SAYart’s staff are highly experienced professional artists and creatives who take youth agency seriously, and we absolutely love our jobs. Teaching young people acting, theatre-making, and playwriting is helping to create the next generation of arts practitioners and audience-goers. Meet some of us below! Always happy to have a chat.

Bec has had a varied career. For seven years she was the live-in Principal of a residential university college (living with over 200 students), a lecturer in Cultural Studies, Australian Studies and Tourism at Flinders University; an Associate Dean at Flinders University Hall (residential) and a lecturer/tutor in the Centre for Staff Development at Flinders University where she worked with new tutors and lecturers to help them develop their teaching skills. Throughout this period Bec contributed many conference papers, published in academic journals, edited academic work and was a long time representative on the Flinders University OHS Committee. Her areas of academic research included Australian film and theatre, theories of the body, postcolonialism, and religion in Australian performing arts. Her PhD remains incomplete because she threw herself into life in college – working with young and emerging adults.

During her career in the arts, Bec was privileged to work alongside directors such as Kim Durban and Nigel Jamieson, and to work as an actor, dramaturg and assistant director in Melbourne and Adelaide. During her time at CPA she was fortunate enough to work with international voice teachers Frankie Armstrong and Jo Estill and the wonderful mime Jacques Le Coq. She is the former General Manager of Urban Myth Theatre Company, and it was because of the relationships she formed there with the children and parents that she decided to continue the work of Urban Myth through SAYarts.

Bec’s teaching specialisation is Speech and Drama. Bec has her Vocal Health First Aid certificate, Associate Diploma from AMEB in Voice (Teaching) as well an Assoc Dip Performance Centre for the Performing Arts (Where she was taught by the wonderful David Kendall, Peter Dunn and Jenn Havelberg), a BA Hons in History and English from The University of Adelaide, and heaps of professional development qualifications for working in adult education. Most recently Bec has worked for Patch Theatre (fill-in Executive Producer) and Restless Dance Theatre in arts administration. Alongside managing SAYarts she also works for the History Trust of South Australia, and for SA Speech and Drama with Lois Brimblecombe.

Bec’s job at SAYarts is all the administrivia, keeping us up to date with legislation pertaining to working with children & young people, networking, applying for grants, and generally making sure that everyone is happy!

“I feel so privileged to work with these students – it is a very rewarding experience knowing that for some of these kids, these classes are the best thing that happens to them all week. What we do here is worthwhile. The arts produce creative, empathetic, thinking, well-rounded human beings. SAYarts contributes to a positive and sustainable culture of problem solving and innovation.” Bec Pannell

Currently working with multiple companies as a drama workshop facilitator and also Social Worker, Tamara Lee Collins draws on her extensive and varied experience as an actor. After graduating from acting college in 1998, she had the pleasure of extensively touring South Australia and interstate with Splash Theatre Company, and once based in Adelaide she went on to work on various theatre productions with companies such as: Chopt Logic, Holden Street Theatres, Junglebean and SULIS Theatre Company from the UK. In 2008 she performed the one-woman play “A Solitary Choice” which went on tour to the Edinburgh Fringe, Seymour Centre in Sydney, Theatre Works in Melbourne and the Kansas City Fringe in the US. In the Adelaide premiere of ‘That Face’ she played Martha for which she won the Adelaide Critics Choice Award. She was in Flying Penguins’ production of “The Dark Room” for the State Theatre Company’s Umbrella initiative, Tutti Arts production; “Eye Music”, “This Storm” with The Un-Rest Cure – written by Ben Brooker and she has worked with Van Badham on “Late Night Story”. Her Film and TV credits include ‘Look Both Ways’, ‘Closed for Winter’, ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ ‘McLeod’s Daughters’ and Tim Minchin’s ‘Upright’. She has also enjoyed taking part in various short films such as; ‘Aunty Joan’s Friendly Grotto’, ‘One Mans Treasure’, ‘The Luck of the Irish’, ‘Things Have Changed’, Police training video ‘Dark Blue’ and ‘Davi’, directed by Victoria Cocks. Tamara also has extensive experience participating in role-plays for various exam environments, drama workshops and training. She is a Social Worker and Drama Facilitator as well as an Actor to and looks forward to combining her arts practice with the health profession in a creative, community-focused context. Tamara’s most recent production was Sarah Peter’s play Blister at Holden Street Theatres in July 2019 for which Tamara had to create multiple characters.

We recently asked Tamara why she loves working with young people:

Why have you chosen to work with kids? Working with kids is something that I continually find inspiring and joyous. It is a privilege to get to know the young people we work with. I love the challenges, flexibility & commitment that the work involves. 

What is the most surprising thing you learnt about yourself working with kids?I’ve learned that I can embrace chaos as a positive aspect to a workshop, or a project, or life. Working within this area means there will be moments of (productive & creative) chaos and embracing that is something I find essential. *by chaos, I don’t mean a workshop without structure. I mean the type of natural chaos that we need to move through as a group in order to find the really good creative stuff!Why is youth theatre important in the arts ecology? 

Youth theatre is about finding and enhancing personal strengths, contributing to a community, belonging, skills development, confidence building, acceptance, learning resourcefulness… the list could go on and on. It’s a learning platform that can set young people up as a foundation towards a fulfilling arts career. Or a valuable addition to life skills development.What delights you most about working with kids?    Their voracity and uniqueness. It inspires me all the time and keeps me laughing!

Laurie was originally trained at Salford University in the UK, where he was lucky enough to have a real grounding in acting. He then went on for more formal drama training at ALRA (The Academy Of Live & Recorded Arts), in London.

Laurie has been acting professionally for almost twenty years now, and in that time he has worked in TV, Theatre and Film.In 2016, he moved with his family from his hometown of Manchester in the UK, to Adelaide in Australia. As well as acting here, he also teaches Speech and Drama at several schools.

Laurie’s interests outside of the performing arts include: an obsessional passion for alternative/independent music, and script writing for both stage and screen. Laurie teaches for Star Academy, SA Speech & Drama. Foror SAYarts he takes our Bowden classes.

Alan Grace has long been a SAYarts favourite. He wrote Goddess on a Highway (2019) and I Still Have No Friends (2018) for Claire Glenn and On the Fringe. He is highly regarded as an actor, theatre-maker and playwright. Alan graduated from AC Arts (Acting) in 2007, and was Dramaturg /Assistant Director for floogle’s Ollie and the Minotaur for Fringe 2008.The Embryos, written by Alan, was produced in Fringe 2010, and received a nomination for the Jill Blewett’s Playwright’s Award. In 2010, for Duende he directed Theatre Ltd, wrote Pinter in the Pub for Urban Myth, and participated in Vitalstatistix’ Adhocracy.

In 2011, his play No Hello premiered in Fringe, garnering a Inspace Development Nomination, and was listed in dB magazines Top Ten Shows of the Year. He conceived The Play-Off Challenge and directed Bigger than Beanbag for it. Duende premiered Slicing and Dicing!!! directed by Peter Dunn.

In 2012, Duende premiered German Diary and Truth Teller – which he produced and directed. Second years at AC Arts performed Hysterical Blindness, directed by David Mealor with dramaturgy from Aarne Neeme. He produced the Second Play-Off Challenge and directed the winning play Red Ink by Duncan Graham, and participated in Adhocracy 2012 with the resident artists, Parachutes for Ladies. His play sex play premiered in the Blackbox season in November that year, and Reckless Abandon was read for’s Reading Sessions.

In 2013 The Shelter is a Trap, for Urban Myth/No Strings Attached Theatre of disability, an epic featuring a cast of more than twenty women, with many scenes performed exclusively in AUSLAN was comissioned. He  participated in Forever Now initiative, working with APHIDS and Jeff Kahn, which will send a golden record of art into space. He is currently working on new collaborative projects with female identifying artists in Adelaide.
Alan is really excited to be working with SAYarts in the capacity of writing mentor and On The Fringe lead artist & facilitator.

Tim is a graduate of AC Arts, and brings a wealth of performing experience to SAYarts. He is Lead Artist for our Little Tackers and Tackers and assists for Playmakers and KINDRED. Tim is our Movement Specialist. He has performed with The Paperboats, and for various other companies in SA.

Zoe is the Lead Artist for our KINDRED Collective. She approaches all her creative work with dynamism, energy and the purpose of inspiring and motivating collaborators and audiences. Zoe has recently returned home to Adelaide from a long career in Sydney, and brings her experiences working as a Theatre Maker, Director, Performer, Teaching Artist and Drama Educator to SAYArts. With a speciality in physical theatre methods, Zoe also creates, directs and performs across genres ranging from contemporary theatre, classical theatre, musical theatre, devised theatre, youth theatre, drama in education and improvisation. Across her career, she has directed, performed in, and devised a multitude of productions, taking her on a unique career trajectory in theatre and the arts.

readyZoe is a 2020 graduate of the Creative Entrepreneur Program with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre in Brisbane and she is currently the Head of Drama at Concordia College. Additionally, she holds an Arts Degree (Drama Studies), Certificate 3 in Arts Administration and a Master of Teaching (Drama) from the University of Sydney. Zoe will also lead our new Company ensemble in 2022, dedicated to teaching the importance of ensemble in theatre making and facilitating artists through the process from ready-made scripts to stage.

Harry has been with SAYarts since our beginning, first as a member of Mythconception with Nicole Allen then moving into Troupe Mythos. For SAYarts Harry performed the lead role in Aftershocks (Adelaide Fringe), Zeus in This Bloody House, The Prince in Grimmer. Harry is the assistant for Little Tackers, Tackers, and In Cahoots. Harry is a musician – his instrument is the trombone and we love that about him.

Jonah is a senior member of the Company. He has performed in Only Human (Dir. Claire Glenn) and in our Dream BIG 2021 season of Everything they Ever Said With Fingers Crossed Behind Their Backs (Dir Clara Solly Slade). Jonah assists in our Bright Sparks program and performs in our KINDRED Collective.

Clara Solly-Slade graduated from the acting stream of The Adelaide College of the Arts in 2013 but has predominantly worked as a director for the last few years. Most recently she has worked on the Act Now/State Theatre of South Australia’s Decameron 2.0 acclaimed ground-breaking online series of original stories. She is currently working with State Theatre Company of South Australia and State Opera of South Australia as the recipient of the 2019/2020 Helpmann Academy Emerging Director Fellowship. As part of this program she has worked as Assistant Director on Dance Nation and A View from the Bridge for State Theatre, and Madama Butterfly, Madeline Lee, and The Cunning Little Vixen for State Opera. She was Transfer Director for Animal Farm (State). Clara has worked as a workshop facilitator for Australian Theatre for Young People, and Assistant Director for Sport for Jove. In 2016 she undertook the Acting Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London, and was able to complete this training with financial support from both the Ian Potter Foundation and The Helpmann Academy. In 2017 Clara participated with La Mama Experimental Theatre Company at their International Directors Symposium in Italy. Clara has worked with Australian Theatre for Young People in their Director’s Intensive. Clara was awarded the Helpmann Academy’s Neil Curnow Award to fund a working trip in the USA in 2018, where she interned with LaMama as well as The H.E.A.T Collective and Working Classroom – two companies who work making theatre with a social justice agenda.


SAYarts is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all of our students and members. As such, we take Child Safety and First Aid seriously. We are also keenly aware of the needs and issues that surface during the development of children and in particular, emerging adults.

Rebecca Pannell has completed training in Child Safe Environments. She also has over 11 years experience as a live-in Dean/Principal on University campuses in a pastoral, academic and operational role. She was central to the development of pastoral care and wellbeing programs and training across the residential community sector in Australia.

Our core tutors are all working creative professionals with accredited training through a national theatre school such as AC Arts. They have decades of experience and all are police checked.

All of our child-aged workshops have two tutors: a full tutor and an assistant tutor who is usually recruited from the Senior Ensemble to train as a tutor. This helps protect the children and the staff. All of our Assistant Tutors are police checked. All tutors undergo a workshop at the beginning of each year that outlines their responsibilities before, during and after workshops.

Managing Director/ Creative Producer Rebecca Pannell has the following accreditations:

  • Fire Safety and Chief Warden
  • Senior First Aid
  • WHS for supervisors
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid
  • Child Safe Environments
  • Asthma First Aid
  • RSA
  • Frontline Management (Flinders / TAFE)
  • Bachelor of Arts Hons (Adelaide)
  • Diploma of Performance (Adelaide College of the Arts/CPA)