The University of Melbourne research team brings a strong interdisciplinary approach to the project, with expertise in theatre studies, performance studies, media and communications, arts education, and arts practice.


Rachel Fensham is a dance and theatre scholar, and Assistant Dean of the Digital Studio, Faculty of Arts. Her current funded research includes a digital mapping project examining the historical changes in three theatre and dance venues in Melbourne. She has just completed an essay on interdisciplinary research methodologies, and is currently preparing a monograph on costumes in the choreography of 20th and 21st century dance.


Paul Rae is a performance scholar and theatre maker. He arrived in Melbourne in 2014 after spending seventeen years in Singapore. From 1997, he was Artistic Co-director, with Kaylene Tan, of spell#7 performance (a theatre company), and from 2007, Assistant Professor on the Theatre Studies program at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of Theatre & Human Rights (Palgrave, 2009), and many scholarly articles on performance theory, and on contemporary theatre in Southeast Asia and beyond. Paul is Senior Editor of Theatre Research International , and is currently completing a book entitled Real Theatre: Essays in Experience. 


Jennifer Beckett lectures in media communications at the University of Melbourne. Her areas of research include social media, online community management, moderation and below the line commentary, marketing communications, public and community engagement, and journalism practice. She has previously worked as an online and social media producer at the ABC, while her PhD focused on the use of media as a means of addressing national traumas.


Jeremy Rice is currently Head of Education and Families at the Melbourne Theatre Company, and is responsible for programming and producing education and family productions. He is the Director of Always Working Artists, producing a range of works with and for young people, and he has worked with various youth arts companies throughout Australia including Barking Gecko (WA) and Corrugated Iron (NT). He has also directed for television. Jeremy has an MA in Visual and Performing Arts from WAAPA.


Abbie Trott is a PhD candidate partnering with the Creative Convergence Project. Abbie has worked as a stage and production manager for over 20 years with companies including version 1.0, Vulcana Women’s Circus, Belvoir St Theatre and Kooemba Jdarra Performing Arts Company. Completing a Master of Philosophy at the University of Queensland in 2016, Abbie’s scholarly interests include theatre, performance and multimedia.



Nat Cutter is the Research Assistant/Project Manager for Creative Convergence from February 2018-March 2019. He is a current PhD candidate in history at the University of Melbourne, with an interest in digital humanities, diplomacy, social and cultural history, as well as the arts.


Meg Upton was the Research Assistant/Project Manager for Creative Convergence from November 2016-December 2017. In previous lives, Meg was Education Manager at Playbox/Malthouse from 2000-2008 and a teaching artist with Melbourne Theatre Company since 2009.  Meg lectures in Drama Education, and Pedagogy and Curriculum at Deakin University. During 2010-2014 she was lead RA on the ARC Project: TheatreSpace. In 2016, she completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne MGSE. Her thesis Teaching the Live: The Pedagogy of Performance, was an investigation of how drama teachers teach the analysis of live theatre performance to senior drama students. Her scholarly interests include theatre, pedagogy, curriculum and education as social impact.

Creative Convergence: Enhancing Impact in Regional Theatre for Young People