2017 Core Ensemble

Rob Pensalfini

Rob Pensalfini - Artistic Director

Rob was one of QSE's founders and has been Artistic Director since 2001. In 2002, Rob directed QSE's first full production, As You Like It. In 2003, he appeared as Coriolanus in QSE's Coriolanus. In 2005, he directed The Comedy of Errors for QSE to critical acclaim. In 2007, he played Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing. In 2008, Rob directed Twelfth Night (for which he was nominated for a Matilda Award) and played Sir Toby Belch. In 2009, he played Touchstone in As You Like It, and directed QSE's Where the Wild Things Are. In 2010, Rob played Richard III, and in 2011 he played Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. In 2012, he directed and played Launce in QSE's Western version of The Two Gentlemen of Verona (appearing alongside his dog Gumnut), and made a cameo appearance as Dr P in The Bomb-itty of Errors. In 2013, he directed A Midsummer Night's Dream (nominated for seven Matilda awards including Best Director), and played Leicester in Mary Stuart. In 2014, Rob played Prospero in The Tempest. In 2015 he appeared in the title role in Titus, and appeared in Voices Inside-Out, which took plays written by prisoners in Kentucky into Queensland prisons. In 2016, Rob directed and played Feste in Twelfth Night. Rob also composes and performs music for most of QSE's productions. Rob's other credits include Hubert in King John, John in Mamet's Oleanna, Truffaldino in The Servant of Two Masters (in Italian), and Creon in Anouilh's Antigone (in French). Rob has led QSE workshops in schools, prisons, the Queensland Art Gallery, and other community groups. He has directed QSE's Shakespeare Prison Project from its inception in 2006 to 2014, and has directed inmate productions of The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. He has also visited other Prison Shakespeare programs in the USA and Italy. His book, Prison Shakespeare: for these deep shames and great indignities, which surveys the phenomenon, was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2015.

Originally from Perth, Rob has lived in Brisbane since 1999 and is an Associate Professor in Linguistics and Drama at the University of Queensland. He completed his doctorate in theoretical linguistics and Australian Aboriginal languages at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1997. He has published two books and about a dozen articles on aboriginal languages, and half a dozen articles on theatre and actor training. He is one of only eight people in Australia certified by Kristin Linklater to teach the world-renowned Linklater voice method. Rob has worked professionally as an actor, director, musician, and teacher in both the USA and Australia. He has worked (performed and/or taught) with Pilgrim Theatre and Shakespeare & Company (both in Massachusetts, USA), and Zen Zen Zo, Power of Will, and the Queensland Theatre Company in Brisbane, and was inducted as a Arts Queensland Culture Champion in late 2013.

Rob is a proud member of MEAA (Equity). He can be contacted via e-mail at rob@qldshakespeare.org.

Ellen Hardisty

Ellen Hardisty

Ellen is delighted to join QSE as a Core Ensemble Member in 2017. Since last training with the ensemble as an apprentice in 2011, Ellen has taken four years in Europe to study, develop and explore.

Theatre credits include: The Dark Lord and the White Witch, Lip Gloss, Teechers (German Tour); A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival); Mick and Beth, Monster Madness, Throne Raiders, Under the Sea (Spanish Tour); Charlie Charleston (Italian Tour); We'll Meet Again (UK Tour); George and the Dragon and Old King Cole (UK and Republic of Ireland Tour); Government Inspector (London Theatre Collective); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Monstrous Regiment (Brisbane Arts Theatre); Inconvenient People (Play With Your Food); Secrets of Saint Helena Island (Cat 'O' Nine Tails Cruises); Group (Devine Productions); David the Friendly Dragon (Stagedoor Dinner Theatre); Phar Lap Champion to a Nation (Gold Coast Show); Unoriginal Sin (Samford Valley Theatre); Secret Bridesmaids' Business (Act One Theatre); A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Actor's Workshop); and Please Release Me (Metro Arts Theatre).

Ellen studied her Advanced Diploma in Film, Television and Theatre Acting at the Actor's Workshop. She studied Shakespeare at an intensive five-week course at RADA, London.

Liliana Macarone

Liliana Macarone

This is Liliana's second year working with QSE, having first trained with the company as an Apprentice and later working as an Associate Artist on Twelfth Night, playing Duke Orsino and featuring in the QSE band. She is thrilled to be joining the company as a Core Ensemble Member in 2017.

Liliana has a Bachelor of Film and Television Production from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, and as a writer/director she has produced short films, documentaries, and docudramas. A keen interest in language and communication has also led to work as a writer, copywriter, and teacher.

Liliana's previous performance works include theatre, cabaret, and live music. She studied acting with David Amitin Escuela de Teatro in Madrid; other training includes the Shakespeare and Contemporary Theatre intensive at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Improvisation with Keith Johnstone and Patti Stiles, and Voice Over with the AFTRS. Liliana sings with Brisbane City Sounds Chorus and is a member of Sweet Adeline's International. She is also an Audio Describer for Vision Australia.

Theatre credits include: Midsummer's Mechanicals (4MBS Classic Kids Shakespeare), Away by Michael Gow (Heartbeast Boutique Theatre); Confusion - Warning: May Contain Nuts and For Love Nor Money (Madrid Players); scenes from Earthquakes in London by Mike Bartlett and Shakespeare's Richard III (Guildhall Showcase, director Doug Rintoul); and Un Tranvía Llamado Deseo [A Streetcar Named Desire] (Amitin Showcase).

Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca Murphy

2016 marks Rebecca's ninth year as a Core Ensemble member of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble. She has performed for QSE in Twelfth Night, Shakespeare in the Great Court, Titus, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mary Stuart, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Shakespeare's Shorts (The Half-Hour Hamlet, Instant Romeo & Juliet, Express Macbeth), The Merchant of Venice, Metamorphoses, and Much Ado About Nothing.

Other credits include Tales of Rain with Niz Jabour and La Boite Theatre Company, A Midsummer Night's Dream for Harvest Rain Theatre Company, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, LovePuke, The White Whore and the Bit Player, Romeo and Juliet for Tropic Sun Theatre (NQ), The Tempest for Extensions Youth Dance Company, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Don's Party, Confusions, and Oedipus while completing a Bachelor of Theatre at James Cook University. Rebecca has been involved in a variety of festivals, community events and corporate events throughout Queensland as an actor, dancer and choreographer, and recently stage managed Mullah Nasrudin for Full Throttle Theatre Company/La Boite Indie.

Rebecca has directed Shakespeare's Shorts and Dare to Share (2015). She was the assistant director on QSE's Twelfth Night (2016) and Titus (2015). This year Rebecca is thrilled to once again be facilitating QSE's Speaking Shakespeare In Your Own Voice and Young Actor's Shakespeare Intensive. As a facilitator Rebecca has taught drama and dance in a number of extracurricular and in-school programs and for companies including QSE, Tropical Arts, The Light Ensemble, and Underground Productions. Rebecca is a casual tutor for NIDA Open and the Senior Teacher at Brisbane Drama Studio.

Anthea Patrick

Anthea Patrick

Anthea's performing credits with QSE include: Viola in Twelfth Night, Marta in Titus, multiple characters in Voices Inside/Out, Trinculo in The Tempest, Quince in Midsummer's Mechanicals, Laertes/Marcellus in The Half-Hour Hamlet, and Tybalt/Nurse/Balthasar in Instant Romeo & Juliet. Anthea also plays drums in the QSE mainstage band.

Anthea recently created (as devisor/performer) The Puppet-arium, an interactive show and puppet workshop, for the State Library of Queensland as part of the Out of The Box Children's Festival (QPAC/SLQ, 2016). Other credits include, as director: Speaking In Tongues (ANTiX/Metro Arts' Allies, 2011) for which her directing efforts were acknowledged in RAVE Magazine's Best of 2011, Speaking In Tongues (RADA, 2010), Brave New World Order as AD (Dianne Gough Productions, Brisbane Powerhouse, 2010); as director/devisor: The Bus for the FreeRange: Creative Development Festival (ANTiX/Metro Arts, 2009); as director of premier productions: Family Portrait by Richard Jordan for the Ten X Ten Squared Play Fiesta (The Emerge Project/JWC, 2008), Heavenly Creatures for West End Community House (2007), ASIO Role-Play for Amnesty International's Human Rights Legislation Forum (2007), Garnett's Store by Elizabeth Pullen for the Fragments: Emerging Artists Program (Backbone/Metro Arts/PlayLab, 2006). Anthea's film work includes, as writer/director: Lady Marmalade (TVC, 2013), Voices (Ultra Short, 2012); as DoP/editor/sound designer: Curiosity TV Pilot (Teaser, 2013); as editor/sound designer: Pedal the Pain (Ultra Short, 2012); as director/DoP/editor produced by ANTiX - Voices Inside/Out webpromo, Titus Behind The Scenes Part 1 & Part 2 BTS Docos, Come PLAY with us: QSE Auditions webpromo (2015).

Anthea has studied directing at RADA, holds a BCI (Drama) from QUT, an ATCL (Drama/Teaching), and a Dip(Screen&Media) from QPIX. Anthea has undertaken professional development activities with director Sue Rider, assistant directing The Flowering written by Donna Cameron (2008); with Sydney director Leland Kean for In The Violet Time written by Sue Smith as part of Playwriting Australia's National Play Festival (2008); and with director Jennifer Flowers on QTC's Romeo & Juliet (2012).

Anthea runs her own creative business ANTiX Workshops & Productions, is a private acting tutor/director of the Drama Ensemble at Lourdes Hill College, and is a resident story-teller/workshop facilitator in The Corner at the State Library of Queensland.

Anthea is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Paige Poulier

Paige Poulier

Paige is a Brisbane-based trained actor, vocalist, and performance maker. 2017 marks her first year as a core ensemble member of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble. After completing the company's apprenticeship program in 2016, Paige worked with QSE as an associate artist, playing Sir Toby Belch in their main stage production of Twelfth Night.

Paige performed and co-directed Wives of Wolfgang as part of the 2016 Anywhere Theatre Festival. Paige graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts (Acting) from Southbank Institute of Technology in 2015. She performed her original work The Roasting for the 2015 Queensland Short and Sweet Festival. Paige's abilities in direction, writing, and performance won her multiple awards at the gala finals including the overall Best Actor award, the Best New Talent award, and The Roasting won Best Theatre Production for 2015. Paige's other theatrical credits include: Henry V, Dare to Share, The Roasting (FAST-La Boite), DNA by Denis Kelly, John Romeril's Chicago, Chicago, Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening, and The Poet and the Women by Aristophanes. Her extensive training sparked her strong interest in creating original work, which lead to her self-devised solo piece, Waldorf Salad. Paige has collaborated with Australian film director Stephen Lance and has taken part in many short films, including 1000 Words and Red Wood. Seven8Media Production Company cast Paige as Maria in their eight-part web series comedy The Tipping Comp. Paige was selected by Publicis Mojo to feature in the TAFE Queensland's Make Great Happen advertising commercial and online marketing campaigns.

Paige is looking forward to working with the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble as a core ensemble member this year and cannot wait to make the most of this special opportunity.

Silvan Rus

Silvan Rus

Silvan relocated from Sydney to work with the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble in 2013 and has stayed in Brisbane ever since. His QSE actor credits include Twelfth Night, Titus (Matilda Award Nomination - Best Supporting Actor), The Tempest, The Bomb-itty of Errors, Mary Stuart, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Shakespeare's Shorts: Instant Romeo & Juliet and The Half-hour Hamlet. Other credits include Morsels from the Heart for La Boite Theatre Company, Time Capsule for Seeing Place Productions, 1066: The Bayeux Tapestry Brought to Life for Small Crown Productions, and Cold for The Earthcrosser Company. In 2015, Silvan took part in PlayWriting Australia's Lotus Playwriting Program to write his first play Carpe Noctem or The King of Spades.

Silvan is of Chinese, Russian, and Italian heritage. He is now a student at the University of Queensland double-majoring in Philosophy and Chinese.

As a musician he can play the guitar, piano, bass, beatbox, and has composed/performed songs for QSE's Titus, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Wax Lyrical Theatre Company's Bloke and Appalling Behaviour (Brisbane Powerhouse MELT Festival). Silvan has performed his original songs in local pubs of Brisbane and for the Stan Dup Ensemble's DIY Festival, winning the award for 'Best Musician'. In 2010, Silvan was also awarded an Australia Day Award - Young Artist of the Year for his services to the community through the Arts.

Colin Smith

Colin Smith

Colin has trained with the Ensemble since 2001 and became a core member in 2007. He was Treasurer on the QSE Committee from 2006-2010, assistant director for QSE's 2009 production of As You Like It, production manager for QSE's 2010 production of Richard III, and led the advanced training block for the Core Ensemble and Apprentices in early 2012. He has performed for QSE as King Leontes in the staged reading of The Winter's Tale (2001); Dogberry and Shylock in Shakespeare's Briefs; or Let's Kill All The Lawyers (2006); Horatio and Polonius in The Half-hour Hamlet (2006-12, 2014, and 2016); Nick Bottom/Pyramus in Midsummer's Mechanicals (2007, 2014, and 2016); Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing (2007); Jove, Tereus, Tiresias, and Hermaphroditus in Metamorphoses (2007-08); Friar Laurence and Mercutio (2008-10 and 2013-14) and Romeo and Lady Capulet (2010-12) in Instant Romeo & Juliet; Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night (2008); Pandarus, Jaques and Diomedes in Food Of Love (2009); Orlando in As You Like It (2009); Othello, Peer Gynt, and Mitch in the Vis-à-Vis: Moving Stories (2010) collaboration between QSE and Queensland Ballet; Lord Chamberlain Hastings and Lord Blunt in Richard III (2010); Macbeth and the Doctor in Express Macbeth (2011-12); Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice (2011); Proteus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (2012); Antipholus of Syracuse, MC Hendelberg, and The Abbess in The Bomb-itty of Errors (2012 and 2014); Nick Bottom/Pyramus in A Midsummer Night's Dream (2013); Burleigh in Mary Stuart (2013); King Alonso in The Tempest (2014); and Malvolio in Twelfth Night (2016). He is also a musician (vocals, rhythm guitar, and bass guitar) in QSE's mainstage bands.

Colin is an Indigenous Australian actor of the Jagera (Brisbane) people. He got his start in acting in 1983 at the age of 12 in a short for ABC TV, but got sidetracked by a career in the IT industry before coming back to theatre in the mid-1990s. He graduated from QUT's Bachelor of Creative Industries program, majoring in Performance Studies, in 2004. In 2015, he was nominated for a Matilda Award in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance in The Odd Couple by Queensland Theatre Company (QT). His other theatre credits include: QT - Black Diggers; La Boite Theatre Company - A Streetcar Named Desire; QUT - The Bald Prima Donna, The Drought, Jesus Christ Superstar, One For The Road, and Sherwoodstock; Brisbane Arts Theatre - The Fifth Elephant, Men At Arms, and The Night Watch; Redcliffe Independent Theatre - Noises Off; Room to Play - One Was Nude and One Wore Tails; Short+Sweet - Rules Is Rules; and Stagedoor - Sleuth. His short film credits include The Last Aussie Hero 3: The Search For Kip, Meekin Park, and the musical film clip for "The Fugitive" by Tuesday Night Casualties, and he has appeared in numerous television shows, including Sea Patrol and Secrets & Lies.

Colin is a professional voiceover artist, with credits including television's Mortified, instructional videos for Griffith University, the Priori YA fantasy novel podcast, audio books for Cambridge University Press, and several video games. He was a founding member of the Six Of The Best improvisational theatre troupe and a core member of Edge Improv, and has performed in improvised theatre with Dang Bang, the Flying Wombats, QUT, Theatresports Queensland, tofulama, and Yes And... Entertainment; he has also trained with Keith Johnstone of the Loose Moose Theatre Company, and taught improvisation for Six Of The Best and the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts. Colin is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Linda Taimre

Linda Taimre

Linda first encountered QSE in 2007 when she became one of the first Apprentices to join the company. After six years in the United Kingdom, she returned to Brisbane in early 2015 and promptly got involved with QSE again - this time as an Associate Artist in their mainstage production of Titus, then as a 2016 Core Ensemble member. Linda trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and the NIDA Young Actor's Studio.

QSE credits include: Lucius in Titus, Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Cassandra in The Centre. Other theatre credits include: The Mousetrap (UK Tour); Measure for Measure (Brockley Jack); Dorothy in Oz (Waterloo East); The Importance of Being Earnest (Stratford-upon-Avon and Brighton Fringe); Pride and Prejudice (Bristol Old Vic Studio); and The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Landor Theatre). Voice credits include: Stories from the Southern Cross (BBC Radio 4); and Johnny B. Goode (Ghosts of Nothing).

Linda has also directed and produced theatre and short film projects both in Australia and the UK. She studied languages at the University of Queensland where she spent many nights performing with Underground Productions at the Cement Box Theatre (now the Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio).

She is excited to continue with QSE as a member of the 2017 Core Ensemble Member.

Chris Vaag

2017 is Chris' third season as a member of QSE's Core Ensemble. Chris' performing credits with QSE in 2016 include Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Mercutio/Friar Lawrence in Instant Romeo & Juliet, Flute/Thisbe in Midsummer's Mechanicals, and various roles in a rehearsed reading of The Centre: A Search for Sanctuary, and Petruchio, Malvolio, Mercutio, Chiron, and Polonius in Music & Madness in The Great Court UQ. In 2015 he played Chiron in Titus, and performed various roles in Voices Inside/Out. In addition to completing the QSE apprentice program in 2014, Chris played Antonio in The Tempest and performed in a workshopped reading of Paul Adams' new play, Undiscovered. He also appeared in QSE's 2012 production, The Two Gentlemen Of Verona.

Chris' other theatre credits include Mona Brow Williams (Anywhere Theatre Festival), The Philly May Show (The Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts), Seussical, Picnic At Hanging Rock (Brisbane Arts Theatre), Romeo and Juliet, The Laramie Project, The Merchant of Venice (Nash Theatre), Oberon (Heartbeast), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Starlight Co-Op Theatre).

Meet the 2017 Apprentices