Programs Producer Peta Downes

Peta is a theatre director, producer, arts manager and artist educator of twenty-nine years’ experience.

She joined the Fringe team in 2022, fresh from eight years of managing the Bachelor of Performance (Dramatic Arts) program at the Australian Institute of Music, where she was a director in residence and executive producer of the annual performance practice program and trained emerging artists in acting, creating and producing. Other key arts management roles held include Executive Coordinator, Associate Degree in Creative Industries (WSU); Course Manager, National Short Courses (NIDA) and Business and Product Development Executive, Major Theatre, Arts & Special Projects (Showbiz).

Peta was a performer in her early creative career, training in the Suzuki and Viewpoints methods with Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre in Brisbane, performing the role of Lady Macbeth in the 1998 inaugural production of “Macbeth: As Told by the Weird Sisters” directed by Simon Woods at the Princess Theatre. In 1999, Peta travelled to New York to train in both methods with renowned avant garde director Anne Bogart and core members of the SITI Company at their month-long Summer Intensive in Saratoga Springs.

As a director and producer, Peta has developed new theatre works with Brisbane Powerhouse, Metro Arts (Brisbane), Darlinghurst Theatre Company and the Seymour Centre (Sydney) and has worked for theatre companies La Bôite Theatre Company (director, assistant director), the Queensland Theatre Company (assistant director, artist educator) and the Bell Shakespeare Company (associate director/artist educator). As an artist educator, she has worked extensively with acting and theatre students at QUT, UNSW, NIDA, CQU (Rockhampton), CSU (Wagga Wagga), Actors Centre Australia, Academy of Film, Theatre & Television, Sydney Theatre School and the Australian Institute of Music (Dramatic Arts).

Peta has been a member of the Theatre Network NSW Board since 2018 and is a passionate advocate for emerging artists and the development of independent theatre. In addition to her extensive work in the theatre and education sectors, she has recently completed her PhD which was focused on the development of independent theatre in Australia.