Painting and Photography by Sarah Hickey
Margi Brown Ash is something of a state treasure and it is terrific to see experimental, thoughtful, interrogative, and
elaborately textured work like this...
The exposure to the way Brown Ash's brain works...is a richly rewarding experience...(Stephen Carleton, Real-Time)
Dr. Margi Brown Ash is a multi-award-winning Performer/Playwright, Devisor/Director & Researcher/Lecturer. Her Ph.D. won the prestigious Philip Parson Prize for Excellence in Performative Research. She is a Collaborative Creative Coach, Therapist, and Mentor, helping enrich people's lives through art-making, performance, and creative writing.
Margi grew her career in New York City back in the '70s-'80s under the tutelage of the acting teacher Stella Adler and Polish Mime Stefan Niadzialkowski. In Sydney, she was mentored by Hayes Gordon for 8 years. She now lives in both Sydney and Brisbane, working with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) where she teaches the RICC Process (one of the outcomes of her Ph.D.); Playlab; Queensland Academy of Creative Industries, MC’ing QUT Conferences; facilitating at Communicating the Arts Conference in both Montreal and Sydney; and runs her coaching and counselling business 4change coaching (www.4change.com.au). In Sydney, she sometimes works with Sydney Theatre Company as a Teacher Artist; NIDA Corporate; conducts RICC Workshops and provides counselling for artists.
Margi’s most recent original work is The Belonging Trilogy, three plays that interrogate belonging. EVE explores the mother/artist tension, winning a Gold Matilda Award (Body of Work) and 2 Blue Room Awards. HOME, winner of a Gold Matilda Award (Body of Work), explores living in Queensland and was part of the DIVA series at Queensland Theatre Company in 2015. The third play He Dreamed a Train was inspired by her brother David Brown and explores ruptures in family life, mortality, and dreaming. It had its inaugural season at Brisbane Powerhouse, winning the SWEET program, with her son Travis Ash as co-writer/sound designer/musician and performer. In 2017 she co-produced and performed in The Double Bill, which included EVE and He Dreamed A Train at Brisbane Powerhouse (resulting in five Matilda Award nominations).
In 2015 Margi co-wrote/performed award-winning Joey the Mechanical Boy (Blue Room, Perth) and performed in other new works including Prize Fighter (Brisbane Festival & La Boite 2014; Sydney Festival & Belvoir 2017; National Tour, August-November, 2018, Darwin Festival and Melbourne International Festival), and multi-award-winning The Wider Earth (Queensland Theatre & Dead Puppet Society, 2016 & Sydney Festival at Sydney Opera House, 2018).
In May-August 2018, Margi co-directed/wrote This Silent Thing at Curtin University as Artist in Residence and also co-wrote/co-devised and performed in Metis at Blue Room Perth. One of her most recent performances is The Good Room’s I Want to Know What Love Is (Brisbane Powerhouse 2016; Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne 2018).
Margi was Program Ambassador of State Library Queensland 2018; is a Platinum Member of Actors Equity; was a Member of National Artistic Team, Queensland Theatre for the first few years of Sam Strong's artistic directorship, and is a Taos Institute Associate (an international research institution).
In 2019 Margi facilitated extensive workshops in both Australia and Finland. Throughout April and May Margi worked at Arteles Creative Center, Finland, where she guided a group of international artists in the RICC Process, the outcome of her Ph.D. The course, called New Course, introduced the artists to healthy practices at the same time as creating best practices. In October she was a guest presenter and facilitator at Communicating the Arts, an international conference focusing on empathy, inclusion, and wellbeing held in Montreal. In November she will once again be presenting at Communicating the Arts Conference, this time in Sydney, focusing on cultural leadership. Her book The Belonging Trilogy has been recently published by Playlab and will be available shortly.
In 2020 Margi will be returning to Finland to facilitate New Course with 25 international artists; she will work with Higher Degree Researchers at QUT, facilitate RICC Process with The Acting Cohort at QUT, and will continue to work with Assoc. Prof. Leah Mercer on their new work in Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth. She will host a series of Re-Enchantment workshops throughout 2020, primarily in Queensland.