2018 Core Ensemble

Rob Pensalfini

Rob Pensalfini

QSE Portfolio Role: 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. In 2017, Rob played Leontes in The Winter's Tale and had his first full-length play, Bogga, produced by QSE. 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.

Rebecca Murphy

Rebecca Murphy

QSE Portfolio Role: Acting General Manager | Training Coordinator | Marketing Team

2018 marks Rebecca's eleventh year as a Core Ensemble member of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble. Performance credits for QSE include The Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night, 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.

In 2018 Rebecca is looking forward directing QSE's mainstage production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Previous directing credits include the world premiere of Bogga, Shakespeare's Shorts, and Dare to Share (2015). She has also been assistant director on The Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night, and Titus.

Other credits include Tales of Rain with Niz Jabour and La Boite Theatre Company, Mullah Nasrudin (stage manager) for Full Throttle Theatre Company/La Boite Indie, 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.

This year Rebecca is once again 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.

Ellen Hardisty

Ellen Hardisty

QSE Portfolio Role: Finance Officer

This is Ellen's 2nd year as a Core Ensemble Member. She trained with the ensemble as an apprentice in 2011, then took four years to work in theatre throughout Europe before returning to QSE in 2017.

Ellen has performed with QSE in Conscription as Cecilia, John, and Ruby, The Winter's Tale as the Old Shepherd and Emilia and Bogga as Prisoner 2.

Theatre credits include: Once Upon a Serial Killer (Inside Outside Theatre); 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

QSE Portfolio Role: Shakespeare's Shorts Manager

This is Liliana's third year working with QSE, having first trained with the company as an Apprentice, then working as an Associate Artist, before joining the Core Ensemble. Her acting credits with QSE include: Camillo in The Winter's Tale, Duke Orsino in Twelfth Night, and Jessica in the Shakespeare Prison Project's The Merchant of Venice. A musician and songwriter, she has also composed for and plays in the QSE Band.

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. As a facilitator for QSE, Liliana has worked on the Shakespeare Prison Project, as well as assisting on voice workshops and UQ's Solid Pathways Programme.

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 the award-winning 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); The Blood Votes (QSE/HAPI, UQ); 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).

Frances Marrington

Frances Marrington

QSE Portfolio Role: Education Officer | Payroll Officer

Frances has trained, facilitated workshops and performed around Australia and overseas since graduating with a B.A. (Theatre Studies) from QUT in 2002. She first trained with QSE in 2001, and has - between other performing pursuits - been an associate artist with the company in 2009, during which period she performed in Half-Hour Hamlet, Where the Wild Things Are, and As You Like It. 2017 will be her first year as a core ensemble member.

Frances is also a member of Red Thread Stories, and has performed numerous improvised Playback Theatre shows since joining the troupe in 2015. Her other theatre credits include: The Odyssey, Zeitgeist, Gaia, and Swan Lake (with Qld Ballet) for Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre; The Golden Show for Dairakudakan (Japan); The Ship That Never Was for Round Earth Theatre; Half of Nothing, Vienna Syndrome, and The History of the World (in 7.5 Minutes) for Short+Sweet; Minefields and Miniskirts, Play It Again Sam, and The Merchant of Venice for Brisbane Arts Theatre; The Unseen and The Stepmother for Play with Your Food; Sad Bird Boy and Other Tales of the City and Eight Days for theatre in decay; Tyranny for La Mama; Hamlet for Eagle's Nest Theatre and for Dancing with Strangers; Picasso's Women for The Butterfly Club and for Chapel Off Chapel; and The Last Word for Act-O-Matic 3000. She has performed in numerous short films as well as the feature films Watch Me (Scopofile Productions) and Purge (David King Media).

Since graduating from QUT, Frances has also trained in the Acting degree at VCA; in voice-over with AFTRS; in Butoh dance theatre with the Suen Company (Sweden), Semi Maru (Japan), Dairakudakan (Japan), and Tony Yapp (Melbourne); in the Suzuki Method, the Viewpoints, and Composition with the SITI company (New York) and with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre; in improvisation with Red Thread Stories and Six of the Best; and in film with TAFTA, Alexi Vellis, Jared Robinson, and Tom McSweeney.

Frances has facilitated drama workshops for youth and adults for 10+ years, and is also a registered high school drama teacher. She is a working voice-over artist and performs on occasion as a stilt-walker, children's entertainer, face painter, and roving entertainer. She is a proud mother of two and member of Actors' Equity.

Paige Poulier

Paige Poulier

QSE Portfolio Role: Administration & Events

Paige is a Brisbane-based trained actor, vocalist, and performance maker. 2017 marks Paige's second year as a core ensemble member of the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble. Paige received nominations at the 2016 Matilda Awards in the Best Supporting Actress category, as well as for the Bille Brown Emerging Artist Award for her role as Sir Toby Belch in QSE's production of Twelfth Night.

Paige performed in and co-directed Wives of Wolfgang as part of the 2016 Anywhere Theatre Festival. 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 graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Fine Arts (Acting) from Southbank Institute of Technology in 2015. Paige's other theatrical credits include: QSE's The Winter's Tale, Bogga, The Blood Votes, The Centre; The Roasting (FAST); DNA (NIDA); SBIT's Henry V and Chicago Chicago; Spring Awakening, and The Poet and the Women. 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.

Dudley Powell

Dudley Powell

QSE Portfolio Role: Marketing Team

Dudley moved to Brisbane from Cairns three years ago. He has worked with the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble since 2016, appearing in both mainstage productions (Twelfth Night as Antonio in 2016 and The Winter's Tale as Florizel in 2017). Dudley was accepted into QSE's apprentice program in 2016 and thrived in an ensemble with like-minded actors with a passion for classical stories.

Excited about story-telling, auditioning for the Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble was simply a 'no brainer' for Dudley. With encouragement from his friends and family, Dudley has been acting since he was 7 years old, always allowing his imagination to guide him forward.

Dudley graduated from James Cook University in 2015 with a BA in Creative Industries majoring in Performance. His course gave him the exposure to texts and practitioners that contributed to developing the essential skills for an actor. Previous projects include: Much Ado About Dragons (Much Ado About Nothing) in 2014, Children of the Levant in 2013, A Man for All Seasons in 2012, and Woman in the Window in 2010 to name a few.

Grateful for the opportunities he has come by over the years, Dudley has utilized his experiences and skills from life to supplement his craft; he loves the outdoors, exploring the most difficult terrain through hiking. The son of Greek immigrants, Dudley was raised in an enriching and historic background where he has honed his skills in Greek language and literature. He is also an avid gamer and enjoys to travel.

Silvan Rus

Silvan Rus

QSE Portfolio Role: Partnerships Manager

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 The Winter's Tale, Twelfth Night (Matilda Award Nomination - Best Supporting Actor & Best Sound Design/Composition), Titus (Matilda Award Nomination - Best Supporting Actor), The Tempest, The Bomb-itty of Errors, Mary Stuart, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Other credits include Nineteen with Wax Lyrical Productions/Brisbane Powerhouse, Morsels from the Heart for La Boite Theatre Company/BrisAsia Festival, 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 (Mandarin).

As a musician he can play the guitar, piano, bass, beatbox, and has composed/performed songs for QSE's Titus, The Tempest, 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 including Ric's Bar, 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

QSE Portfolio Role: Web & IT | Box Office Manager

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. He won the Matilda Award in the Best Male Actor in a Leading Role category for his work in Queensland Theatre's An Octoroon (2017), and was nominated for a Matilda Award in the Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role category for Queensland Theatre's The Odd Couple (2015). His other theatre credits include: Queensland Theatre - 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 and online commercials 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.

Meet the 2018 Apprentices