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About Us

Founded by Emily Ardley in 2015, (it’s no) drama is a physical theatre ensemble for individuals with and without disability living in South Gippsland. The ensemble explores ideas and stories that express diverse ways of seeing and being in the world. (it’s no) drama is committed to artistic excellence in practice and performance. It forges strong connections with professional artists locally and abroad to ensure its performance work and community outreach workshops are situated firmly in the contemporary, professional theatre and performance realm.   

Our Story

In December 2015, Emily Ardley approached Alisha Gilliland, then Access and Inclusion Officer at South Gippsland Shire Council, with the idea of creating an inclusive theatre company in the small regional town of Leongatha. This was the beginning of (it’s no) drama.

Alisha Gilliland recounts: The story begins in December 2015 when Emily came to me and said “we need a drama group here!” and we set about how we could make that happen. We talked to Emily’s friends at Rawcus and they mentored us in the process of delivering experiential workshops in Leongatha and Wonthaggi in April 2016 so that people with disability could get a taste for contemporary movement theatre. Alongside those workshops we held community conversations, so that the wider community could flag their interest and express potential support in relation to the idea of developing an inclusive drama ensemble in Leongatha.

On the strength of the commitment to the idea, we sought support from Regional Arts Victoria and South Gippsland Shire Council and received a “Toe in the Water” grant, which allowed us to employ locally based Artistic Director, Samara Cunningham, and Artistic Associate, Jenneke Kijlstra-Shone. The professional mentorship by Nilgun Guven, Rachel Edward, Hannah Bradsworth and Michael Buxton from Rawcus built the capacity and confidence of the (it’s no) drama creative team, as well as that of the ensemble, to develop and deliver the outstanding original work, Unreserved in October 2017. The showing of this work to our supporters and community was the beginning of the journey to becoming an ensemble. The momentum to continue was supported once again by Regional Arts Victoria through a Cultural and Skills Development Grant and South Gippsland Shire Council, which enabled the ensemble and creative team to build and diversify their skills in the development and showing of Real. Not Real. in March 2019. This process and outcome was a pivotal achievement in the journey of the ensemble and creative team and, in achieving this success, we set our sights on the longer term goal of evolving into a company. 

Meet The Team

Our Supporters

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Join the team

Current paid opportunities:

There are currently no paid opportunities with (it’s no) drama. Future positions will be advertised here.

Current volunteer opportunities:

There are currently no volunteer opportunities with (it’s no) drama. Future positions will be advertised here.

If you are interested in being involved with (it’s no) drama, please contact

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