Meet the Rebus Theatre team
Robin Davidson - Artistic Director
Robin Davidson is an actor, clown, director, teacher and writer. He is a graduate of Charles Sturt University in Theatre/Media, with First Class Honours. He devises theatre with communities, including five years as founding artistic director of Hidden Corners Theatre, a company for young carers (young people who have a family member with a disability), seven years as director of Imperfectly Sane Productions, the Mental Health Foundation ACT’s theatre company, and fifteen years as a founding member of Canberra Playback Theatre. He has taught in East Timor, Indonesia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. He was co-awarded the 2005 Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance ACT Green Room Award for services to community theatre. He also performs, directs and teaches clown and Commedia dell’Arte, including having performed in Nara Japan and at the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games.
He has extensive experience in project management, having led dozens of arts projects from concept, through consultation, finding funding, enactment, documentation and evaluation. He has worked with a wide variety of communities including young carers, people who experience mental illness, people with disability, young adult migrants, children, at risk young people, environmentalists, climate scientists, teachers, first nations people and others.
Robin is the founding director of Rebus Theatre. He co-leads the company with Ben Drysdale and Cara Matthews. As well as teaching and directing projects, his primary responsibilities are strategic planning and grant writing.
Cara Matthews - Creative Producer/Actor
Cara Matthews is an award-winning actor, director and educator who expertly uses her own lived experience and that of others to develop and deliver innovative and engaging performances around mental health and disability. She is a compassionate and dynamic teacher with a proven ability to work with people of all circumstances and abilities and has an extensive background in improvisation.
Cara is also highly skilled and experienced in financial and administrative management, with meticulous attention to detail and proven leadership skills. She is co-founder and Creative Producer of Rebus Theatre, an award-winning theatre company in the ACT, and has a Certificate IV in acting for stage and screen from Canberra Academy of Dramatic Arts. She was the recipient of the 2015 Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award for Emerging Young Leader, as well as a 2019 Finalist for ACT Woman of the Year.
Cara appeared in the 2012 'Best Production' winning play 'Smart Jimmy Slow Bob', is the voice of the National Library e-learning platform, and appeared in 2014 feature film 'Somebody Else's Country'. In 2016 she was Artistic Director of 'All In' Variety Show, as well as teaching several classes and workshops to people from various backgrounds. In 2017 she performed in 'This is my Brave' and in 2018, she co-developed and performed in 'Moving Climates' and 'Open Doors Open Minds', as well as acting as a mentor for the Australian Defence Force's (ADF) Arts for Recovery, Resilience, Teamwork and Skills (ARRTS) program. In 2019, she was Artistic Director of Access All Areas:Health and will be directing Access All Areas: Justice in September.
Ben Drysdale - Communications Manager/Actor
Ben Drysdale is an energetic and highly capable Actor, Director, Drama Tutor, Musician, Events Coordinator, with a proven ability to consistently deliver quality results in a broad range of professional and community arts projects. Ben completed a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and English at ANU in 2005. As part of this degree he completed a 2-year Acting, Voice and Movement program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Since returning to Australia he has worked as a musician, actor, director, producer and community arts events coordinator both independently, and in conjunction with community organisations.
Ben’s professional theatre credits include The Give and Take (Street Theatre 2007), Out of Our Minds (Belconnen Theatre 2010), Heart of a Dog (Street Theatre 2014), and Under Sedation (Street Theatre 2016). He also played the lead role in an amateur production of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (Courtyard Studio 2016).
Ben has worked as an actor and producer on a range of community-based arts projects including acting in Imperfectly Sane (2007), Imperfectly Sane Too (2008), which were theatre projects funded by the Mental Health Foundation, co-producing the The Hunting Season (2008) funded by the Foundation for Young Australians, and producing The Mindscapes Mish Mash Variety Night (2013-2016) in partnership with Belconnen Community Service and the Mental Health Community Coalition.
Since Rebus began in 2013, Ben has performed as a professional actor in the creative development Fractured (2016), and on numerous occasions delivering Rebus’ forum theatre-based workplace training, has taught numerous drama workshops and classes including the Acting and Performance stream of the Australian Defence Force’s Arts for Recovery Resilience Teamwork and Skills program, and worked as producer and director on All In (2016), Open Doors Open Minds (2018), and Moving Climates (2018).
Ali Clinch - Director/Facilitator
Ali is an award winning actor & director specialising in the effectiveness of theatre as a tool for education, engagement and social change. Ali’s theatre experience includes: actor, director, musician, scriptwriter, choreographer, lighting designer & stage manager. Ali is the Artistic Director for ‘Acting With Ali’ a drama, dance and music school operating out of Queanbeyan. She is also an Associate Artist with Rebus Theatre working on several projects that use theatre to ignite social change.
Ali specialises in personalised tuition that aims to unlock the artist within. She feels honoured to be invited to work on various Rebus Theatre projects including: Fractured, ARRTS with Defence, L'arche Inclusive Drama Classes, Bridges or Barricades - addressing conflict in schools using Forum Theatre, Moving Climates and many more. The company is a joy to work for and she hopes to spend many years contributing to their artistic work.
Heidi Silberman is a Canberra based performer, writer, director and educator. She has been performing improvised and scripted theatre for over 10 years, including many performances in Improvention the international festival of improvised theatre. She co-created, performed in and directed “The Home Front” which received 4 and 5 star reviews at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and high acclaim for its Canberra season.
Her plays have been staged in festivals in Canberra, Sydney and Wagga Wagga. In 2014 she performed as part of Sisters Three which won Best Ensemble at the Gala Grand Final of Short + Sweet Canberra. Heidi is working towards a Certificate IV in Acting for Stage and Screen. She is also a Clown Doctor as well as co-founder of Canberra theatre company Chrysalis Theatre.
Sammy Moynihan is a theatre-maker/performer with a particular interest in working with and for diverse communities and young people.
In 2013, he created an online community for young people living with multiple sclerosis. He gained a large following and was nominated for Bupa’s Blog of the Year in 2014. This led him to think broadly of the power of storytelling to transform and inspire. He expresses these values through his work for Mind Blank Ltd. The company performs at schools across the country, generating conversations about mental health through forum theatre.
He has recently completed his Master of Fine Arts (Cultural Leadership) at NIDA. For the final subject, he toured around France with Palestinian organisation, The Freedom Theatre before staying at their headquarters in Jenin Refugee Camp on the West Bank in Palestine. He was the recipient of NIDA’s Lynne Williams Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Leadership.
Sammy was on the executive board for Playing Field, providing artists with inexpensive venue hire and residency opportunities. He is currently working as Program Coordinator at Canberra Youth Theatre.
Ruth O’Brien is a vocalist with more than 15 years of performing experience.
Ruth’s writing style infuses the sounds of blues, jazz with pop, electronic sounds and looping. She also enjoys improvising with other artists and experimenting with new sounds.
Ruth plays an active role in the arts in Canberra as a performer, coach and arts administrator.
Ruth has worked with Rebus as an Actor and vocalist on a number of projects.
Katie Senior is an actress, dancer and choreographer working in a community, cross cultural and special needs context. She enthusiastically takes part in dance productions at Canberra Theatre as well as many interstate eisteddfods and competitions. She volunteers every week as a student teacher to work with young dancers and a special needs dance troupe.
In June 2010 she was given the leading role in the short film ‘Beautiful’. The film has been a huge success, playing at Melbourne’s Other Film Festival in September 2012 and was shown at Film Festivals in New York and Belgium in 2013.
In July 2013 Katie successfully auditioned to be a part of the REBUS theatre ensemble; a mixed ability group of actors that will make workplaces and communities more accepting of people with a disability. REBUS is the perfect solution for public sector agencies and private sector companies looking for fresh ways to present access and inclusion training. REBUS is staff training with impact that helps meet requirements under the ‘As One:’ Australian Public Service Disability Employment Strategy.
Past Team members
Meredyth joined Rebus Theatre in 2013 with her debut performance in forum theatre. Meredyth has an extensive background as an advocate and public educator on issues surrounding people with disabiltieis.
With a background in jazz and ballroom dancing, Meredyth has worked as a catwalk and photographic model, and appeared in many print and radio media campaignes. She has worked extensively in schools teaching disability education awareness programs to school aged children.
John is an actor in theatre, film, television and corporate video. He has skills in drama, comedy and role play. He is also a radio broadcaster and television presenter.
Before becoming a member of Rebus, John was a speechwriter and manager in the Federal Public Service.
Kate Diggle is a psychotherapist and facilitator and works in the EAP industry. She has a passion for working with groups and finding creative ways to engage people.
While Kate doesn’t identify as having a disability, like many, she has had her own struggles with mental health problems and is passionate about creating safe spaces to discuss these and other ‘not talked about’ issues in our society.
Joining Rebus was an opportunity for Kate to rediscover a passion for acting that has been ignited since high school and she is loving it!
Our own International man of mystery, Uday Vasu performed street theatre in his native country of India.
Uday, a support worker, adds his experiences working with people with disabilities to the Rebus experience in his debut not only to Australian theatre, but also acting in English.
Despite being a character of few words, Simba executes a flawless performance, demonstrating technical excellence, and injecting texture and interest into the REBUS story line.
Starring as his owner's guide through shopping centres, public transport and in her workplace, Simba's debut performance in forum theatre is something not to be missed.