Deborah is a performance maker, performer, lecturer and director whose bold, highly visual and physical works use multiple theatrical languages to investigate culture and contemporary issues.
Her most recent major works include: ‘KaBooM: Stories From Distant Frontlines’ - a promenade performance/installation about cultural, memory and war (from the women’s point of view) for which she interviewed ex-soldiers from global conflicts. The work was performed at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne and then remounted for the Alice Desert Festival in Alice Springs, where she collaborated with local artists, focusing on the ‘war’ story of Indigenous activist/performer Sylvia Neal and performed in an aircraft hangar utilizing the planes. In 2018 the work tours to Penang, Malaysia as part of the George Town Festival; The Dead Twin by Chi Vu, which she directed and performed in, and staged as a visceral promenade performance piece at Footscray Arts Centre in collaboration with Theatre Works as part of the FLIGHT Festival of new works and at the 2017 George Town Festival in Penang, Malaysia; Cordelia, Mein Kind, which explores an inherited history of exile and loss and was performed at La Mama Theatre after touring nationally and internationally, including to the Festiwal Szekspiroski in Gdansk, Poland.
Other notable moments include an invitation from Richard Schechner to perform and collaborate in his promenade performance work, Imagining O presented at the Peak Performance Festival, New York. The work wove Shakespeare’s Hamlet with Story of O to explore the power dynamics of women; and: a room with no air (with Regina Heilmann), HUNGRY, The Cool Room, HazChem! and, with Entr’acte Theatre, The Memory Room, Aqua Azzura and Possessed/Dispossessed.
Deborah has recently been working with Melbourne’s Ranters Theatre and Korea’s Creative VaQi in Unknown Neighbours performed at Ansan International Arts Festival (Korea) and Theatre Works, Melbourne as part of 2018 Festival of Live Arts. She also had the lead role in the short film, Fitting, directed by Lexus Award winner, Emily Avila, to be shown at the 2018 Sydney Film Festival. In 2017 she travelled to Zagreb to perform My Body, My Country, an intimate piece that explores the body as archive, at Queer Zagreb. Deborah is now developing her new work, M, a personal and feminist reimagining of Medea which will be presented at Footscray Community Arts Centre in 2019 as part of the International Women’s Day program.
Deborah’s other national and international touring highlights include: Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide International Festivals, Marsh Theatre (San Francisco), Theater J (Washington DC), Toga Festival (Japan), Magdalena Aotearoa Festival (New Zealand), Sydney’s Carnivale Festival, Performance Space and Belvoir St. Theatre, Searchlight Festival, Melbourne’s La Mama, fortyfivedownstairs and Malthouse Theatres, The International Women’s Playwrights Festival in Athens, Greece and an Australia Council residency in Israel. She has presented her body of work at Romeet Gallery, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and has been artist in residence at Domino Project (Zagreb, Croatia) and part of their festival, Sounded Bodies (supported by the Australian Embassy in Zagreb; at Bundanon in NSW; and at Kinitiras Studio in Athens, Greece, where she worked with local performer Afrodite Vervenioti.
Deborah has studied in Japan with Tadashi Suzuki, trained in the work of Ettiene Decroux, Rasaboxes with Richard Schechner and has created a successful pedagogy for performance and teaching. She was a regular sessional lecturer for many years at La Trobe University, University of Western Sydney and University of Wollongong, where her roles included undergraduate teaching, supervision, course design and direction of productions. She has also been invited to lead workshops at Monash University, Victoria University, NIDA, Beit Zvi in Tel Aviv, Aristotle University, Greece and in New Zealand. Deborah has been the recipient of a number of grants and has presented her work at conferences, including: the CDE conference at University of Bamberg, Germany, with a compilation video of her work, entitled Memory, Place, Reconciliation and the Body; the only Australian invited to Odin theatre’s 40th Anniversary symposium and festival in Aarhus, Denmark; the International Congress of Jewish Theatre in Vienna (as a guest of the Australian Embassy). Deborah is an artist in residence at Footscray Community Arts Centre. She completed a Masters in Performance at Victoria University with ‘Here and There – Then and Now’, a video/installation/performance work looking at wedding rituals of Jewish and Muslim women, and recently her practice-led PhD at La Trobe University, which explored using contemporary performance languages to communicate the stories/experiences of ex-soldiers who fought in global conflicts.