Deirdre Marshall

I am a writer; a songwriter, playwright, theatre director, drama coach, music teacher, performing arts educator and an advocate for youth arts, with thirty years experience teaching music and drama in primary and secondary schools. I have been closely involved in community drama projects for children, developing and running the Courthouse Kidz drama program in Stratford, and organising school holiday programs in circus, clowning and playmaking, partnering with organisations and theatre companies including the Stratford Courthouse Theatre, The Wedge, West Gippsland Arts Centre and La Mama, Regional Arts Victoria, and Asking For Trouble, Born in A Taxi, Homunculus Theatre Company and the Australian Shakespeare Company.

In 2010 I founded Groundwork Youth Theatre to provide to provide Gippsland youth with non-school based creative performance opportunities, adapting and directing a number of Shakespeare's plays for the young actors to perform as part of the Shakespeare on the River Festival in Stratford. These include The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, As You Like It and an updated version of Romeo and Juliet.

 In 2015, I workshopped The Taming of The Shrew with the cast, writing Shakespeare's Shrew and Other Lies. The play was picked up by Gippsland Women's Health and performed again at the opening of the White Ribbon campaign later that same year. In April 2016, I toured Shrew to the UK with Groundwork Youth Theatre where was performed in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations of Shakespeare's death.

My professional directing experience includes Puss in Boots, Jack and the Beanstalk and Alice in Wonderland for the Entertainment Centre in Sale, and developing relaxed performances for Jack and Alice to cater for audience members with special needs. I have also worked as a drama coach for the Australian Shakespeare Company’s Gippsland tours of The Wind in the Willows in 2014, 2015 and 2016, auditioning and rehearsing local children for the role of Portly in Wellington and Baw Baw Shires.

I have written several youth plays that have been performed at the Courthouse Theatre in Stratford, including Nobody and Juliet, Antigone's Sister and Romeo <3 Juliet. I also run environmental education programs for Bug Blitz, engaging children with environmental issues through song and dance programs. I created the character "Fern the Fairy" who teaches small children about the natural world through creative play, song and movement.  

I established The Saturday Drama School in Sale in 2017, teaching drama to primary and lower secondary age children, and am currently working on a set of ten-minute plays and Professor Bumble's Amazing Bug Show, an interactive science show incorporating music and puppetry for pre-school aged children, as well as an international Shakespearean theatre project connecting youth actors in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK,.

In 2012 I was presented with the inaugural Drama Victoria Regional Teacher of the Year, acknowledging her work in education and youth theatre, and in 2017 I became MAMA Legend, one of 50 drama teachers acknowledged who have spent 30+ years delivering drama and theatre education programs in Victoria.

About Our Member

Member Type: individual
Location: Stratford
Art Form: Children's Theatre

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