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NIDA Alumni Shine in Sydney Theatre Company's Time-bending Epic Oil

Oil features a huge slate of alumni cast and creatives, including Sydney Theatre Company (STC)'s Director of New Work and Artistic Development and alumni Paige Rattray (2009 Directing).

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From left to right: Paige Rattray (2009 Directing), Violette Ayad (2017 Acting), Benedict Samuel (2017 Acting)  and Callan Colley (2016 Acting)

Director of New Work and Artistic Development, Paige Rattray was previously the Associate Artistic Director at Queensland Theatre and was chosen as Sydney Theatre Company’s Richard Wherrett Fellow for a consecutive two years 2015-2016. She is a co-founder of award-winning, independent theatre company ARTHUR. Some of her major Directing credits include Do Not Go Gentle, The Lifespan of a Fact, Triple X, Blithe Spirit, Death of a Salesman, her hit musical Fangirls, Queen Fatima, The Deep Blue Sea and was the production dramaturg on The Picture of Dorian Gray. In 2019, Paige directed The Beauty Queen of Leenane for STC and won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Direction of a Mainstage Production. Earlier that year, Paige also directed the commercial and critical hit musical Fangirls for Queensland Theatre, Belvoir St Theatre and Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP). The production has since toured nationally in 2021 and it won the 2019 Sydney Theatre Awards Best Mainstage Musical Award and the Matilda Award for Best Musical or Cabaret.

The ensemble cast features alumni Violette Ayad (2017 Acting), Benedict Samuel (2017 Acting) Callan Colley (2016 Acting), Charlotte Friels (2019 Acting), Josh McConville (2008 Acting) and Anne Tenney (1979 Acting).

Oil Cast and Creatives 2

From left to right: Charlotte Friels (2019 Acting), Anne Tenney (1979 Acting), Emma White (2019 Design) and Clemence Williams (2016 Directing).

Creative alumni are Set Designer Emma White (2019 Design), a set and costume designer for stage and screen who has designed sets and costumes for Sydney Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, Belvoir 25A, Hayes Theatre Co, Red Line Productions, ATYP, Campbelltown Arts Centre and Milk Crate Theatre. Emma has also worked on various long-form narrative screen works in costume and art department for the ABC, SBS, Arcadia Film, Fremantle Media and Foxtel.

Costume Designer David Fleischer (2009 Design) is an Australian award-winning production, set and costume designer, working with leading theatre, dance and opera companies. He has developed and toured pieces locally and internationally. He was co-resident designer for Sydney Theatre Company through 2012-2013, is a recipient of the Berlin Music Opera Award, the Kristian Fredrikson Fellowship, and also received the Thelma Afford Award for Costume Design in Stage and Screen.

Composer and Sound Designer Clemence Williams (2016 Directing) is an award-winning director, composer, and sound designer who has directed opera, musicals, and theatre across Australia and the United Kingdom. A directing highlight, Breaking Glass at Sydney Chamber Opera, won Best Performance at the 2021 APRA AMCOS Art Music awards. She has directed numerous independent theatre productions and developed and staged readings of new works.

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From left to right: Josh McConville (2008 Acting), Ella Hickson (The Writer - NIDA's 2023 June Production) and David Fleischer (2009 Design).

Oil is written by boundary-pushing British playwright Ella Hickson (The Writer - NIDA's 2023 June Production). Anchored by an intimate exploration of the bond between a mother and daughter, Oil drills deep into our social foundations, taking an audacious look at colonialism capitalism and the inevitable march of progress. The production features STC Technical and Productions NIDA Alumni: Resident Stage Manager Minka Stevens, Lighting Supervisor Tim McNaught (2022 Technical Theatre), Lighting Supervisor Jesse Greig (2020 Technical Theatre), Staging Supervisor Zachary White (2021 Scenic construction), Fly Supervisor Zachary White (2021 Scenic construction), Senior Set Constructor Joseph Gleeson (2016 Staging), Deputy Head of Props Jason Lowe (2015 Props), and Costume Coordinator Sam Perkins (1997 Costume).

Performed in-the-round, Oil transports audiences through a sweeping journey from the Industrial Age in Europe to the Middle East, lead by AACTA Award-winner Brooke Satchwell along with Saif Alawadi, Jing-Xuan Chan and Damien Strouthos.

Oil, Sydney Theatre Company, Wharf 1 Theatre from November 4 – 16 December 2023.

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