About – Archive

15 Minutes from Anywhere
15 MINUTES FROM ANYWHERE is an artistic collaboration between director Beng Oh and writer Jane Miller. We create new Australian works as well as explore the lesser known and interesting parts of the repertoire. We hail from 1968 but create works for the here and now.

Beng & Jane

is a Melbourne writer whose plays have been produced both around Australia and internationally, beginning in 2006 when Perfect Stillness reached the finals of Short & Sweet in Melbourne and it won the People’s Choice award for Best Overall Production. Since then it has been produced in Malaysia, Delhi, Dubai and the United Kingdom. Jane made her La Mama debut in 2010 with a sell-out season of Happily Ever After directed by Beng Oh, which subsequently went on to tour. Jane is currently undertaking a Masters of Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts.

BENG OH is a freelance Asian-Australian director who has staged a wide range of productions. He has directed plays by Franz Xaver Kroetz, John Patrick Shanley, Paula Vogel, Peter Handke, Heiner Müller, Frank Wedekind, Gertrude Stein and Christopher Marlowe, among many others. Beng has a commitment to diversity, contemporary work and queer theatre. Notable productions include the Australian premiere of Tom Fool (aka Mensch Meier) by Franz Xaver Kroetz and a Green Room Award nominated production of Porcelain by Chay Yew. He completed post-graduate directing at the Victorian College of the Arts and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

Collaborators (Past and Present)

Tom Backhaus

Tom BackhausTom is a freelance composer and sound designer hailing from Brisbane. He graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2012 where he had the opportunity to work under some of Australia’s leading composers and producers including Kim Cunio, Doug Roberts and Caleb James. Tom specialises in composing music for moving image and live theatre with occasional forays into electronic dance music and electro acoustic minimalism. Some of his theatre credits include: Penelope (Red Stitch), On the Grace of Officials (MKA) and EIGHT in the 2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival. When he’s not hunched over a mixing console, Tom can be found drinking coffee, staring into space or trying to remember keyboard shortcuts (sometimes all at the same time!).

Sarah Bollenberg

Sarah BollenbergSarah graduated from VCA in 96 and has been working across the mediums of television, film, theatre, radio, musicals and singing. After performing on Blue Heelers, Water Rats and Halifax F.P, she disappeared for a spell working in Vienna and Germany in the musical HAIR and singing with the band PHILLER in London and Amsterdam. Most recently the short film she worked on, THE ZOO premiered at MIFF. You can also see her popping up in THE HOLLOWMEN, PRANK PATROL and dancing with her dying husband in the QUIT ‘Last Dance’ commercial. She is currently working on a long form feature film to be released in 2015, THE THREE APPOINTMENTS; a short film she is co-producing and she is co-writing a television series. Sarah is the director of THE PERFORMANCE FACTORY, a drama and singing school on the Peninsula. She is very excited to work with Beng Oh again having collaborated on MAN WOMAN SEX REVENGE and THE PARK. And as for FRAU DEATH? One can only be asked to play death once in their life – what a challenge!

Mark Samual Bonanno

Mark BonannoMark writes and performs with Melbourne based comedy troupe Aunty Donna. Check them out at www.auntydonna.com

Chris Broadstock

Chris BroadstockAward-winning comedy writer/performer, actor and improviser Chris Broadstock has been working on both stage and screen for over 15 years. Recent stage work includes Zoo Story at Revolt, Mrs Vincent Price at La Mama, Sleepyhead for MKA, directing Richard DiGregorio: On Time for Melbourne & Adelaide Fringe, and various shows with Impro Melbourne with whom he is an ensemble member. Chris was part of the team behind best-comedy-winning The 5th Dementia (Melbourne Fringe 2001), and Melbourne Comedy Festival shows The Hindsight Prophecies (2002) and The Bus of Regret (2004). He also pops up regularly in short films, on local TV shows and the odd ad. Stage highlights include playing Hamlet and performing in the Australian professional premiere of Brian Friel’s Winners at the Malthouse.

Keith Brockett

Keith BrockettA graduate of the National Theatre, Keith has performed extensively throughout Australia, most notably for Melbourne Theatre Company, La Mama Theatre, and 5Pound Theatre. Having trained in physical theatre and classic texts with the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (UK), he has been an active collaborator on many new Melbourne devised works. Keith received the Best Male Actor Award for his performance in Death by 1000 Cuts at the 2007 Short + Sweet Festival. He was a series regular in the ABC cult hit The Librarians, for which the cast received Best Comedy Ensemble at the inaugural Equity Awards, and has worked on Rush, The Time of Our Lives, Bruce Lee Played Badminton Too, and Verite.Keith is a co-founder of The Kin Collective, and a current ensemble member of the improvised comedy troupe The Big Hoo-Haa! Melbourne.

Emily Collett

EmilyCollett-croppedSince studying design at the Victorian College of the Arts as a postgraduate in 2007, Emily has worked as a freelance designer in Melbourne on over 30 productions, including regional and national tours. A move to London in 2011 saw Emily working for 18 months with Donatella Barbieri – Senior Research Fellow in Design for Performance at the Victoria and Albert Museum, a passionate advocate for promoting the importance of costume to performance. A grant from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust allowed Emily to spend 3.5 months in Europe earlier this year, further developing her skills and knowledge in design for performance.

Iliana Contos

IlianaContos_cropIn 2011 Iliana completed her Acting degree (Ballarat Arts Academy) appearing  as Hecuba in A Pillar of Salt, an adaptation of Women of Troy, in her final year. Her work with Kirsten von Bibra in this production developed the acquisition of a visceral connection to language and physical engagement in Greek Tragedy theatre. Since graduating Iliana has worked in various film projects and independent theatre, she also co-produced EIGHT in the Melbourne Fringe Festival which enjoyed a sold-out season. She has continued her studies at 16th Street Actors’ Studio and the Actor’s Coach.

Christina Costigan

ChristinaCostigan_cropChristina was bitten by the acting bug early in life.  From performing solo shows for a captive audience (her family) at a young age, she swiftly became a drama queen at high school and in 1995 graduated from Deakin University (Rusden) with a BA in Drama and Media. Since then, Christina has performed in countless plays from Shakespeare to Stoppard via Genet and Brecht. In 1999, she co-founded Baggage Productions, dedicated to producing original work by women writers, including Rhonda is in Therapy (fortyfivedownstairs, 2012) and Mad Women Monologues (2011-2013). Christina has undertaken extensive further training with the likes of David Latham, Anthony Crowley and Russell Fletcher in Melbourne; and with Vincent Guastaferro, Russell Boast and Rick Pagano in Los Angeles, where she lived and worked from 2009 to 2011.

Maria Coviello

Maria CovielloMaria trained at the National Theatre Drama School where she obtained an Advanced Diploma of Acting in 2004. Prior to her training, Maria studied at LaTrobe University where she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in both Drama and Cinema Studies. Maria has been performing on stage since 1999. She has also performed in a variety of roles on Australian film and television. Maria has particularly enjoyed working within collaborative arrangements with local theatre companies such as Real TV and Grit Theatre.

John Marc Desengano

John Marc DesenganoJohn trained at the University of Ballarat, Arts Academy. After graduating in 2008 he worked with Brainstorm Productions for five years, touring for six to nine months of each year, during which time he performed in high schools and primary schools all over Australia in shows dealing with issues such as bullying, cyber-bullying, domestic violence, substance abuse, eating healthily and many more. Highlights included a one-man show, Cheap Thrills. At present, John is pursuing a Masters of Primary Teaching at the University of Melbourne where he is currently in his final year.

Uschi Felix

Uschi FelixUschi Felix has enjoyed a long career as actor, cabaret performer, director and academic in Germany and Australia. Highlights include Peter Shaffer’s White Liars (best actress award in Adelaide Fringe Festival), Moliere’s Tartuffe, Brecht’s Threepenny Opera, Beckett’s Not I and Rockaby, Spielberg’s Pacific, a solo concert in Vienna, and over a decade of French Cabaret in Adelaide. Last year she appeared in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya (Fortyfivedownstairs) and Joyce’s Molly Bloom (Trades Hall). In 2013 she played Julia Warhola in Noel Anderson’s Andy Warhol: Fifteen Minutes of Fame (La Mama) and performed in a sell-out run of Rendevous im Palmengarten with the renowned Fliegende Volksbuehne in Frankfurt.

Marnie Gibson

Marnie GibsonMarnie completed a BA in Performing Arts at Curtin University and trained in musical theatre at WAAPA before moving to Melbourne to commence the BA acting course at the VCA. In Melbourne she also trained at St Martins Theatre and spent time training with David Mamet’s Atlantic Theatre School in New York City. She has appeared in many stage productions including Short and Sweet and Your Text Here at the Arts Centre, Highway Ulysses at the VCA, Company – the musical, The Taming of the Shrew in the Botanical Gardens and in Anthony Crowley’s award winning musical The Wild Blue. This is Marnie’s third Jane Miller production having performed in Happily Ever After and The Painter.

TV credits include Neighbours, Prank Patrol, Satisfaction, Hawke, Bed of Roses and The Bazura Project. She has also appeared in many short films and features including the recent Channel 7 production of An Innocent Man. Marnie has also performed in numerous national and international advertising campaigns working for clients such as Medibank, Target, Ginvera Skincare and Crown Casino.

Emily Goddard

Emily GoddardEmily Goddard graduated from international theatre school Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris in 2010, supported by the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and the 2009 Empire Theatres developing performer Bursary. Her recent theatre credits include Elling (Melbourne Theatre Company), Moth (Arena/Regional Arts Victoria), The Walls (Attic Erratic, 2011 Green Room nominee-Best Female Performer), Peer Gynt (Four Larks Theatre) and Os Pequenos Nadas (Ultimo Comboio Teatro, Barcelona). Emily has been involved with the creative development of numerous new Australian plays including Angela Betzien’s WarCrimes (RealTV) Anthony Crowley’s Pretty White Lies and the Velveteen Undertow (St Martins), and Rachael Coopes’ ArtHouse (Shakespeare and Company, Paris). Through her creative partnership with playwright/director Bryan Davidson Blue, she has performed in Szentpaly (2008 Brisbane Festival UTR), Matilda’s Waltz (2007 Malthouse 3dFest winner/La Mama) and her one woman cabaret Don’t Have Sex in Paris (2008 Melbourne Fringe Festival – Best Cabaret nominee).

Screen credits include short films Cracks, Shyness is Nice and Rewind and ABC TV’s Twentysomething. Also a theatre maker, Emily is currently developing a bouffon play based on the stories of the convict women of Cascades Female Factory, Hobart.

Steve Gome

Steve GomeSteve is a freelance actor and director who has built upon his VCA training by participating in workshops held by Philippe Gaulier, Keith Johnstone and Marcia Haufrecht. Steve has appeared with James McCaughey and Associates, Melbourne Playback Theatre, Baggage Productions, Wax Studios and others. Highlights include Dario Fo’s epic monologue Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas, Exile and Ecstasy Cabaret, Rossini Meets Dali, the roles of Tybalt, Horatio and Krutitsky (The Scoundrel That You Need) and directing Brecht’s Mr Puntila and His Man Matti.

David Kambouris

David KambourisDavid studied Theatre Performance at BAPA graduating in 1999. David’s stage credits include Nil, Cat & Buried, The Doctor (Le Poulet Terrible), Closer (Ta Daa Productions), An Air Balloon Across Antarctica (3 To A Room), The Object of Desire (Fly On The Wall), Outlookers (Arena), Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Essential Theatre) and True Love Travels on a Gravel Road (15 Minutes from Anywhere). David was also a founding member of Red Stitch Actors Theatre.

TV Credits include sn:tv and Sarvo (Nickelodeon), Blue Heelers, Good Guys Bad Guys and Raw FM. Film Credits include 5 Moments of Infidelity (feature), Bored Game (short), Trilogy (short), Vibrant Alarm (short), I Suppose I Had it Coming (short).

Troy Larkin

Troy LarkinTroy is an actor who works in the realms of theatre, film and television. He has appeared most recently in the stage play ‘Picasso At The Lapin Agile by Steve Martin for which he won a Best Actor Award with the Brighton Theatre Company for his portrayal of Albert Einstein. Troy has over 18 years of theatre acting experience, portraying such roles as Feste in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and John Proctor in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. He has appeared in numerous films including the awaited Terry Pratchett short Troll Bridge. Troy has taught performing arts for 10 years and is a graduate of 16th Street Actor’s Studio Full Time Course.

Tania Lentini

TaniaLentini_cropTania Lentini has performed extensively across the fields of TV, film and theatre, the last of which has furnished Tania with highly developed improvisation and dramaturgical skills. These skills were seen on an international stage in the Australian feature film Lake Mungo, where the dialogue was largely improvised. She has applied her dramaturgical knowledge to several new Australian works, in the roles of actor and assistant director. When not performing, Tania has worked behind the scenes as assistant director, stage manager, production researcher and has produced two feature films. She has been an ensemble performer in many theatre productions, including the Green Room award winning Art n Death Trilogy.

Annie Lumsden

AnnieLumsden_cropAnnie graduated in 2012 from the University of Ballarat Arts Academy, where she gained a BA in Acting. During her training she played Mephistopheles in Doctor Faustus/Lights the Lights, Abigail Williams in The Crucible, Miranda in The Tempest and Katherine in The Kitchen. Since graduating she has been involved in a number of independent projects such as Killing Game’(Bakers Dozen Theatre Co.), An Infinite Ache (Owl & Pussycat), Little Daughters (La Mama), and Dacryphilia (Broken Mirror Productions). Annie is a passionate performer, and is very excited to be a part of 15 Minutes From Anywhere.

Samuel MacDonald

Samuel MacdonaldDuring his time at the University of Ballarat Sam performed ina number of shows including Three Sisters, Cloudstreet, A Pillar of Salt, A Terrible Madness and THICK!CUT!FRY! In 2012 he appeared in the Melbourne Fringe Festival in the hilarious Pig 311, as the lovable Rupert Theodore Ignatius Brown.

Elizabeth McColl

Elizabeth McCollElizabeth graduated from Mountview Academy of Performing Arts in London, England in 1998 and worked consistently in film and theatre whilst living in the UK. Highlights included Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Twelfth Night as part of the Open Hand Shakespeare Festival and a tour of Northern Ireland with Venture Productions. As well as roles in classical theatre such as Shakespeare, Chekhov and Restoration Theatre, Elizabeth’s English credits include two independent short films and a range of corporate voiceovers and films. On returning to Australia, Elizabeth has worked extensively in theatre with such companies as the Keene Taylor Project, including Scissors, Paper, Rock (2002). Her most recent production was with 3 Big Men Productions in Angels in America (2012). She has been involved with Hoy Polloy in Tom Fool (2009) and Electronic City (2010), Melbourne Writer’s Theatre, Baggage Productions and Soul Theatre Company as well as various theatre productions at La Mama. She has continued to work in film, TV and radio with various commercials, corporate and independent films and voiceovers. Elizabeth’s film and TV credits include Neighbours, Bastard Boys and MDA.

Glenn van Oosterom

Glenn Van OosteromA Graduate of National Theatre Drama School, Glenn has been fortunate enough to tour nationally with A Midsummer Night’s Dream; perform the titular role in Romeo & Juliet (twice, with Australian Shakespeare Company and Essential Theatre); premiere Franz Xaver Kroetz’s Tom Fool for Hoy Polloy and The Game for Fractured Femur, re-mount the well-received Marcel & Albertine for Stork Theatre and tour extensively for HIT Production’s The Sum of Us. Most recently, Glenn played the ‘lovable town tard’ in the premiere of Jane Miller’s True Love Travels on a Gravel Road at 45downstairs. Screen credits include Limelight International’s The Stolen, Rush, Award-Winning At the nd of the Day” and Terry Pratchett’s Troll Bridge, produced by Snowgum films. Voice work has included documentaries and web-series, instructional videos and educational animations, TVCs and radio ads, as well as recently finishing re-dubbing the Iranian television series The Men of Angelos for Final Sound Studios.

Stephania Pountney

Stephania PountneyStephania is a Melbourne based actor where she trained at the University of Ballarat Arts Academy. During her time at UBAA, Stephania was involved is productions including Cloudstreet (Fish Lamb), A Pillar of Salt (Chorus) and the world premier of A Terrible Madness (Kate). Stephania’s performance work ranges from theatre, creative developments to film along with writing and performing children’s pantomimes for Lord Somers Camp and Powerhouse community camps. She has also been involved in productions with Underground Cinema featuring in 28 Days Later and Children of Men. Since graduating in 2011, Stephania’s projects include Mein Kampf, Motherfucker (15 Minutes from Anywhere), Love Triangle 1919 (LadyMullet Productions), The Loose (Web Series), Where the Wild Things Are (Brass Bear Productions), The Real Inspector Hound (PHTG), NSFW (Red Stitch), The American Girls (Young & Unlucky Productions), Her Naked Skin (Theatre Husk), Who Saved JFK? (Chapel off Chapel), Hell Heth No Fury (Tunks Productions) and We Are Love (Tees for Charity).

Zachary Ruane

Zachary RuaneZachary is a comedian, actor, theatre director and occasional performance artist. He and the other members of Aunty Donna, the sketch group he performs with, have won multiple awards and sold out seasons at various festivals in Melbourne and Sydney. Having just returned from San Francisco’s SF Sketchfest, Zach and the boys will also be performing this year in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. As an actor, he has performed in Torben Betts’ The Incarcerator and in the rural tour of La Mama’s Happily Ever After by Jane Miller and director Beng Oh. He is currently working as director and dramaturge on the development of Annie Ferguson’s Little Daughters at La Mama Theatre. His part of ABC2’s sketch show This Is Littleton.

Antony Talia

Antony TaliaAntony is a 2010 graduate of the University of Ballarat Arts Academy (BA Music Theatre). During his time at the Arts Academy Antony featured in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Ching Ho), Urinetown: The Musical and Cy Coleman’s The Life. Since graduating, Antony has continued to train extensively both at 16th Street Actor’s Studio as well as under the tutelage of Clare Dea at Meisner Melbourne.

Antony spent the most part of 2011/12 touring with Brainstorm Productions in four separate shows. His time with Brainstorm Productions saw Antony perform throughout Victoria, NSW, Tasmania and Queensland. Antony has also performed twice with Outcast Theatre in Searching for David (2010) for the Midsumma Festival as well as originating the role of Gilles De Lavalle in Monstrous Acts (2012). In 2013, Antony worked as part of Cheeky Theatre Company on their debut season which began with Ordinary Days (directed by Chris Parker) for which he assistant directed and stage managed. Antony then went on to perform in Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn, also for Cheeky Theatre. Antony’s other credits include work in numerous short films, opera, new Australian theatre, cabaret and Shakespeare.

Mark Wilson

Mark WilsonMark Wilson trained at VCA and Monash and is an International Fellow of Shakespeare’s Globe London. Performance work includes The Medium Project (Triage Live Art Collective), Two Weeks with the Queen, Ad Absurdum, and Peter and the Wolf (Uncle Semolina & Friends) and As You Like It. His solo performance works include Rachel’s Performance, To Keep Men In Awe and Unsex Me, a drag show remix of Lady Macbeth. He has directed plays by Shakespeare, Marlowe, Louis Nowra, Joyce Carol Oates and others. He has assisted Julian Meyrick, Richard Murphet and John Bell.