Riot Stage is a Melbourne-based independent theatre company that creates original multi-disciplinary performances with teenagers for adult audiences. Riot Stage aims to bring together innovative professional theatremakers with brave young artists who are interested in live performance. The result is work that is audacious, effortlessly intertextual, and anchored in the unique perspectives of the next generation. Riot Stage aims to be an incubator for the diverse artists of tomorrow, a breeding-ground for contemporary storytelling, and at the vanguard of new ways of theatre-making.

Guest Artist Jane Cameron during F. creative development, 2016

Guest Artist Jane Cameron during F. creative development, 2016

The company began in Queensland in 2010, through a partnership with the Mackay Festival of Arts, but relocated to Melbourne in 2013. Riot Stage unites the contrasting practices of physical theatre director Katrina Cornwell, contemporary American writer Morgan Rose, and the unique voices of the young people we collaborate with. Our work sits somewhere between the practices of socially engaged arts and experimental independent theatre. We aim to capture the real live experiences of the participants through long-term collaboration and artistic rigor, in order to deliver performance works that are aesthetically and conceptually engaging, and incorporate the latest practices in live performance while maintaining a strong connection to the community. Riot Stage is committed to finding the artist in every young person. We understand that the arts can be hard to access, and we endeavor to fill that gap by providing free professional artistic experiences to the young people that desire them. 

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Riot Stage has a company of 12 committed young theatermakers (ages 14 - 21) who meet weekly to train and experiment with modes of live performance. Our current company members are seen here posing in one of those old skool photos that you had to sit still for 20 minutes for: (back row) Jack Palit, Anna Elise Louey, Jade Colletti, Sunny Chiron, Bonnie Brown, Jack Zapsalis (front row) Alex Veljanovski, Amelia Newman, Ziggy Zagorski, Todd Kingston, Mila Lawson

We periodically hold auditions for new company members. If you are interested in joining the Riot Stage Company, follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our enewsletter to stay updated on audition dates and everything that we do!

The Riot Stage Ensemble is made possible with support from Moreland City Council's Arts Investment Program and Oxygen Youth Space.

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Katrina Cornwell is a theatre director, performer and facilitator. She has a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Performance) from QUT and is currently undertaking a Masters in Community Cultural Development at VCA. Katrina is the founder and Artistic Director of the new Australian youth theatre company Riot Stage. Katrina has been teaching performance to young people in Australia and internationally for more than a decade. In 2016 she directed the new work ‘F.’ for the the Poppy Seed Festival. Her previous directing credits include: Love and Information (2016), Forever City (2015), So Much Yes (2013), Animal Farm (2013), The Chorus (2013) and Prometheus Days (2011) for the Mackay Festival of Arts and After 3 (2011) created for the Anywhere Theatre Festival. As a performer and theatre maker Katrina has worked throughout Australia and internationally in Europe, Asia and America. Previous performance credits include: Virgins and Cowboys (Motherboard Productions / Theatreworks), Deluge (Motherboard Productions/ Brisbane Festival / Seoul SIDance Festival), TWIN (Red Moon Rising), We Only Meet in Summer (Mullae Arts Centre, Seoul), The House of Bernada Alba (Arouet Theatre, Seattle), The Hamlet Apocalypse (La Boite Theatre/ Danger Ensemble/ Melbourne Fringe/ Adelaide Fringe), Sh*t (Two Hours Traffic/ Anywhere Theatre Festival), Who Killed Amanda Palmer World Tour (Danger Ensemble/ Europe & USA), Romeo & Juliet (Zen Zen Zo / Queensland Arts Council), Zeitgeist (2008), Sub Con Warrior 2.0 (2008), Dracula (2007), Sub Con Warrior 1 (2006), Those with Lucifer (2005) and The Odyssey (2004). 

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Morgan Rose is a playwright and performance maker originally from New Orleans in the United States who currently lives in Melbourne. In addition to her text-based work she has a background in Suzuki Actor Training, The Viewpoints, Composition, Slow Tempo, and Butoh. She has studied with SITI Company (NYC, USA), Pacific Performance Project (Seattle, USA), Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre (Brisbane, Australia), and Dairakudakan (Hakuba, Japan). She completed a Master of Writing for Performance at VCA in 2013 under Raimondo Cortese. In 2014 she undertook a Dramaturgy Internship with Playwriting Australia under the direction of Chris Mead and the following year took part in the Besen Writers’ Programme at Malthouse under Mark Pritchard. She was a recipient of the Red Stitch INK Development Initiative in 2015 for the upcoming production the desert, 6:29pm. Recent works include: Or Forever Hold Your Peace (dramaturg/cowriter, La Boite Indie, 2014), Lord Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise (writer, MKA/MTC NEON, 2015), Virgins and Cowboys (writer, Flight Festival, Theatre Works, 2015, Griffin Independent 2017), Welcome to Nowhere (co-writer, Monash/Malthouse, 2015), and F. (writer, Riot Stage, Poppyseed Festival, 2016). She is a co-founder of the Melbourne-based dramaturgy initiative Lonely Company.