s ArtPlay New Ideas initiative really consolidated their thinking into the performance experience, The Ball Room. A premier season of the debut work at Darebin Art’s Loud Mouth was received with an almost sell out season. The Ball Room has presented large-scale interactive installation/theatre events as spin-offs from their major production, including presenting The Way at ArtPlay as part of Melbourne Moomba Festival, attracting over 1000 visitors over 3 days.
Our work is sparked by a sense of play and curiosity and how these characteristics are fundamental to the human condition.
Our company aims to:
- work with audiences as fellow creative collaborators
- deeply appeal to the senses of children and adults
- respond to fellow creators and audience members from a place of trust.
- deliver live work that displays artistic excellence.
Catherine Sewell - Creative Director
Works in play as an artist, facilitator and educator. Her work as a Play Specialist with schools, kindergartens and playgroups sees her not only running play-based sessions with children but also providing professional development sessions for families and teachers, as well as consulting in key strategic roles. Cat has worked with organisations, government, councils and NGO’s to create resources to promote play in written, online and video formats. As an artist, Cat also creates public installations for children and families and does design work for film and theatre. (B. Creative Arts, M. Creative Arts Therapy)
Nancy Sposato - Creative Director
Nancy Sposato has developed a creative practice that draws from various creative mediums.
Her early career focused on performing arts (physical theatre) with extensive national and international touring experience with popular Australian arts companies including Strange Fruit and Melbourne Playback Theatre Company.
Sposato has extensive experience facilitating preschoolers to professional artists in creative practice through school arts residencies, community workshops and with major arts organisations. Currently Sposato is establishing a creative arts club for youth in regional NSW (Nambucca Heads).
Sposato's creative consultancy business Nancy Sposato Projects focuses on facilitating local community minded services in the development of video, print and radio content. In 2017 the social change campaign Accept Difference was awarded the Champions of Inclusion award by Early Childhood Intervention Australia NSW/ACT and was nominated as a finalist for the 2017 NSW Disability Industry Innovation Awards by the National Disability Services. (BA Creative Arts, Victorian College of the Arts/Melbourne University).
Zoë Barry - Sound Composition
Zoë is a cellist, composer, performance maker and educator. She collaborates with a wide range of musicians and makers, working across film, theatre, galleries, installation and chamber music. Her approach is collaborative, reflective and quiet. Her music is exquisite, dark, haunting and tense.
Zoë has scored theatre works for Playbox Theatre, State Theatre Of South Australia, Patch Theatre, Rawcus, Restless Dance Theatre, Vitalstatistix and Drop Bear Theatre. Her scores have been heard around the world, from the Sydney Opera House to the National Center for The Performing Arts, Beijing.
Zoë has co-created theatre works including Ladykillers’ Lullaby, Cake, The Pyjama Girl and Based On A True Story, Restless Dance Theatre’s Howling Like A Wolf, and Patch Theatre Company’s Emily Loves To Bounce. She works closely with Drop Bear Theatre & The Seam, creating highly acclaimed relational works for very young audiences including DIG, Rain, and The Boy Who Loved Tiny Things. Her works continue to tour nationally and internationally.
Sam Doyle - Lighting Design
Sam a has a wealth of experience in production, technical management. Specialising in lighting and rigging, he has worked for over 10 years in a range of fields including circus, dance, theatre, large-scale events and festivals, touring works both internationally and across Australia.
Sam is passionate about projects which present unusual challenges and require creative problem solving, whether it be facilitating 520 shows in 30 days at an international arts festival or realising the vision of a small project by programming complex and intricate lighting sequences. He always looks to discover new methods of applying his technical knowledge and loves the opportunity to work diverse range of creatives, performers and doers of all kinds.
Previous projects and credits include:
Dance North: Attractor, Jodie Mundy: Personal, Briefs Factory, Chasing Smoke, Circus OZ, NICA, Melbourne Salami Festa, Yirramboi Festival, Melbourne Festival, Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Dark Mofo, Marriner Group, Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Bamboozled Productions, Royal Croquet Club, Falls Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Double Denim, Sydney Festival