That’s GREAT – but what does it actually mean? (I hear you ask.)
Imagine rarely (or never) seeing your story represented on stage or screen, in the media, workplace or in leadership.
You can’t be what you can’t see. Diversity and inclusion practices have become mainstream over the last decade. We know a diverse and inclusive culture enables people to reach their full potential and has multiple positive flow on effects. But let’s face it, whether you turn on the TV, go to the theatre, tune in to your favourite podcast or look toward your leader, in 2019 the picture is still fairly homogenous. There’s still a long way to go.
I believe, in 2017, a line was drawn in the sand. We now live in a post #MeToo world and can no longer say “I didn’t know”. It’s time to get educated.
Most of us want to do better but often struggle to find the voice or story that will make an impact.
So, in May 2018 FEM launched as a hub for diverse productions, events and speakers. Our stories reflect all genders and gender identities, sexualities, abilities, cultural backgrounds, sizes + ages. We also deliver storytelling workshops to empower you or your people to use your voice to make a difference.
FEM takes the challenge out of sourcing quality entertainment and speakers who inspire, entertain + disrupt the status quo. Ultimately, we produce experiences that create an inclusive culture + positive change for your audience and business.
To date we have delivered productions, events and workshops for EnergyAustralia, Brisbane Powerhouse, Out for Australia, SheQu, Sydney Mardi Gras, Sydney Opera House, Sydney Pride Festival + TAL and our speakers have MC’d, hosted + spoken at events for Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Allen and Overy, Dentons, Inner City Legal Center, PwC, Westpac, TAL + The GPT Group.
Founder, Lisa Freshwater is a theatre producer + director, storyteller, queer woman and partner to a trans man.
For FEM, she produces work that celebrates diversity including the storytelling event My Trans Story, Cassie Workman’s Giantess and many corporate speaking events.
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! 09and 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 is a Board Director for Trans Pride Australia and The Aurora Group (Events).
Lisa studied with Keith Bain OAM at NIDA, where she completed a Graduate Diploma after graduating from the University of New South Wales, Theatre.
Photo credit: Andrea Francolini