• Forging your own path: a discussion with Catherine Văn-Davies, Mark Coles Smith and Zahra Newman about working in the Australian arts industry

    So, you’ve done the masterclasses, you’ve explored movement and screen acting and how to decolonise through imagery, now what? What’s the next step? How do you use the skills that you’ve developed to build a sustainable career as an artist?  

    In our final masterclass session, you’ll have the opportunity to ask three absolute legends of the Australian stage about how they made the journey from emerging to established artist. Catherine Văn-Davies, Mark Coles Smith and Zahra Newman are ready to answer your questions, and pass on the lessons they learned as they built their prolific careers.  

    Bring your questions, bring your curiosity, and let’s start forging those pathways! 

    Zahra Newman: Film: Long Story Short, I Met A Girl, Truth. TV: ‘Rosehaven’, ‘Diary of an Uber Driver’, ‘Sisters’, ‘Childhood’s End’, ‘Wentworth’, ‘Rush’. Theatre includes working extensively with Australia’s major theatre producers – Sydney Opera House, STC, MTC, Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare, Malthouse, Sydney Symphony. Highlights: The Book of Mormon, Wake in Fright, Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, Random, Funny Girl, The Blind Giant Is Dancing, Ivanov, Private Lives, Love and Information, The Government Inspector, Miss Julie, The Effect, The Mountaintop, The Cherry Orchard, Clybourne Park, Richard III. Awards: AACTA for Best New Talent, Sydney Theatre Award, Green Room Award. Training: VCA

    Mark Coles Smith is a multi-disciplinary Nyikina artist working across several performing arts’ genres, first and foremost as an actor, but also as a writer, producer and sound designer. In 2017, Mark won a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Play for his work on Leah Purcell’s acclaimed adaptation of The Drover’s Wife. He previously received a Best Supporting Actor win at the Film Critics’ Circle of Australia awards for his work in the feature film Last Cab to Darwin and was awarded the Casting Guild of Australia’s inaugural Sirius Award for New Talent of the Future.

    Catherine Văn-Davies (previously Catherine Davies) is a Vietnamese-Australian actor and theatre maker, who has worked both nationally and internationally. Born in Canberra, spending her early childhood in Bogor, Indonesia and her schooling years in Brisbane, she is now based in Sydney. Catherine has performed at major art establishments such as the Sydney Opera House, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA ArtBar), the National Gallery of Australia, as well as both independent and main stage theatres. She feels passionately about diverse and inclusive representation throughout the arts on all aspects of the creation process and works towards a future where marginalised voices will be incorporated and acknowledged throughout our Australian storytelling landscape, across all mediums. Catherine graduated from QUT with a BFA (Acting) in 2006 and trained at HB Studio, New York in 2010. She’s a recipient of the Ashley Wilkie Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Performing Arts. She has been nominated for numerous Green Room Awards for various works over her career as well as creating multi-award winning work that has toured nationally. In 2019 she won Best Female Support for Angels in America and Best Ensemble for White Pearl at the Sydney Theatre Awards. She was nominated for Best Lead Performer for The Happy Prince.


    When: Thursday 4 June 2020

    Time: 6.00pm – 9.00pm

    Venue: Online! Register to be emailed the login details.

    Register now