Staff and Board

Simon Abrahams
Creative Director & CEO

During the Festival, Simon can be seen squeezing more art out of a day than you thought was humanly possible.

Simon is Melbourne Fringe’s Creative Director and CEO and is recognised as one of Australia’s arts and cultural leaders. He has previously held Senior and Executive positions at Polyglot Theatre, The Wheeler Centre, Arts Centre Melbourne and Gasworks Arts Park. Simon is co-founder and life member of Theatre Network Australia and was Chair from 2010 to 2017. He currently sits on the Victorian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Council for Volunteering and the Helpmann Awards Theatre Panel. In 2014, Simon was awarded a CHASS Australia Prize for leadership and in 2016, Simon was hilariously and inexplicably named as one of Executive Style’s Best Dressed Men in Australia. He likes experimental performance and 90s pop divas.

Contact Simon at info@melbournefringe.com.au

Artistic Team

Contact the Artistic team at:
artists@melbournefringe.com.au

Danny Delahunty
Festival Producer

Danny’s hot tip for Fringe is get in early! Too many times in the past he’s put off seeing a show he wants to see only to find out everyone else was too and it’s now sold out.

Danny Delahunty is an arts producer and theatre director who has been working broadly in the independent sector for the best part of the past ten years. He has presented over 50 seasons of 34 projects, working with established theatre companies, on independent projects and in touring works around Australia and overseas. Prior Fringe, Danny was working as the Festival Producer for Drama Victoria, an Events Producer for Melbourne Writers Festival, and the Tours Coordinator for Melbourne International Comedy Festival, as well as continuing his work as an indie project producer and his passion as a theatre director.

Tom Browne
Associate Producer, Participation

Tom’s hot tip for Fringe is…. Take a chance! Fringe is a great way to explore our city and have experiences you wouldn’t have at any other time.

Tom Browne is a theatre-maker, performer and producer, with a focus on new devised works. With his independent company Grit Theatre he has presented work in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth, receiving a number of awards including two Green Room Awards, and Best Performance at Melbourne Fringe. Tom has spent recent years working in festivals and arts event management in Australia and the UK, and is currently a judge on the Green Room Awards Independent Theatre Panel. He is a passionate about nurturing and facilitating the work of emerging independent artists, and beer drinking.

Patrick Hayes
Associate Producer, Artistic Development

Patrick’s hot tip for Fringe is be as flexible as you can, be open to new experiences and stay hydrated people.

Patrick Hayes is a young producer, mental health activist and emerging figure in the Brisbane arts and queer communities. His career began with programming FAST: Festival of Australian Student Theatre in 2014 and most recently, he played a large role in producing MELT: A Celebration of Queer Arts and Culture 2017 at Brisbane Powerhouse. Since 2015, he has juggled many roles while working for Brisbane Powerhouse including Programming Administrator, Program Coordinator, Associate Producer and most recently Project Coordinator for the Australian Performing Arts Market. Patrick is passionate about mental health activism, promoting opportunities for emerging artists and is excited to join the Melbourne Fringe team.

Carly Findlay
Access and Inclusion Coordinator

Carly’s hot tip for Fringe is the words and ideas sessions. She loves a good panel discussion and will probably be live tweeting what’s happening.

Carly Findlay, Melbourne Fringe’s Access and Inclusion Coordinator – focused on making the Festival and other Melbourne Fringe events accessible and inclusive for participants and audiences who identify as D/deaf and disabled. She’s worked in the Federal Government as an events planner, communicator and executive assistant, as well as in the disability community. Carly has a Master of Communication and Bachelor of eCommerce. She identifies as a proud disabled woman and wants the world to know that disability is not a bad thing.

Outside of working at Fringe, she is a writer, speaker, sometimes-performer and podcaster. Carly is writing her first book and was recently named as Tempest’s 40 women to watch in 2018. She’s rarely met a cheese she didn’t like.

Marketing and Development Team

Contact the Marketing and Development Team at:
marketing@melbournefringe.com.au

Miranda Borman
Marketing and Development Manager

During the Festival, Miranda can be seen quaffing bliss balls, hanging off a ladder (that forgotten piece of signage) and waxing lyrical about the feminist show she saw last night.

Miranda started her career as an independent artist and then discovered, much to her delight, that she enjoyed selling tickets to the show, more than actually making the show (capitalism, what can you do?!?). Hence, she found her way into marketing in the arts. Prior to Fringe, Miranda worked as a Marketing Consultant in several organisations including the Canberra International Music Festival and Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres. With a firm belief that participation brings social, cultural and personal benefits, Miranda has returned to her indy arts roots at Fringe.

Pauline Cady
Funding Manager

During the Festival, Pauline can be seen fleetingly, elusively, like a shadow, sneaking up on great art.

Pauline graduated from Rusden College in 1989 and is a founding member of Snuff Puppets, working with the company as writer, dramaturg, performer and co- Artistic Director with Andy Freer until 2003. She loved every minute of her stint as funding manager at Back to Back Theatre from 2003 until 2016 and joined Melbourne Fringe in that role in 2016.

Michelle Tseng
Marketing and Development Coordinator

During the Festival, Michelle can be seen taking photos and videos for Instagram and biting her nails trying to come up with as many hashtags as possible.

Michelle is a festival lover who spends most of her money on festival tickets (and popcorns to bring to the event). Before Fringe, she worked for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival as a Marketing Assistant and moved to the Chinese Museum as a Marketing and Events Coordinator. Coming to her second year at Fringe, she has self-trained to become an InDesign and Photoshop master. She also looks after social media for Melbourne Fringe, so please be nice to each other on the internet, as she’s a delicate flower and takes everything personally.

Business & Operations Team

Contact the Business & Operations team at:
info@melbournefringe.com.au

Shirrah Comeadow
Business, Operations & Systems Manager

Shirrah’s first Fringe experience was watching the parade with her brother and parents in the 90’s and (much to the disappointment of her parents) taking home giant papermache fries from one of the floats, which spent the next few months slowly disintegrating in their lounge-room.

Shirrah is an engineer and atmospheric scientist by training. She spent many years working for the Bureau of Meteorology as a Flood Forecaster, but never really gave up on working in the arts. Since saying goodbye to floods, Shirrah has lived and worked in the UK for Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe, Edinburgh’s Christmas and on Pride in London and West End Live and in Australia for Arts Centre Melbourne, Circus Oz and Sydney Festival amongst others. She joined Fringe in 2017.

Christa Jonathan
Festival Administrator

Christa’s first Fringe experience was also her first stage management related gig ever – as Assistant Stage Manager for Union House Theatre’s 1938: An Opera, where she spent her first rehearsal day literally chipping black paint off an old as heck phone.

Christa is Melbourne Fringe’s Festival Administrator. If you’ve contacted our office, you’ve definitely spoken with her. When not at Melbourne Fringe, Christa works as a freelance production and stage manager for original, socio-culturally challenging works of theatre. Christa peaked in 2014 when she was the recipient of both Melbourne Theatre Company’s Robert McDonald Professional Development Award and The Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship. Christa is an advocate for accessible productions and is currently completing her Certificate IV in Auslan at Melbourne Polytechnic. She likes lists, cheese, and cuddling other people’s dogs.

Fact: Christa’s apartment was a Fringe venue in 2016.

Festival Staff & Consultants

Sponsorship Consultant Abby Elisha
Communications Coordinator Jane Noonan
Partnerships Manager Alice Muhling
Production Manager Ian Corcoran
Bookkee Sam Ryan (S.A.Y.S.O Pty. Ltd.)

Board

Chair Gideon Obarzanek
Deputy Chair Nicholas Verginis
Company Secretary Juanita Pope
Treasurer Liza Gelt
Directors Kirsty Ellem, Mike Hyde, Stephanie Hamilton, Ben Lee & Nicky Klempfner
Obervers Chris Booton & Simon Tucker
Fundraising & Advocacy Advisor Maggie Maguire OAM