Geraldine Cook Dafner
Geraldine Cook-Dafner’s career as a drama teacher, youth theatre director, actor vocal trainer, voice artist and performer spans thirty years working in diverse professional and community contexts in her native London and Melbourne. Geraldine is currently the voice and dialect coach for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and is a regular voice, text and dialect coach for the Melbourne Theatre Company, where she has worked on over 25 productions.
In March 2021 Geraldine presented a performed reading of “Disptaches from the Frontline” at Her Place Museum and also joined Stork Theatre for their performed reading of The Iliad. Voice-over work includes a soundscape for the Melbourne Immigration Museum; a travelling exhibition for the centenary of Federation; an historic installation at the Melbourne Museum and ABC Radio First Person.
From 1999-2016 Geraldine trained actors at the Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne and held positions as Head of Voice, Head of School of Performing Arts and Associate Dean, Equity. She now is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the VCA. Her international credits as an actor vocal trainer include working in India at the Mumbai Centre for Performing Arts, Moscow Arts Theatre (supported by a Teaching Excellence Award, VCA) and De La Salle College of the Arts, Singapore.
Geraldine holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Melbourne. Her thesis examines her extensive research into the application of actor vocal training techniques with young deaf adults.
Naomi Edwards is a theatre and opera director and teaching artist. She is currently the Associate Director of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child. Recent credits include: Artistic Director: Patch Theatre Company. Creative Director: Wish Three More Wishes (Cochlear Implant Vocal empowerment ARC Research Project); Future Makers (Music Viva); Can You Hear Colour? Yo Diddle Diddle (Patch Theatre/Adelaide Festival); Peter and The Wolf with Miriam Margoyles and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Adelaide Festival/Foxtel); The Waiting Room (Melbourne Theatre Company); The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show; Cautionary Tales for Children (Arena Theatre); Hamlet (Sydney Theatre Company); The Season at Sarsaparilla, Who’s Afraid of The Working Class, Traps (VCA); Rabbit Hole (Red Stitch Theatre); Falling Awake (Milkcrate Theatre); How To Kill Your Husband, Noye’s Fludde (Victorian Opera); Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, The Magic Flute, The Barber of Seville (Opera Australia Schools); Actors at Work (Bell Shakespeare). As Resident Director: Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, Carmen, Lakmé (Opera Australia). As Assistant Director: In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play, Don’s Party, Poor Boy (Sydney Theatre Company/Melbourne Theatre Company); August: Osage County, Ninety (Melbourne Theatre Company). Naomi Edwards was awarded The Gloria Dawn/ Gloria Payten Fellowships and co-authored a Platform Paper on the value of Arts Education. Naomi holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education from Deakin, Graduate Diploma in Dramatic Arts (Direction) VCA.
Tristan Meecham is an artist whose multi-form creative practice is used as a tool for social change and community transformation. Together with Bec Reid, he is the Artistic Director of All The Queens Men.
All The Queens Men is an independent arts organisation, creating contemporary performance in collaboration with communities of all shapes, sizes and identities. All The Queens Men has built extensive relationships throughout the arts, equality, health, government, and community sectors, resulting in a thrilling body of work presented around the world. This has consolidated the company’s reputation as one of Australia’s most exciting community-focused arts organisations.
A short, joyous trailer of All The Queens Men projects can be viewed here: vimeo.com/queensmen/showreel
All The Queens Men projects are presented by leading festivals and cultural institutions including: Sydney Festival, Brisbane Festival, Darwin Festival, Victorian State Government, City of Melbourne, Bleach Festival (Gold Coast), National Theatre of Scotland, Luminate Festival (Scotland), West Kowloon Cultural District (Hong Kong), Salisbury International Arts Festival, Taipei International Arts Festival to name a few.
Recent projects include: The Coming Back Out Ball - a spectacular social event celebrating LGBTIQ+ elders; LGBTIQ+ Elders Dance Club - a free monthly social event for rainbow communities; Congress - a citizens’ assembly in which community collaborate with professional wordsmiths to create political first speeches; Fun Run - a riotous performance spectacle in Tristan runs a marathon on a treadmill live on stage supported by hundreds of local community performers; and Toy - a gender-neutral workshop where children build alternative toys of their dreams.
Accolades: 2017 and 2018 VicHealth Award, 2015, 2018, 2021 Green Room Awards, 2018 Globe Award, Finalist 2018 Melbourne Awards, Finalist 2018 LGBTI Awards, Finalist 2019 ANTI International Live Art Prize (All The Queens Men).