Artistic Director - Melinda Hetzel
Working across performance, installation and public art, Melinda Hetzel has been pursuing her passion for creating collaborative, inter-disciplinary, performance-based works for over 20 years. Her practice as an artistic director and performance maker is grounded in an extensive body of work featuring visually stunning, image-based theatre, site-responsive performance and participatory works within public space.
A graduate in Creative Arts (Victorian College of the Arts, 2000), Melinda has presented a wide range of work in Australia, as well as Singapore and Germany. In 2002 Melinda was invited to Germany to direct and devise an Australian-German co-production, Einst zu einer Zeit... which received the Arena Festival Audience Award, returning in 2005 as a jury member for the festival.
Melinda was founding member and Artistic Director of Peepshow Inc 2003-13. During this time she directed and co-devised the company’s entire repertoire, including: Slanting into the Void (Arts House, 2006), The Mysteries of the Convent (Abbotsford Convent, 2006-08), The Lost Story of the Magdalen Asylum, (Abbotsford Convent, 2010) nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Site-specific Performance, Divine: Part One (Abbotsford Convent, 2011) nominated for a Green Room Award for Costume and Set Design by Dayna Morrissey and, lastly, A Bird, a Tree, the Moon (City Square, 2012).
Melinda's site-responsive work, Fly By Night, designed for the foyer spaces of Melbourne's Hamer Hall, was nominated for a Green Room Award for Design in Contemporary Performance (Visual and Digital App Design). Fly By Night also showcased at the Australian Performing Arts Market 2016 in Brisbane. Madame Tulalah's Magnificent Box, premiered as part of Melbourne Fringe (Arts House, 2016), touring to Adelaide Fringe, Mt Isa Fringe, Brisbane Festival, Sydney Festival and Mecha Festival of Experimental Arts. Melinda's interactive tree-installation, Between the Trees, featured as part of 2018 Glow Winter Arts Festival (Central Park, Malvern), 2019 Neon Playground (Melbourne Zoo) and 2019 Morwell International Rose Garden Festival. More recently, durational, live and live-streamed performance-installation, Conservatory, (Central Park, Malvern) premiered in Melbourne Fringe 2020 and was nominated for Best Experimental work.
Melinda was the interim Artistic Director/ CEO of St Martins Youth Arts Centre in 2012, Conference Organiser for PSi 22 - Performance Climates 2016 and Creative Director of Open Spaces, a large scale, multi-arts event at the Abbotsford Convent, 2015/ 2016.
Melinda has been a panel member for Creative Victoria, a Melbourne Fringe Judge and member of the Contemporary and Experimental Performance Panel for the Green Room Awards. She is currently a Director of Open Arts Festival (OAF), UK.
Melinda co- designs and facilitates interdisciplinary, script development workshops with Artist Made Productions. These workshops contribute to developing resources for Emerging Minds: the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health. She also works regularly at Theatre Network Australia and is a parent of two.
Melinda lives in Narrm (Melbourne) on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country.
Photo by Rainbow Sweeny, featuring Ingrid Weisfelt and Melinda Hetzel (right) - during filming of Fly By Night pitch video at Brisbane Powerhouse.