MiCHAELA BOLZAN – CREATIVE & CO
After fifteen years of producing in-flight entertainment for airlines and corporate communications, Creative Director, Michaela Bolzan has recently set up her own company (in 2011) called Creative & Co. The company is a dynamic, collaborative group of artists working together to create theatre, film and festivals. The group aims to produce work that inspires, challenges and entertains their audiences.
Michaela has a history creating theatre and in her words “marching to the beat of her own drum”. After completing her B.A. Honours with a major in Drama at the University of Newcastle, and at only 21 years of age she and a friend set up a theatre company in Sydney writing “issues based plays”. Writing, directing, producing and acting in her plays, now almost twenty years ago, Michaela found plenty to talk about. Current issues of the time were sadly issues that still remain issues today. Youth suicide and underage drinking were just two of the subjects that Michaela wrote plays about. She and her partner toured the plays around schools with great success. She says that these were “the most fulfilling years of my life” and she felt that “my skills were being used for good” by bringing this issues to life through theatre. These early experiences in theatre lead her to roles working with the airlines and corporate communications as a Creative Director. This role took her around the world on a regular basis, visiting her clients and producing world class film and media. The next time you are travelling in-flight on Virgin Australia, for example, you might see some of her work including the multi-awarding winning animated safety video, featuring Richard Branson.
Micheala’s current company, Creative & Co is developing a new play about the life of Sylvia Beach. The play will be set in Paris between World Wars I and II, when the French city was the cultural and literary capital of the Western World. People from around the world were flocking there hoping to participate in the experimental advances of the artistic community. Though it only lasted until the start of World War II, this time saw the beginning of a number of the major European artistic movements including Modernism, Dadaism and Surrealism.
As a young American woman, Sylvia travelled from her hometown of Princeton to Paris where she opened the first English bookshop, called Shakespeare and Company. For twenty years the shop became a literary magnet for artists including James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and many of the other women who made Paris of the 20s and 30s the hub of artistic pursuits.
FESTIVALS – The inaugural Southern Highlands Writers’ Festival
Micheala and her company, Creative & Co will be launching the inaugural Southern Highland Writers’ Festival in July 2012. This two-day event (21-22 July 2012) will feature talks, panel discussions and reading by some of Australia’s leading writers.
The festival will be held at the stunning Gibraltar Hotel in Bowral. Set on a beautiful 100 acre estate in the picturesque Southern Highlands of NSW (only 90mins from both Sydney and Canberra), the Gibraltar Hotel has a reputation for golfing excellence, fine food and now an innovative writers’ festival.
Check out www.southernhighlandswritersfestival for details.
As a Women of Change, Michaela was a speaker at a recent Women in Leadership forum, where she was quoted as saying that “the world needs sensible women to lead companies and countries” and no doubt more women “marching to the beat of their own drum” like Micheala herself!
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