Lisa Freshwater - FEM Presents
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Lisa is cultural leader with a demonstrated commitment to advancing issues of equality and social justice.  Her work encompasses theatre + event producing and directing, writing, facilitating workshops and speaking.  


For the past twenty years Lisa has worked in independent, subsidised + commercial theatre and events across the globe. From creating work for The Art Gallery of NSW to working on Disney’s The Lion King and from directing the live shows for the kids group Hi-5 across four continents to producing her own productions at Sydney Opera House.


Life behind the scenes has been equally rich. After navigating a challenging time when the father of her unborn child disappeared, Lisa found love in a queer relationship and they moved to the bushland suburb Berowra on the outskirts of Sydney, co-parenting and renovating a run down 70’s home. Throughout this time Lisa began to consider her identity and place in the world. She explored this through community and arts advocacy and began to merge these areas with her professional work, leading to the launch of FEM Presents.


Now her son has grown up, she lives independently and happily in inner-city Sydney.


Lisa brings a lens of inclusion to everything she produces and talks openly and passionately  about the themes of her life and work in her speaking and writing. 


Lisa is currently Festival Producer for Sydney WorldPride.  She is working with the team to produce a curated arts and cultural program in partnership with major performing arts organisations and independent artists, Pride Amplified – the SWP open access program – and a sports program.  SWP will take place across greater Sydney from 17 February to 5 March 2023.

For FEM Presents, she produces work that celebrates diversity including the storytelling event My Trans Story, My Drag Story, The Sappho Show and BUTCH. 


As co-founder and co-producer for The Theatre Division, Lisa produced Miracle City at the Sydney Opera House in 2017 and co-produced and directed an adaptation of Thai-riffic!, Oliver Phommavanh’s  bestselling book for young people at Monkey Baa Theatre and The Seymour Centre.  In 2014, she co-produced and directed the critically acclaimed and award-winning production Ruthless! The Musical for the Reginald Season at The Seymour Centre.


Lisa has collaborated with writer and performer Joanna Weinberg on three productions including Baroness Bianka’s Blood Songs at The Hayes Theatre produced by TTD, Life Force for Sydney Fringe Festival (winner of The Best Musical for the festival) and Every Single Saturday at Glenn St Theatre.


Commercially, Lisa directed MTV Plugs into Dream World Summer Series for MTV Australia and Dream World. From 2004- 2008 she was the live show director for the multi-award winning Australian cast and the Emmy nominated American cast of the children’s group Hi-5. This included performances at the Nokia Theatre on Broadway, arena tours throughout Australia, NZ, Singapore, American & the UK and multiple live performances including Movie World, regional tours, appearances and international launches.


Lisa directed the charity concerts Hat’s Off! 09 and Hats Off Meets the Stars Come Out for Mardi Gras and Oz Show Biz Cares at the Sydney Theatre and Raise the Roof, the tsunami relief concert at the State Theatre.


From 2003-04 she was Assistant to the international creative team Children’s Acting Coach for Disney’s The Lion King.


As an acting and movement teacher Lisa has taught extensively at Australia’s acting schools including NIDA and ATYP, along with a range of high school and community programs.


Lisa studied with Keith Bain OAM at NIDA, where she completed a Graduate Diploma after graduating from the University of New South Wales, Theatre.

Lisa served on the Board of:


The Aurora Group


An Australian LGBTQ+ charity raising funds for grass roots sexuality and gender diverse organisations.


Trans Pride Australia 


A social connection and advocacy organisation for trans and gender diverse people and their loved ones.

Geraldine Turner in Ruthless The Musical. 2014