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Shaz Mullens


Shaz Mullens is a qualified educator, playwright
and applied theatre practitioner. She is
the current Executive Director Fresh Theatre
for Social Change, a non-profit theatre company creating performance with and for people in in crisis, new migrant or refugee people, those affected by substance abuse, mental illness, people with disabilities, addiction, and both victims and perpetrators of violence and youth facing difficult life circumstances.

Shaz was employed for five years in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University as an applied theatre industry specialist. She is a part of the International Applied Theatre Symposium and regularly partners with international applied theatre researchers and practitioners. Shaz has developed extended education experiences for students from foundation to tertiary undergraduate level as well as project partnerships with The Royal Children’s Hospital, The Alfred Accident Related Trauma Program and Berry Street Kids providing trauma assistance through drama for children affected by the Black Saturday Fires. She is a published playwright and dramatist and has developed over sixteen plays and performance programs implemented both within Australia and internationally. She was also privileged to be a baton bearer in the 2016 Commonwealth Games for her service to the arts.

Director's Notes

Thank you for attending ‘The Resistible Rise Of Arturo Ui’. 

At a time when theatre productions are something we must hold onto very loosely, we are thrilled to have made it, with a live audience!  Whilst it feels personally satisfying to be able to present you this, arguably Bertolt Brecht’s best work, it’s so timely and so hauntingly relevant to be doing so.  Watching this show evolve at the same time current world events are unfolding has made this show just as desperate and deafening as it was when it was written.  


Something that we as directors discussed early in the production’s gestational period was the notion of living in a post-truth society.  If power is a more persuasive tool than the truth, does the truth even matter?  It seems as expendable as any other resource when control is currency.  In a world where news flies at record speed, who acts first is the one with the power.


Brecht’s play, written in America in 1941 as an allegory of Hitler’s rise at the start of World War II, chronicles a world of gangsters in the 1930s - a perfect reference point for Brecht’s intended audience at the time.  But tell a story about ruthless dictators to an audience in Melbourne in 2022… the lens stays the same, but the subjects that come into focus will be quite different.  Setting our production nearly 100 years later, one can’t help but bring to mind many of these subjects, and we leave it to you to see them for yourself.  Suffice to say, Hitler is but one among a succession of sycophantic leaders who has risen up, with many before him and many to follow.  For our gangster Giri says it best, ‘the womb he crawled from is still going strong.’


Our production, set among Melbourne’s gangland underbelly, pays homage to the original time period through a live musical score of songs you’ll recognise.  Andy and the band have been unbridled in their reimagining of the music and our sincere thanks go to him for creating the such a vivid and gritty underscore.  Thanks, too, must go to our fine team of creatives, designers and production workers — Emily, Degs, Jordan — and to Rosemary from Maroondah City Council for her endless support and passion for what we do.  To our cast: your fearlessness, generosity and integrity sits at the forefront of what you do, and we admire and appreciate everything you’ve done to tell this tale.


We implore you to watch this show with eyes wide open.  You are now in the gritty, urban, razor-sharp world of Arturo Ui.


Welcome to the jungle.


- Shaz and James.

James Cutler


James is a director, performer, theatre-maker and educator who has worked extensively throughout Australia and beyond.  Most notably James performed in the Australasian tour of School of Rock the Musical, where he understudied Dewey Finn. He toured the world as Lead Soloist with Aida Cruises and Australia/New Zealand with 'California Dreaming' (JTM).  Other performance credits include The Music Man (MTGV Best Actor award), as Lady Bracknell in The Importance Of Being Earnest (Artefact Theatre), and Leo Frank in the Australian Premiere of Parade.  Having a Masters in Directing, James has directed musicals, opera, plays and immersive theatre, and worked as assistant to director Lonny Price on the English National Opera's production of Carousel.  Other directorial credits include The Last Five Years, Parade, Sweeney Todd (Fed Uni), Gilligans Island, In The Heights and Titanic (both with Stage Art) Side Show, Floyd Collins and Once On This Island (Octave).  James' next production will be playing the role of Birdboot in Artefact's The Real Inspector Hound.  James is passionate about musical theatre, immersive theatre, and creating fresh encounters with familiar works.


Troy Larkin

- Arturo Ui -

​Troy is an Australian actor and writer. As an actor Troy has worked for over twenty years in theatre, film and television accumulating over 65 credits to his name. He is a graduate of 16th Street Actor’s Studio Full Time Acting Course.

Troy is a founding creator of the multi award winning Australian production company; The Cameralla. As a filmmaker and co-producer Troy was nominated for an AACTA award in 2018 for his online comedy series ‘BC Explained’ that he also starred in. An episode of the series recently won a gold medal award in London at the World Comedy Short Film Festival. Troy performs on stage weekly in one of Australia’s longest running plays ‘Such A Life - The Story of Ned Kelly’ in the lead role of Ned Kelly.

Most recently Troy appeared on stage in the premiere performance of the play Wild Cherries by acclaimed Australian playwright Daniel Keene. Troy is currently working alongside Mr. Keene, producing and preforming in the writer's new works.

You can currently see Troy starring in a truly transformative role as ‘The Patriarch’ in the new Australian feature film Blood Vessel which was released in August 2020 in the US and Australia on view on demand. The film and Troy’s performance have been met with highly favourable reviews from critics in Australia and the US alike.

Helen Doig

Ethella Roma, Prosecutor

Helen is a Curtin University and WAAPA graduate. She has worked as an actor and director both nationally and internationally. In Melbourne, she has performed in numerous productions at La Mama, including: Avon Calling; Bring on The Talent; The Elephant’s Tusk; Little Time Bombs and the one woman show, That Was Then. She was on the board of The Melbourne Workers Theatre for seven years and one of their Rapid Response Street Theatre performers. Helen was also a founding member of The Wallace Co-op, a company specialising in the rarely performed genre of Grand Guignol, the theatre of horror and terror. More recently while in Perth, Helen played Olive in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Marcus in an all-female version of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, Agnus in Tracey Lett's Bug and in Melbourne, Shirley in Shirley vs the Possums, Mrs Winemiller in Tennessee Williams’s Summer and Smoke; Erna in the Austrian Punk classic, Holy Mothers and in June of this year, Paula in Mammad Aidani’s, In The Mirror. TV credits include: Ship to Shore; Blue Heelers; MDA; Streetsmartz, and Cloudstreet. Feature films include: Dingo; Mallboy; Short Film Maker; the Sci Fi thriller OtherLife and Some Happy Day.


William Hassell


William Hassall is an actor, writer and creator from Melbourne. Last year he played Benedick in Eagles Nest theatre’s production of Much Ado About Nothing at Renaissance Easter Festival. He also continues to play roles in their productions of Medea (Jason), The Crucible (Hale, Putnam) and 12 Angry Men (Juror 8 ). In January 2020 he played King John, Iago, Marcellus in This Wooden ‘O’ by Incognita Enterprises. Previously he played multiple characters in “Do you Know Me” (Cuz, Darlene) (Melbourne Fringe Festival 2018), a site- specific semi-immersive play about homelessness in Melbourne. His passion for edgy theatre began with Underground Cinema having been a cast member in Money (2015), Hope (2016), FBI (2016), Kingdom (2017). A disability Support Worker by day William has a keen interest in connecting with society at large and is looking forward to getting under the skin of Maroondah City Council Audience. He has a deep love for the craft of acting, having honed his skills in diverse areas, particularly at Justin Lehman Studios (full year), The Clowning Workshop (Clown, Comedia Dell’Arte), Charlie Cousins Acting (Mike Alfred’s Process two terms), Taksu the Power of Clown by Budi Wan Miller, ‘Playing the Bard’ at Howard Fine Actors Studio, Uta Hagen Technique at 16th Street Actor’s Studio.

Jackson Heenan

Dogsborough, Defense Counsel, Ignatius Dullfeet

Jackson Heenan is a graduate of the National Theatre Drama School’s Advanced Diploma of Acting and studied Live Sound Production at SAE Institute. As a performer and sound designer, his credits include I Will Not Be Here Long, 40’s: A Decade of Variety, Tminus1200, and Fresh Theatre’s Romeo & Juliet. Since 2018 Jackson has been a cast member on Stream of Chaos, a weekly improvised livestream, where he is currently playing the role of Chaz Dederick. He produces and performs in other similar streams, and runs professional roleplaying game sessions with Dungeon Master for Hire. This is his fifth project with Fresh Theatre.


Hayley Noy

Mulberry, Nurse, Betty Dullfeet

Originally from Melbourne, Music Theatre 2017 Graduate (Federation University), Hayley began performing at the age of 6 and never looked back. Throughout her childhood she was fortunate enough to work with professionals such as Neil Gladwin, Trevor Jones and Kelly Abbey, she was a lead soloist performing Home (The Wiz) at Hisense Arena, aired on channel 7. Some of her many credits include Showtrain: A New Australian Musical (Chongy), Bye Bye Birdie (Mae Peterson), RENT (Dance Captain) and Sweeney Todd (Ensemble), Hairspray (Tracy Turnblad) as well as performing her self devised Cabaret ‘Material Girl’, at the Ballarat Cabaret Festival. Since finishing University she has worked on Playhouse Pantomimes Cinderella (Step Mother/Fairy Godmother) Sitzprobe, an UMMTA sponsered event, 40s A Decade Of Variety, TMINUS 1200 (Fringe Festival) and ‘The Grand Scheme’ a short film directed by Matt Mirams and working with the Starlight Foundation as a Captain Starlight. She is looking forward to working with Fresh Theatre on their upcoming performance ‘The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui’ and Breeding Grounds on their feature film franchise ‘Residence’.

Marc Opitz

Clark, Ragg, Actor, Judge

Graduating in 2003 from AC Arts (Adelaide) with an Advanced Diploma in Acting, Marc jumped right into work appearing in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Chopt Logic Theatre) and Emerald City (Bakehouse Theatre) in Adelaide, before receiving a Helpmann Academy Mentorship to study at Atlantic Theatre Company Acting School (Conservatory) in New York. Whilst there, he was among a group of select students chosen to study under Pulitzer Prize winning Playwright David Mamet, as well as guest teachers William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman, Clark Gregg and others.

He then helped form Acorn Productions in Los Angeles featuring in the web series Malcolm McChesney directed by Jeffery Addiss (Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance), before returning to Australia.

His performance credits since include Flagman (Dirty Pennies Theatre), Miss Blossom Callahan (La Mama), The Privatisation of Ward 9B (La Mama), Absurd Person Singular (Kindred Studios), The Dream Children (La Mama) and the single-actor play Blowing It (Owl and the Cat) among others. His film credits include Rabbit (MIFF 2014), Hospitality (MIFF 2016), Bloom, Mutt (Monster Fest 2021) and The Dream Children (MQFF 2015)

Dominik Shields


Dominik Shields is an Actor, Model and Writer based in Melbourne. She began performing at the age of 5 with a strong desire to tell stories and make people laugh.

Dominik has starred in a range of short films from Rey (2016) to Rose ’78 (2018), she has also appeared on various television commercials and shows such as Neighbours, Rostered On and Playing for Keeps. You can find her making music videos with the likes of Kira Puru, Creek, Amy Pollock and the Dianas.

She started her journey with amateur theatre company Perry’s Young Stars, performing a variety of styles such as cabaret, musical theatre and pantomimes. She has a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Drama and Performance from Deakin University and studied under the guidance of Peter Kalos at the Melbourne Actors Lab. She is currently undertaking her Masters of Arts majoring in Writing.

In addition to the Melbourne Actors Lab she has trained at TAFTA with Lou Mitchell and Cinzia Coassin, The Film and Television Studio International, with Sydney based coach Bec Watene and at the Beverley Hills Playhouse in Los Angeles under Michael Petted, Gary Grossman and Jeremy Radin.

Dominik is so stoked to be appearing in her third Fresh Theatre production.

Jordan Stack


Jordan Stack, is a performer and theatre practitioner. A graduate of the National Theatre Drama School, Jordan has directed and performed in works across many acting mediums - film, TV, short film, voiceover and theatre. His most recent credits include; I Will Not Be Here Long, 40’s A Decade of Variety (director, writer and performer), Share: The Youth Issues Musical and Metamorphoses, (Silenus, Hermes, Q), Tminus1200 Season 1 (performer and producer), set designer for Bloomsday's Travesties and Fresh Theatre's Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio and Fight Choreographer) and Unsorted, directed by Tara Daniel. Jordan is a resident actor, writer, director and Executive Director for Fresh Theatre for Social Change and Resident Director at MBCTA.

Jordan is committed to producing innovative and diverse theatre experiences and brings a strong work ethic and infectious positive energy to any room. He has developed and performed in theatrical works for people from a range of age groups, experiences and abilities and is committed to providing inclusive theatre opportunities in every performance or program with which he engages.


Tara Thorne

Sheet, Hook,

Tara Thorne is a Melbourne based actor and creative with strong roots in physical and devised theatre. Tara trained at the Adelaide College of the Arts under various esteemed lecturers and directors. They have also trained in many physical theatre disciplines including circus, dance, and LeCoq's clown, bouffon and neutral mask. Since graduating in 2019, they have continued to hone their craft and recently completed a training program with Brisbane's Zen Zen Zo theatre company. Tara has had the great joy of collaborating with mulit-disipline performers to create and devise several shows, including a recent development of a new piece 'Vivid'. More broadly, Tara has also taken roles in films including SITRIC and Songbirds.

Nathan Sadeghi

Producer, Spotman

Nathan lives the double life of being a fi nancial
planner as well as involving himself in multiple creative endeavours. Recent roles include being a part of the devising ensemble for
Thirty-Nine (Fresh Theatre for Social Change),
and Producing 40’s A Decade of Variety (Fringe
Festival). Nathan also moonlights as a board
game designer specialising in card and strategy games. Nathan has immensely enjoyed the family that a theatre
show creates and the challenge that each performance presents


Emily Tambree

Costume, Sound, Props

Emily Tambree is a graduate of The Australian Institute of Music for Musical Theatre alongside Centrestage’s full-time program, SHOWFIT. Since moving to Melbourne from Queensland in 2016, she has worked in a varied line-up both on and off-stage. As a performer, her proudest achievements can be found developing new work with Eclective Theatre’s Tminus1200 (Season 1 & 2) and The Good Girl Song Project’s new musical ‘Voyage’ throughout it’s workshop development in 2020. Off stage, she has written two cabarets (Coping Mechanisms & Stuck in a Cupboard) and was the Assistant Director for The Helendale Nude Footy Calender during Midsumma 2018.

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