Flinders Drama Centre Graduates        

Class of 1976

Peter Dunn
Peter first performed with the Melbourne Theatre Company back in 1977 in School For Scandal as well as Juno and the Paycock, The Wild Duck, The Merchant of Venice and Breaker Morant. He performed with both Red Shed and Troupe Theatre in Adelaide as well as Playbox and La Mama in Melbourne. Peter was head of the Centre for Performing Arts Acting school from 1988 after heading up a very successful and dynamic acting school at Whyalla TAFE for several years before 1988. He has directed scores of productions with CPA students as well as acting for the State Theatre of South Australia in King Golgrutha, A Midsummer Night's Dream, 'Tis Pity, She's a Whore and The Shifting Heart . He directed the Stephen Sewell musical Anger's Love which starred student Nathan Page and toured to Canberra for the National Playwright's Conference. The CPA eventually renamed itself Adelaide College of the Arts (AIT Arts) when the new building opened in Light Square providing Peter with state of the art facilities in which to teach students. Peter directed many student productions over the years including The Threepenny Opera, The Dumb Waiter, Lysistrata, King Lear, Hamlet and Tim Winton's Cloudstreet.

Christine Johnson
  Christine Johnson is an emerging writer. Having completed a manuscript of her first full-length novel The Chinaman's Horse, she is now developing skills to edit and strengthen it. While working on this novel and two others in progress, Johnson has concentrated since 2012 in launching a new creative writing career by crafting and submitting shorter works. Her original pieces have won prizes and been published around Australia and in the USA. On three separate occasions already in 2014 her short stories have taken first prize– twice in SA and once in NSW. Last year, highly commended in the 2013 Biennial Literary Awards for Women, Society of Women Writers Victoria and in the Adrien Abbott Prize NSW, another short work received equal second place in the Cancer Council of Victoria Arts Awards. Johnson's artistic shift into writing follows sixteen years spent as a professional theatre director, working in mainstream, community and young people's theatre around Australia and overseas. Artistic Director of three theatre companies, two in Australia and one in Hong Kong, she toured works to Munich, Kuala Lumpur, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. An Arts graduate, University Medallist, from The Flinders University of SA she has also taught performing arts at university level.

Dave McVicar
  David McVicar has been teaching drama in secondary schools since the early 1980s and has been employed as Drama Coordinator at Marryatville High School since 2001. His passion for arts education is not only evident through the success of Marryatville's growing body of drama students but also through his leadership in the development of an innovative contemporary arts curriculum. David also manages Marryatville High School's highly successful Performing Arts Centre. David will use his grant to develop his skills as a drama educator through seeking inspiration and new approaches to actor training and contemporary design techniques. David will travel to the UK in 2014 to work with The Bristol Old Vic Acting School and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Barry Plews
  A graduate of Flinders University in Adelaide, Mr Barry Plews has been working in China since 1995. As a producer, dramaturge and festival director, his list of production and project credits in China span dance, drama, music, music theatre, circus, new media and film animation. Based in Shanghai, Mr Plews specialises in the development of international collaborations and co-productions. His production company, Reckless Moments, is the sponsor of Creative Futures, a multi-artform program of intercultural performing arts, film and animation collaborations. Launched in 2005 by Madam Fu Ying, currently China's ambassador to the United Kingdom (and formerly China's ambassador to Australia), and former Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, this independent initiative now involves artists and producers from China, Australia, Britain and the USA. Mr Plews was the executive producer of Sweet & Sour, an awarded 17-minute animated short film produced in partnership with the Shanghai Animation Film Studio and The People's Republic of Animation in 2007 and licensed by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television as the first official animated short film co-production between China and Australia. He is currently producing a 90-minute hand-drawn animated feature film with the Shanghai Animation Film Studio, a circus-opera with Rose English and the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe (Shanghai Circus), a digital puppetry collaboration between Hobart's Terrapin Puppet Theatre and The Children's Art Theatre of China and a forthcoming China tour for New York's iconic Bang on a Can All-Stars. Mr Plews is a visiting professor at the Shanghai Theatre Academy and the Jilin Animation College, where he lectures on cultural collaboration and producing creatively. He is a foundation member of the Shanghai Independent Producers and Artists Network (SIPAN).

Andrew Prowse
  Andrew Prowse is one of Australia's leading television creatives. He lived and worked in the US for several years (Bionic Woman, Heatstroke , Gryphon, Black Mountain, Going Homer), but now reside in Australia, where he was a key creative behind the multi award winning series, Farscape, Rush, Saturn Award winning sci-fi mini-series, The Peacekeeper Wars, and the much anticipated mini-series INXS-Never Tear Us Apart. His directing credits include more than one hundred hours of television drama (Underbelly, Fat Tony, Rush, Farscape, Wildside, The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Heartbreak High, All Saints, McLeod's Daughters, Ultraman, Monarch Cove) and a number of features and television movies (Demonstone, Driving Force, Cody, Gryphon, Heatstroke). With skills in writing, editing, producing and directing, Andrew is also highly respected as a pilot director (Farscape, Rush, The Doctor Blake Mysteries) and as a creative show-runner.

John Pryzibilla
During his final year at Flinders John joined the staff of Radio 5UV, and in 1977 was appointed Senior Producer. He produced some radio drama during the following years, but his career took him further away from the discipline. He maintained links with the theatre by co-founding a theatre production group (Uniting Technology) that provides volunteer support for church and community events in SA. He worked part-time as a pyrotechnician for many years. Two of his children have inherited the love of drama: his daughter Sarah works as an Assistant Director in Hollywood, and son Daniel is a theatre technician with Disney Cruise Lines. A question re the Israel tour photo: "Which of the tour party posted a parcel of dope back to themselves care of the Flinders Drama Office, but addressed it to Helen Wilson, the Departmental Secretary, so that they wouldn't get caught?"

Christine Putland
  Christine Putland is a consultant specialising in research and evaluation of arts and cultural initiatives designed to improve public health and wellbeing. She has a background spanning community arts, public and social policy, and public health fields. She graduated with an Honours degree from the Flinders University Drama Centre and a DipEd in Drama and English teaching from Sydney University in the 1970s. Christine then worked in community development and community services management in local government and non-government organisations within SA and NSW for more than a decade. After gaining a Masters degree from the Flinders Institute of Public Policy and Management, in 1994 she joined the Department of Public Health at Flinders University as manager of a research consultancy for the Commonwealth Government. After completing her PhD, Christine taught graduate programs in public health and primary health care, was an investigator on nationally competitive ARC and NHMRC research grants, and convened national training programs for health and arts practitioners in evaluation and research methods. She is currently undertaking research and writing projects for government agencies, foundations and community organisations around Australia. Christine is Chair of the Community Arts Network SA and holds academic status with the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University. She continues to publish for both academic and practitioner readers. 

Richard Roberts
  Richard Roberts is a freelance theatre designer and teacher based in Melbourne. His design experience has included designs for drama, dance, film, television and opera. Following graduation from the Flinders University drama course he was appointed as a resident designer with the South Australian Theatre Company in 1977. He moved to Sydney in 1981 to practise as a freelance designer and in the following five years his work included designs for Nimrod, Sydney Theatre Co., Belvoir Street Theatre, and SBS Television. In 1986 Richard moved to Melbourne to take up a position as a resident designer with Melbourne Theatre Company where his designs included Macbeth, Dreams in an Empty City , As You Like It, and Hedda Gabler. In this period he also worked as a freelance designer for Playbox, Sydney Theatre Co. and State Theatre Co. of South Australia. In 1992 Richard went to Perth to establish the Design stream at WAAPA. While there, he continued to freelance as a designer. Some of his design work during this time included, The Battlers for the Seven Network, The Magic Flute and Die Fledermaus for the West Australian Opera and the Australian Opera, Lochie Leonard and Dead Funny for the Perth Theatre Company and Black Swan Theatre Company's production of Blackrock by Nick Enright. In January 2000 he was appointed Head of the School of Production at the Victorian College of the Arts. He continues to practise as a designer. He designed the world premiere of Dirty Dancing for Jacobsen Entertainment and The Sapphires and Hitchcock Blonde for Melbourne Theatre Company as well as The Pirates of Penzance for Opera Australia and Raymonda for The Australian Ballet. 

John Schumann
  John Schumann is an Australian singer, songwriter and guitarist who is best known as the lead singer for the folk group Redgum and their chart-topping hit I Was Only Nineteen, a song exploring the psychological and medical side-effects of serving in the Australian forces during the Vietnam War. Schumann was an Australian Democrats candidate in the 1998 Federal election, narrowly failing to unseat Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer for the Division of Mayo. Schumann was born on 18 May 1953 and attended Flinders University studying Philosophy, English and Drama for his Bachelor of Arts. In 1975 he contributed to a radical politics in art project, convened by Professor Brian Medlin with fellow students Michael Atkinson and Verity Truman. The three students went on to form political folk band Redgum and began performing in local pubs and campuses. Chris Timms (also from Flinders University) joined the group in 1976 and they toured to Melbourne as a part-time group. Schumann was by then teaching English and Drama at Marion High School and performing on weekends and school holidays. By December 1980, they decided to become a full-time band. Schumann wrote their biggest hits including Long Run, The Last Frontier, I Was Only Nineteen (March 1983) and I've Been to Bali Too (1984). In 1985 Redgum toured overseas performing at major festivals across England and Europe including the Edinburgh Festival and in war torn Belfast in Northern Ireland. The band has a strong following in Scandinavia.

Glenda Shaw
  Glenda Shaw is a two-time Emmy Award nominated producer and writer who currently produces and consults for all media platforms. In the past, she has managed, supervised and produced successful productions for Paramount Pictures, ABC, NBC, TV Guide networks, MTV and King World Entertainment. She has supervised and overseen field work for numerous shows, and was on the start-up team that launched the TV Guide Networks in 2004. She changed media platforms to radio, where she was invited to bring her start-up, management and executive expertise to help launch GreenstoneMedia, a radio network for women. Glenda has worked extensively in diversity programming, helming SiTV's Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, a young, hip show targeting second generation Latino market. While at SiTV, she was honored as a COLA (California Locations Award) and an Imagen Award finalist. During her broadcast media career, Glenda began developing online technology shows for women. She is currently a consultant and the Director of Content (U.S. and Australia), for a beta website based in Europe. Glenda teaches an online class at an Orange County city college, Producing Video for the Web, in which she analyzes online content trends, marketing, production and most importantly, distribution. As a freelance media consultant for more than ten years, she trains corporate and entertainment talent for media and on air presentations, and helps companies develop a unique voice for their brand. She currently consults for a global beta site; supervising and creating client content and creating distribution strategies to maximize global viewership. 

Patrick Whelan
  Patrick's post-university work began in 1976 as Stage Manager for New Opera South Australia's schools program that toured country Victoria and South Australia (Professor Kobalt’s Kinetic Contraption). Sydney's bright lights beckoned, and he moved in November '76, first taking a job as a scene carpenter with Kingsman Theatre Scenery before moving to Newcastle with the Hunter Valley Theatre Company (What the Butler Saw, Hamlet , The Roy Murphy Show), then back to Sydney for a period as resident mechanist in The Theatre Downstairs (now Reginald Theatre) at the Seymour Centre. In 1978 Patrick was Stage Manager for the Adelaide Festival of Arts production of The Cassidy Album Trilogy for both the Adelaide and Sydney seasons. This was followed by a stint as production manager at Marians St Theatre (What Every Woman Knows , Waltz of the Toreadors, Aladdin), but the total lack of safety around the stage and the lack of money to fix the issues shortened that career. '79 saw a period as stage manager for the Melbourne Theatre Company (The Club revival, Errol Flynn's Great Big Adventure Book for Boys). 1980 was bittersweet: In late '79 Patrick met and fell in love with a wonderful girl, and in early 1980 he moved to New Zealand as Stage Director, lighting designer and later Production Manager for the New Zealand Ballet (Cinderella (La Cenerentola) (national and international tours), Königsmark, The Nutcracker). In 1981 he moved back to Australia to get married and moved to Queensland to join QTC as stage manager (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, I Sent a Letter to My Love, No Names No Pack-drill, On Our Selection). He realised in that year that theatre is no place for a man married to a midwife and went back to university (in WA) and studied architecture, graduating with 1st class honours: A new career in a new state, but using the same skills he had honed in theatre – making a physical reality out of someone else's dreams. Patrick has been married for 33 years and has two beautiful daughters and he loves life!
Joan Morgan
    Other Graduates - Pam Creed, Lyn Fenney, Joan Morgan & Karen Smith