LITTLE ONES THEATRE is a queer theatre company formed by director Stephen Nicolazzo and designers Eugyeene Teh, Katie Sfetkidis and Daniel Nixon. Dedicated to investigating gender and queer aesthetics, Little Ones makes works that feature ambitious production values, and a kitsch, tongue in cheek , sensual, and erotically-charged approach to theatre.
From Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker to Charles Busch and Christos Tsiolkas, Little Ones Theatre’s productions are a theatrical pastiche of cinematic, literary, and cult references that are colourful, wild, fierce, and visually striking. Deemed “purveyors of high camp” and “queer mavericks” in the press, Little Ones has recently explored more hefty emotional palettes to explore their aesthetics, focusing on a nuanced approach to their unique mode of stylised performance. Working with a key ensemble of ten performers, the company has developed its own heightened physical and emotional style since its inception in 2012, embracing the ridiculous, twisted and joyful possibilities of theatre. They embrace and celebrate camp theatricality.
Presenting works in association with Australia’s leading companies and festivals, Little Ones Theatre has toured productions to Sydney, Brisbane, and Darwin from their Melbourne home since 2012. The company has had sell out, critically acclaimed seasons across the country and presented works in association with Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Theatre Works, Griffin Theatre Company (Sydney), Midsumma, La Mama, Rock Surfers (Sydney), Brisbane Festival, Darwin Festival, and Brisbane Powerhouse.
The company’s works have been featured in the Best of Theatre lists since 2012. In 2017, the company achieved a mammoth feat, having two shows (Merciless Gods and The Moors) feature in the Top 10 Shows of 2017 in The Age. All three of their 2017 works featured in best of lists around the country including: Time Out (Melbourne and Sydney), The Music, My Melbourne Arts, Sometimes Melbourne, and Kevin Jackson’s Theatre Diary. Over the years, they have been featured in best of and yearly round ups for The Age, Herald Sun, Sydney Morning Herald, and Time Out: 2012 (sex.violence.blood.gore, Psycho Beach Party) 2013 (Psycho Beach Party), 2014 (Dangerous Liaisons), and 2015 (Dracula). They were also listed in the Daily Review’s 21 Hot Young Theatre Makers for 2014. Little Ones Theatre has also been nominated for several Green Room Awards and a Sydney Theatre Award, winning a Green Room for Best Female Performer in 2014.
Green Room Award Winner:
Best Female Performer
(Psycho Beach Party, 2013)
Green Room Award Nominations:
Best Female Performer, Best Sound Design (Sex.Violence.Blood.Gore, 2013)
Best Ensemble, Best Director (Psycho Beach Party, 2014)
Best Director (Dracula, 2016)
Sydney Theatre Award Nomination:
Best Supporting Actress
(Psycho Beach Party, 2012)
Stephen is a Melbourne based theatre director. He studied at The University of Melbourne and NIDA (Directing). Stephen is the founder of Little Ones Theatre. He is a two-time Green Room Award nominee for Best Direction (2015, Dracula and 2013, Psycho Beach Party) and was a recipient of the Besen Family Artist Program award with Malthouse Theatre (2009) and Arts Centre PlayKing Award in 2015. His productions have been nominated for ten Green Room Awards and a Sydney Theatre Award.
Current projects include the 2018 production of Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party for Melbourne Theatre Company and the Griffin Theatre Company premiere of Dan Giovannoni’s adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’ short story collection, Merciless Gods (2017).
In 2017, he devised Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince at La Mama and remounted Ash Flanders’ Playing to Win at Arts Centre Melbourne both for Midsumma Festival, directed The Moors by Jen Silverman at Red Stitch, and premiered Merciless Gods by Dan Giovannoni at Darebin Arts Speakeasy. He also created a new show, Ash Flanders is Nothing which premiered at the Hares and Hyenas Hare Hole.
In 2016, he toured his production of Dangerous Liaisons to the Brisbane Powerhouse and for a return Melbourne season at Theatre Works as part of the VCE Theatre Studies Playlist. He also directed a new work by Ash Flanders, Playing To Win, for the Melbourne Cabaret Festival which one two Green Room Awards (Best Artiste and Best Writing for Cabaret).
In 2015 he directed Meme Girls, a work he created with performer Ash Flanders and director Marion Potts for Malthouse Theatre.He also directed Dracula at Theatre Works as part of their Selected Works season; toured Ash Flanders’ Special Victim to the Adelaide International Cabaret Festival; and Dangerous Liaisons to the Darwin International Arts Festival. He also travelled to Singapore to work with playwright Alfian Bin Sa’at and Wild Rice Theatre Company as part of the Play King Asia-Australia grant.
Directing highlights: Dangerous Liaisons (MTC Neon), The House of Yes (Theatre Works), Special Victim (Adelaide Feast Festival, Hares & Hyenas), Salome (Malthouse Theatre Helium), Psycho Beach Party (TRS/Theatre Works/ Midsumma Festival/Brisbane Festival), sex.violence.blood.gore (MKA/TRS Melbourne & Sydney), Negative Energy Inc. (Theatre Works/Midsumma Festival), Women of Troy (Cellblock Theatre), Suddenly Last Summer (Cellblock Theatre), and Home Economics (The Store Room).
(LIGHTING DESIGN/CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR)
Katie Sfetkidis is a lighting designer and performance artist living in working in Melbourne. She is the winner of a 2015 Green Room Award for her work on Meme Girls and has been nominated five times in her eight-year career. Katie has worked widely across the performing arts sector, for main stage and independent companies in Melbourne and Sydney and regional Victoria. She is highly involved in Independent Theatre community in Melbourne a current member of Little Ones Theatre. Her lighting work includes designs for: Sydney Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre, Belvoir Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, Little Ones Theatre, Sisters Grimm, Fraught Outfit and Dirty Pretty Theatre.
In addition to her lighting design work Katie is a performance maker and video artist. In 2016 Katie presented Neon Sarcophagus – an exploration of near death experience as part of Triage’s ‘Hotel Obscura’ project for the Festival of Live, Art Melbourne. She has also presented work as part of the Festival of Live Art , Melbourne (2016 & 2014), Underbelly Arts Festival, Cockatoo Island Sydney (2013), Light Speculation, Lab 14 – Carlton Connect Initiative (2015) and Blindside Gallery (2012/13)
Katie is currently undertaking a Master of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of the Arts.
(SET AND COSTUME DESIGN/CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR)
Eugyeene recently designed Endgame and Straight White Men for Melbourne Theatre Company, and Meme Girls and A Social Service for Malthouse Theatre, currently designing Blaque Showgirls opening in November. As a key artist for Little Ones Theatre, he has designed Dracula, Dangerous Liaisons for MTC’s NEON season, Psycho Beach Party , Salome for Malthouse Helium Season and The House of Yes. As the resident artist at MKA in 2012, he designed the set and costumes for sex.violence.blood.gore, The Unspoken Word is ‘Joe’ and Triangle. Other recent credits include Sydney Festival’s In Between Two, Melbourne Festival’s The Trouble with Harry, Palace of the End and Watch This Production’s Pacific Overtures. With director Adena Jacobs, he designed Elektra, Cleansed and Sydney Chamber Opera’s Exil.
With director Samara Hersch, he designed costumes for Next Wave’s Hello There, We’ve been Waiting for You and set and costumes for House, NOA and short film SUPER, currently touring film festivals globally. With Natalie Cursio, he designed Blizzard and Private Dances. For the 2009 Melbourne International Arts Festival, he designed sculptures for the Shelter: On Kindness exhibition with LAB Architecture.
Last year, Eugyeene undertook the placement in the Besen Family Artist Program at the Malthouse Theatre. Eugyeene has been nominated for five Green Room Awards for Meme Girls, Endgame, Triangle, The Trouble with Harry and Pacific Overtures. He is currently on the panel for the Green Room Awards (Independent Sector,) Poppyseed Festival and New Working Group.
Jo Porter is an executive/creative producer in the performing arts who has worked in not-for-profit and commercial theatre in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Over her career, Jo has held a myriad of producing and management positions in arts organisations including Executive Producer, Malthouse Theatre (2011– 2013); General Manager of a range of commercial theatre productions; Head of Creative Development, Richard Frankel Productions, New York (1997– 2007); and Head of Business Development, Really Useful Group, London (2007–2009).Prior to 1997, her roles included management positions with Circus Oz, Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney Festival.
As well as being enrolled in an MA in International Development at the University of Melbourne, Jo lectures in governance, leadership and arts management at NIDA. She currently works with Think Impact (social impact evaluation) and small-to-medium organisations in strategic and business planning for clients ranging from a group of Karen women based at Nhill Neighbourhood House to the Centre for Contemporary Photography.
Jo is very proud to be the Chair of Back to Back Theatre and in that capacity convenes a group of approximately 20 small-to-medium arts company Chairs who meet regularly to discuss matters of common interest.