Jay Emmanuel

Perth, WA

Jay is a theatre-maker, writer, director, creative producer and community advocate. He is committed to community development using participatory theatre making processes, actively engaging the CACD space to facilitate expression for communities to tell their stories. Engagement with moral dilemmas around race, identity, gender, sexuality, social exclusion has enabled communities, especially young people from migrant, refugee and queer communities to speak up in often hostile environments. Children of the Sea is one such collaborative project spanning four years of research and development.

Apart from Children of the Sea, Jay is currently working as a devisor on the adaptation of Mahabharata by Why Not Theatre (Canada) and has recently appeared in Helpmann award-winning play Counting and Cracking by Belvoir St/Co-Curious. In the past, he has worked with Theatre du Soleil (France), Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Perth Festival Lab, Perth Winter Arts Festival (WA) and with internationally renowned director Ariane Mnouchkine.

In October 2016, he founded St George’s Dance and Theatre program and has produced several well-received works including; Helpmann Award-nominated A Migrant’s Son, Fringe award-winning work Syncope, Biryani (Perth Winter Arts Festival), a solo show MAA, and In Between (Encounter), To Tell Tales (KickstART Festival) and co-produced In Situ (Strut Dance Co) and Proximity Festival.

In 2019, he was shortlisted for WA Young Person of the Year award and Woodside Best Emerging Arts Award in 2016. He is a graduate of the two-year program at Ecole Jacques Lecoq.

In 2020, Jay founded Encounter, WA’s new Theatre Company that champions stories from diverse cultures. Featuring a professional ensemble of emerging and established culturally diverse performers, it stages unique productions of excellence while exploring innovative and collaborative ways of making new theatre works. We are compiling a database for artists of diversity in WA, and forging partnerships with national and international companies. Encounter tells untold Australian stories and shares them with the world. We decolonize theatre. We advocate and we lead.

In everything we do, we acknowledge that we live on Aboriginal land and constantly learn from the wisdom of First Peoples.

Where we are and the history that precedes us informs how we work and how we move forward.