The Sub30 Collective are the first ensemble of artists to go through the Level Up Professional Development Program. Trialing the program for the company, and enduring 6 lockdowns over 2020/2021, these six artists have proved they are more than capable of showing up for themselves, their craft and their community as they navigated their way through a global pandemic and into the creative industries together.
Over the course of the program, Sub30 Collective created a performance at Arts Centre Melbourne for the Future Echoes Festival (2019) and a special showcase at Malthouse Theatre (2022).
During the 2020 lockdown, the Sub30 devised wrote and performed an original feature film/theatre hybrid work created on zoom, and shot at the Substation once restrictions eased at the end of the year. The Retreat was shown to a public audience at Wyndham Cultural Centre in June 2022.
In 2021 the Sub30 spent a year as a company in residence at the Malthouse Theatre devising new work with Director Sapidah Kian (unfortunately cancelled due to lockdowns in 2021), and working with Sancia Robinson on a showcase piece to showcase their talent and celebrate their achievement of graduating the program.
Moving on to Success
The Sub30 members are now working across the professional arts sector in film, TV, mainstage and independent theatre as performers, writers, producers, directors and dramaturgs. If you haven’t already heard of them, we have no doubt you will very soon. They are the next generation of cultural and artistic directors proudly borne from Melbourne’s West.
Amarachi Okorom is an Igbo Nigerian-born actor, spoken word poet and playwright, who grew up in Auckland and is now based in Naarm/Melbourne. Amarachi joined Western Edge in 2017, performing in Caliban as part of the Edge Ensemble. Recent acting credits include This (RISING), Burning Love (Playlist Live), The Human Voice, A Disorganised Zoom Reading of Contagion, the audio play Watching (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre), Seers (Playlist Live), The Watching with Western Edge, and Future Echoes: Edge Ensemble at Arts Centre Melbourne. She also appeared on ABC Melbourne as part of the Homespun storytelling gala. As a critically acclaimed emerging playwright, Amarachi was shortlisted for the 2021 Griffin Award. In 2021, she was selected for Melbourne Theatre Company’s First Stage program, Australian Theatre for Young People’s National Studio program, and Malthouse Theatre’s Besen Writers Group. Amarachi is currently one of two Artistic Associates at Western Edge.
Michael Logo is a proud Samoan actor working across stage and screen. He was born in Auckland and raised in Victoria. Michael trained at Verve Studios and John Bolton Theatre School. He became involved with Western Edge as an actor and Support Artist. He has performed in Western Edge’s productions The Retreat, The Watching, Lele, Butterfly, and worked on the script for Hamlet, translating sections into Samoan language. He is a key creative working on the expanded Lele, Butterfly creative development. Michael has performed in Playlist Live (Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre), First Stage (Melbourne Theatre Company), and David Wood’s production of This (RISING). He was featured in short film Eli the Invincible (SBS). Michael’s recent screen credits include Paper Champions (Netflix), Why Are You Like This, Love Me, and Colin from Accounts (Binge).
Leigh Lule is a Ugandan-Australian actress, writer, and aspiring director based in Naarm/Melbourne. She is currently studying journalism at Deakin University, where she filmed and produced Don’t Call Me Cynthia, a documentary exploring Eurocentric assimilation. She joined Western Edge in 2018, writing and performing theatre works as a member of the Sub30 Collective, including The Retreat, The Watching, and Tig. As a Western Edge Support Artist, she also assists in the devising and delivery of drama programs to high schools throughout Melbourne’s western suburbs. Leigh is the co-creator and co-writer of IGTV mini-series, Lil CEEBS, a prequel to upcoming web series, CEEBS, which received developmental support from SBS Digital Originals and ABC iView’s Pitch-O-Rama. After assistant-directing Liv Satchell’s let bleeding girls lie, which is representing Australia at the 12th Women Playwrights International conference, she will continue working with Satchell on The Grief Trilogy at La Mama Theatre in 2023.
Inspired by his heritage and an intrinsic love for creativity, Yaw Dadzie’s passion for artistic expression spans theatre, music, film, and beyond. As an actor, Yaw has been involved in professional and community theatre projects since 2009, with notable performances Iago and Caliban at The Malthouse and AMKA at Arts Centre Melbourne. Yaw is currently immersing himself in the world of film production and working on multiple film projects. Performing under the moniker Yaw Faso, his career in music has seen him receive honorary nominations for Best Reggae and Dancehall Act at the Music Victoria Awards 2018 and 2019, and collaborate with an array of local and international artists and producers, namely Djay W, MC IG., and Machinedrum. As an active local performer, Yaw has also appeared at festivals and events across Australia, and supported artists such as Kranium, Nasty C, Konshens, Jose Chameleone, and Baker Boy.
Ras-Samuel Welda’abzgi is an actor, writer, and producer, who was given a traditional ceremony in his homeland Ethiopia giving him responsibility to be a vessel for telling stories that are gifted to him from above. Ras-Samuel’s stage credits include Because The Night (Malthouse Theatre), Happy End (Victorian Opera), Twelfth Night (Melbourne Shakespeare Company), The Importance of Being Earnest (Sonnet 66), and Huckleberry Finn (Chapel Off Chapel). Recent screen works include Woody Woodpecker (Universal Studios), The Abandoned (Panorama), The Last Supper, BLVCK GOLD, and Jebena Genie which he wrote, produced, and starred in. He has also worked as a consultant for an upcoming Netflix series.
Betiel Beyin is an Eritrean creative based in Melbourne, who works on digital and theatre spaces, from being a runner on set to performer, writer, and filmmaker. She joined Western Edge’s Wyndham Edge in 2018 and has since co-written and performed in three Western Edge productions, The Retreat, The Watching, and Tig, earning her a residency with Phoenix Youth Centre and mentorship with Candy Bowers. Her creative practice has previously received support through SIGNAL Arts and Cinespace’s Writers’ Room workshop facilitated by Jane Allen. Betiel is a recent film graduate from RMIT University, where she created two short films: Triangle of Opportunities and The Rise and Fall of Bobby Maz, which was screened at the Swamp Cinema Festival. Betiel is the co-creator and co-writer of IGTV comedy mini-series, Lil CEEBS, which is currently being developed into a web series CEEBS with support from SBS Digital Originals and ABC iView’s Pitch-O-Rama.