Leigh Boswell is the founder and General Manager of The Young Company. Leigh completed a Bachelor of Arts (Drama) and a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) at the Queensland University of Technology where she graduated with Honors, and continued on to study a postgraduate degree in Creative Industries (Arts and Cultural Management). She is currently a part of the Australia Council for the Arts Leadership Program. Leigh has been an Executive Board Member at Backbone Youth Arts and Youth Arts Queensland in Brisbane, as well as JUTE Theatre in Cairns. Leigh has worked for organisations such as QPAC, deBase Productions, Brisbane Powerhouse, Metro Arts, Brisbane City Council as well as a number of youth arts festivals including Out of the Box, Stage X Festival, The Two High Festival, Visible Ink Festival, Sheila’s Shorts and many more. She has been involved in drama education for the past sixteen years in both the United Kingdom and Australia. Leigh has worked with students from pre-prep right through to university level, where she was a tutor and lecturer at James Cook University in the field of Education. She is a registered member of the Queensland College of Teachers and her most recent teaching posting was at St Augustine’s College where she also resided on the Senior Drama Panel for QCAA. She has been performing on stage since the age of 3 and has completed examinations with Trinity College of London and local Cairns eisteddfods as well as performing with the Cairns Choral Society and backstage with the Rondo Theatre.
Michael Elliott is the Artistic Director of TYC and has been working for the company for the past seven years. After graduating high school, Michael studied a Bachelor of Creative Industries, majoring in Theatre at James Cook University. During his studies, he played a role in Louis Nowra’s 'Summer of the Aliens'. In 2010, Michael joined the ensemble cast of Scott Wit's 'Macbeth' at JUTE Theatre and starred in Ben Ellis' 'Falling Petals' directed by Victoria Carless for Pop Robot. He has performed in numerous productions since a young age and directed over 150 productions for TYC, including the company’s Mainstage Production of George Orwell’s, ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Macbeth Re-Arisen’ by David Mence and ‘Summer of the Aliens’ by Louis Nowra. He has also recently participated in JUTE Theatre’s Actors/Directors Program with nationally acclaimed theatre director, David Fenton as well as performed in TYCs Mainstage Production of ‘Wishfly’ written by Jane Modric.
Amelia Pegrum is TYCs Artist in Residence and has been involved in the company for the past four years. Since completing a Bachelor of Creative Industries at James Cook University and a Diploma of Circus and Physical Theatre at the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne and Circo Arts in New Zealand, Amelia has performed in many local theatrical productions;A Midsummer Nights Dream’ (2012) for Tropical Arts, ‘Like A Fishbone’, a co-production with Courage Works and JUTE Theatre, as well as ‘Sentinel Chickens’ for JUTE Theatre. She has also performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, for which she received glowing reviews. She most recently performed in‘Cat’s On Curtains’ at The Tanks Arts Centre and is also a member of Cairns Dinner Theatre's Impro Nights. Amelia leads our Roving Troupe who most recently performed at the Cairns Children’s Festival and will soon perform at the Cairns Art Gallery and also the Cairns Festival.
Danielle Aquilina is TYCs Artist in Residence at The Young Company and graduated from James Cook University where she studied a Bachelor of Creative Industries and majored in Theatre and Education. She has been involved in theatre from a young age and was involved in Trinity Bay’s State High School’s, Centre of Excellence in Drama. Danielle has worked with several performance groups in Cairns including the Little Theatre (Rondo), Tropical Arts Shakespeare at the Tanks, Cairns Choral Society and Cairns Dinner Theatre's production of Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding, as well as numerous other community theatre productions such as Calendar Girls and Life X3 to name a few. 2016 saw Danielle perform in TYCs Theatre-in-Education production of The Grumpiest Boy in the World by Finegan Kruckemeyer and with Tropical Arts Shakespeare at the Tanks and the One-Act Play Festival. She is also the project leader for our new Training Ground Program as well as our Panto Troupe. This year will see Danielle perform in Doubt by John Patrick Shanely at the Cairns Little Theatre.
Kirsten Lovett is TYC’s Artist in Residence and holds a B.A in Drama and English Literature from the University of Queensland. As a teenager, Kirsten was a part of Cairns High’s Centre of Excellence drama program, in addition to being involved in five Tropical Arts productions. While at University Kirsten was selected for ATYP’s National Studio, a weeklong mentoring event for young playwrights from around Australia. After graduating Kirsten interned with Perth-based theatre in education company Fine Edge Theatre. She also had the opportunity to work abroad at Disneyworld Florida through the Disney International Program. While working at Disneyworld Kirsten completed an Entertainment Professional Development Study with the company. Since returning to Cairns, Kirsten has been involved in productions with The Rondo Theatre, and with Cairns Dinner Theatre.
Dr Jane Modric is TYCs Playwright in Residence and holds a PhD in Creative Arts (JCU) and a Master of Letters (CQU). Her first play ‘Soph and the Real World’ was produced by JUTE Theatre Company in 2013, and was written as part of JUTE’s Enter Stage Write program. She has a background in music and song writing with two solo albums and a number of collaborations to her credit. Her research examines the creative process, and her interests lie in finding practical ways to enhance creativity in her own life and the lives of others. Jane has a long history with TYC, and worked on their most recent community cultural development project, Headstart, which transpired into a production called Wishfly and staged in 2015 by both professional as well as young and emerging performers. production called Wishfly and staged in 2015 by both professional as well as young and emerging performers. She has also most recently had her work, Propelled, published by Playlab. Her most recent written work, ‘Aura’ (Film: Directed by Karen Jackson) won The She Shot International Women's Micro Film Festival award for Best Film and has been selected for numerous other awards including the UK Screen One International Film Festival.
Yasmin Lancini is TYCs Artist in Residence (Musical Theatre) and holds a Bachelor of Theatre, with a specialization in Musical Theatre from Central Queensland University. She has performed in numerous productions including Cairns Choral Society’s The Producers, Malanda Theatre Company’s productions of Godspell, Razzamatazz as well as Guys and Dolls. And also most recently with Cairns Dinner Theatre Bravo: The Best of Broadway and Tony n Tina’s Wedding. Yasmin has also been the children’s show hose for Little Charley Bear (Just Promotions) and toured with Central Qld University’s productions of Choices and Safety Circus.
Evelyn McGuinness is TYCs Production Manager and Associate Artist. She is currently studying Primary Education at James Cook University and has been involved with TYC for the past 5 years. Evelyn holds a Certificate III in Live Production, Theatre and Events. and has performed in Cairns Choral Society’s, Legally Blonde and played a leading role in St Monica’s school musical. She has also performed in, produced and directed numerous productions with TYC including Christmas Unwrapped, Neverland, Australian Horror Story, Animal Farm, The Experimental Conundrum and many more. 2016 saw Evelyn perform in TYCs Theatre-in-Education production of Wishfly by Jane Modric and The Grumpiest Boy in the World by Finegan Kruckemeyer.
Hayley Gillespie is our Artist in Residence for our Holiday Drama School Programs. Born in London in 1972, Hayley Gillespie relocated to Cairns in 1996. She has been a professional artist since 1989, in a variety of guises. From theatre and set design, artwork for London Council and Royal Park's, and designing and decorating children's furniture for the exclusive retail stores of London. In Australia she has worked in painted advertising, brochure design, signs and murals. Deciding to concentrate on canvas in 2003, she has drawn inspiration from her own childhood in 1970`s, Australia`s colours and lifestyle, and the iconography of both. She has a live model who comes home from school everyday, full of material which is incorporated into her work.
Dell Beckman is TYC's Associate Artist and has been involved with TYC this year. He is currently studying his Bachelor of Creative Arts at CQU. Last year, Dell performed his lead role as Pertruchio in Tropical Arts "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Shakespeare at the Tanks. Dell is also a regular stand up comedian with Guilt Free Comedy at Eato's, and is very well known for his role as the Parking Fairy for the Cairns Airport.
Isobel Grierson is TYCs Associate Artist and has been involved with TYC for the past five years. She is currently studying at JCU in Townsville and in 2014 completed a Certificate III in Live Production, Theatre and Events. She has performed in numerous productions including Australian Horror Story, The Importance of Being Ernest, Just Macbeth and many more.
Catherine McGuinness is one of TYCs Production Trainee and has participated in TYC for the past five years and TYCs Teacher Training Program for the past two years. She is also apart of our Young and Emerging Mainstage Performance Troupe and our Advanced Acting Troupe Program. Catherine brings an enormous amount of passion and talent to her classes. This year will see Catherine take on a National Traineeship in Production with ArtsReady where she will study a Certificate 3 in Live Production. TYC are excited to be partnering with the Cairns Regional Council with this traineeship, which will see Catherine work at venues such as Tanks Arts Centre and many more across our region.
Francesca Kunz is one of TYCs Associate Producer’s and has participated in TYC for the past four years and TYCs Teacher Training Program for the past two years. She is also apart of our Young and Emerging Mainstage Performance Troupe and our Advanced Musical Madness Program. Francesca brings an enormous amount of dedication and talent to her classes.
Skye Simpson is one of TYCs Associate Producer’s and has participated in TYC for the past five years and TYCs Teacher Training Program for the past two years. She is also apart of our Young and Emerging Mainstage Performance Troupe and our Advanced Musical Madness Program. Skye brings an enormous amount of dedication and talent to her classes. She has been a regular on the stage since the age of six. Studying ballet, drama and flute, she has performed in over 50 productions, concerts and eisteddfods. Her theatre credits include performing in TYC Mainstage productions such as ‘Between Us’ by ATYP Young Voices Project (Cairns Festival 2016), ‘Wind in the Willows’ adapted by Tony Nicholls, ‘Summer of the Aliens’ by Louis Nowra and ‘Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset’ by Stephen Carleton. Skye has also been a member of the Roving Troupe, performing at numerous community events around Cairns. She recently graduated from Cairns State High School in 2016, where she was part of musicals ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Nice Work If You Can Get It’ and was a member of the Centre of Excellence Drama program.
Kane O'Rielley is one of TYCs Associate Producer’s and has participated in TYC for the past five years and TYCs Teacher Training Program for the past two years. He is also apart of our Young and Emerging Mainstage Performance Troupe and our Advanced Acting Troupe Program, and Theatre Lab Program Program. Kane brings an enormous amount of technique and creativity to his classes. In 2015 Kane was assistant director and performed in 'High School Musical' at Trinity Anglican School, Cairns where he is also currently the Arts Captain. At the beginning of the year Kane performed in TYC Mainstage Production 'Wishfly' which also toured into local schools. Kane was also a NIDA Open graduate in 2015 and 2017 where he was tutored by Jo Turner and 'The Young Actors Residency' course lead by Garth Holcombe and Pip Edwards. Kane has performed and assisted in over 50 productions including TYC Mainstage productions of ‘Animal Farm’ By George Orwell and adapted by Shake and Stir, ‘Between Us’ by ATYP Young Voices Project (Cairns Festival 2016) and ‘Lord of the Flies’ by William Golding (Cairns Festival 2017).
Darcy Maher is one of TYCs Associate Producer’s and has participated in TYC for the past five years and TYCs Teacher Training Program for the past two years. He is also apart of our Young and Emerging Mainstage Performance Troupe and our Theatre Lab Program. Darcy brings an enormous amount of experience and creativity to his classes.