The Company

Founded in 1993, Black Hole Theatre (BHT) is an independent company committed to the evolution of contemporary puppetry as an important element of arts practice. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Nancy Black, BHT provides a dynamic collaborative platform for creative exchanges between national and international puppeteers and artists working across every field. The company also facilitates the work of emerging artists, provides skill development opportunities, and contributes to the evolution of contemporary puppetry.

BHT is renowned for innovative, cutting edge productions that include: And The Ass Saw The Angel, Caravan, Coop, Lost In Tranzit, Hutch, Into The Black Hole, Where The Wild Things Sing, Les Méduses, Blind (in collaboration with the Duda Paiva Co, NL), The Book Of Revelations, and The Last Lighthouse Keeper. Since 2012 BHT has also produced ten innovative Puppet Slams in regional and metropolitan venues, lifting the profiles of local artists and developing new audiences. Blind continues to tour around the world, including recent seasons in NY and Tokyo, and The Last Lighthouse Keeper is set to tour Moonee Ponds in April and other communities later in the year. The company has several projects in development:  The Line, written by Nathan Maynard, set in Tasmania in 1840, with a showing in late February, After that It Happened, a contemporary opera with IHOS Amsterdam, exploring life-changing processes of choice, Whalebone with Jens Altheimer – a family show about consumerism that will premiere in Horsham in May, Vault – an ongoing community project based in Natimuk using local stories to investigate an imagined post-apocalyptic world, and an upcoming puppet slam!  We are busy!

Awards: In 2003, Nancy Black received a Green Room Award for Outstanding Direction in Independent Theatre for Caravan. In the Beginning received a Green Room Award nomination for Nancy Black as Best Director of a New Form in 2007. The 2008 production of Coop won 3 Green Room Awards in the Alternative Theatre category: Best Production, Best Lighting and Best Sound.



Nancy Black - AD and Secretary

Nancy is well known in Melbourne as a writer, director, teacher, producer, and dramaturg. She first encountered puppets directing BHT’s Caravan in 2001, succumbed to their magic, and has worked with BHT as the company’s Artistic Director ever since.

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Dr Alison Richards - Chairperson

Alison Richards is a distinguished Theatre Studies academic and theatre maker with over four decades in the arts as a performer, writer, researcher and teacher. She is known both for her solo performance works and for her collaborations with other artists.

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Tim Webster - Treasurer

Tim is a video artist as well as having 10 years cross-functional experience in digital product development, marketing strategy and the creative industries, Tim brings a strategic and entrepreneurial perspective to Black Hole Theatre.

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John-Paul Fischbach - Director

John Paul is the CEO and co-founder of Auspicious Arts Incubator and brings extensive experience and skills in arts management to the Board. Throughout his career, he has worked with more than 3,000 artists, arts organisations, and art centres.

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Alex Prior - Director

Alex has considerable expertise in web analytics, ecommerce, marketing automation and customer relationship management system, and is currently assisting not for profits to upgrade their systems and develop digital strategies.

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Helen Rickards - Director

Helen Rickards is an independent theatre producer and arts consultant with a track record in delivering independent performing arts productions and projects that spans over 30 years in the professional Australian arts industry.

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Cassandra Mitchell - Director

Cassandra is a CPA qualified accountant and brings a breadth of experience from her roles in local government, not-for-profit organisations, and corporate entities, to assist the board to apply best practices in Financial Management.

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Cat Graveson - Director

Cat is a Fundraising and Philanthropy professional whose career spans the arts, NFPs and higher education. Originally training in theatre at the University of Glasgow, she is passionate about Australia’s thriving arts sector and works strategically with organisations on financial sustainability and diversifying their funding avenues.

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