Female Director in Residence

Supported by Craig Reeves

Our annual Female Director in Residence position provides intensive career development, personal mentoring and a salary to an emerging female theatre director. The only program of its kind in Australia, the program offers a deeply engaged professional development opportunity.

In the seventh year of the program, Sapidah Kian has been appointed the Director in Residence for 2017.

An Iranian Australian theatre practitioner with 23 years of professional experience, Sapidah trained as an actor and has also completed a master of theatre practice at VCA. She has worked extensively in the independent sector and currently lectures in theatre at VCA.


Sapidah is an actor, director and theatre maker. As an actor, she has worked extensively across film, television, theatre and radio. Recent acting credits include: In-Fidelity (Complete Smut Art Auction-FOLA 16), Tomorrow When the War Began (ABC), The Five Provocations (Black Eye Films-due for release 2017), Partisan (Warp Films), Catalyst Club (24 Hour Experience-FOLA 14), Gallipoli (Endemol-Southern Star), Rake 2 (ABC), City Homicide (7).

Recent theatre making credits include Freewheelin’, Queerum and Catalyst Club (24 Hour Experience-FOLA 14), I Am The Wind (Turtle Lab/Public Front), Never Swim Alone and Light (Verve Studios), Curtains (Carnegie 18 for Full Tilt/Vic Arts Centre), Ulrike Meinhof Sings (Turtle Lab). Sapidah has also worked as a dramaturg and provocateur in theatre and film, most recently with Iranian Australian performance group, Baran, for Metro Arts/PWA. She was co-founder of Turtle Lab, a performance laboratory investigating creative process, directing works and engaging in performance research on projects such as Troilus and Cressida (RSC/The Wooster Group).

Since 2013, she has been lecturing in theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts across graduate and undergraduate programmes. Sapidah currently sits on the Green Room Independent Theatre Panel.

Previous Director in Residence participants are Janice Muller (2016), Samara Hersch (2015), Clare Watson (2014), Roslyn Oades (2013) Adena Jacobs (2012) and Anne-Louise Sarks (2011).

Given Malthouse Theatre’s record of artistic exploration and collaborative practice, I am absolutely thrilled to be offered this appointment. As a CALD practitioner, opportunities to work in mainstage contexts can be limited. I am excited to be part of a broadening conversation around diversity and inclusivity in our theatres.

– Sapidah Kian

The Female Director in Residence program is made possible by the generous support of Craig Reeves.