BORN IN A TAXI (“Taxi”) is a multi award winning theatre company from Australia who enjoys mixing dance with humour, the profound with the profane and the familiar with the unlikely.

 
 
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Established in 1989, Taxi is one of Melbourne’s most highly regarded physical theatre ensembles and creators of contemporary performance. They are recognised for producing highly original, physically driven and participatory works in site specific and outdoor contexts that focus on real time co-creation. In the last ten years the company have been commissioned to create four new theatre works for young people by Arts Centre Melbourne. Immediacy, responsiveness and play are at the centre of everything they do.

Taxi are interested in the body’s intelligence in performance making, allowing impulse, the unconscious and associate mind to take centre stage in the making of live performance. They are driven to make connections to audiences of all ages and all abilities through performances, workshops and community development.

Taxi’s work has been seen at World Theatre Festival Powerhouse Brisbane, Perth International Festival, Melbourne International Festival, Melbourne Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival, White Night Melbourne, Enlighten Festival Canberra, Manchester Commonwealth Games, Gwacheon Hanmadang & Goyang Lake Park (Korea), Sziget (Hungary), Oerol Festival and Theatrefestival Boulevard (Netherlands), ISTF Ghent & Chasspierre (Belgium) plus many more.

 
Cutting-edge experimental theatre: a profound exploration of how we choreograph ourselves from chaos.
— Cameron Woodhead, The Age
 

 

Awards

Powerhouse Performance Award,
Melbourne Fringe Festival 2010

Best Production,
Best Independent Theatre,
and Best Female Actor Award

Arts Centre Melbourne Short & Sweet Festival 2008

Best Production Award
Melbourne Fringe Festival 2005

De Grote Prix Jury Award
International Street Theatre Festival Ghent Belgium 2003


Born in a Taxi has been invited to bring The Whale’s Tale, The Curious Game and the Zebras to USA in 2017.

The Directors

Carolyn Hanna
Creative Director, Indoor Theatre

Penny Baron
Creative Director, Outdoor Theatre

 

The Staff

Carolyn Hanna/ Performer/Deviser

Carolyn is a multi disciplinary performance-maker, director and arts manager. She has been co-artistic director of physical theatre company Born in a Taxi since 1996, contributing heavily to the conceptual development of many of their works. She is interested in the unknown, public space, mortality, instincts, limits and the essence of celebration. Companies she has worked with include Triage, Strange Fruit, Rawcus, The Other Tongue, Weave, Company 13, CreatAbility and the Humour Foundation. As a member of Strange Fruit and Born in a Taxi she has toured extensively throughout Europe and South America. In 2013 Carolyn formed performance art collective Plasticus with visual artist Vanessa White, images of Plasticus #3 were shown at The Biennial Project - ArtVenice Biennale 3 2015. Most recently her work has been seen as part of international live art collaboration Hotel Obscura by Triage in FOLA Arts House Melbourne.

 

Penny Baron / Performer & Deviser

Penny has worked extensively for the past 24 years as a theatre maker, performer, director and teacher. As well as her long standing role in Born in a Taxi, she is also a founding member of The Business theatre company and The Rhonda Movement. Penny’s awards have included the 1992 and 1993 Melbourne Fringe ABC Best Short Work Award, the 1996 Melbourne Fringe Moosehead Award, the 1999 Melbourne Fringe Best Comedy Award and the 2003 Melbourne International Comedy Festival inaugural British Council Oz Export Award. She has worked with Bell Shakespeare, Polygolt, Rawcus, Weave, Dislocate, The Dream Masons, Shaken and Suspicious, The Grimstones, CreatAbilty and Company 13. Penny completed a 2-year solo residency at VUT Footscray in 2010/11. Most recently she was dramaturge on If These Walls Could Talk by Dislocate Melbourne International Festival 2014 and performed How High The Sky with Polyglot in Hong Kong and Macau, July 2015. She was senior artist/mentor with Sue Giles for NúcleoDéDaLoS in Pircacicaba, Brazil during the development of a new children’s work and was a lead actor in Dwelling, a large scale out door performance in Big West 2015 nominated for a Green Room Award.

 

Nick Papas / Performer & Deviser 

Nick is a founding member of Born in a Taxi. He has trained in Improvised Movement, Clowning, Butoh and Contemporary Dance and is an original member of The Urban Dream Capsule, (a 2 week durational performance living inside shop windows) which toured worldwide for ten years after its inaugural appearance in the Myer Melbourne windows for the 1996 Melbourne International Festival. Nick has also performed with Melbourne Playback Theatre Company, The Blue Project, The Great Melbourne Accordion Orchestra and The Omnibus of Dreams. His directing and teaching skills have led him to teach numerous workshops on the Born in a Taxi improvisation methodology to theatre and dance practitioners as well as disability groups like Back to Back, Weave, Just Us, Monkami and Rawcus. He has also mentored youth at risk supported by City of Kingston and the Geelong Performing Arts Centre. In 2009 he created and directed Storming; an outdoor dance performance in three different locations combining 40 people from the Shire of Yarra community. In 2014 he directed Voice Mob, a street theatre project involving, voice, movement and flash mobbing with singing groups from the Yarra Ranges.  Other director credits include For The Love Of Pina with the mixed abilities group Rollercoaster, a dance piece inspired by the work of Pina Bausch.

 

Michael Havir / Composer & Musician

Michael is a Melbourne based musician, composer, sound designer and performer who takes a  strong collaborative approach to his multidisciplinary work with animators, dancers, physical performers, theatre makers, VJ's and music ensembles. He has worked with artists as varied as Born in a Taxi, The Village People, Yothu Yindi, the Melbourne Workers Theatre, Danceworks, Polyglot, Chamber Made Opera, Queensland Theatre Company, NICA, Playback, SBS-TV, The ABC, Stranger Cole and Dawn Penn (Jamaica) and the Melbourne Ska Orchestra. His practice combines versatility and adaptability with a strong sense of theatre. Using improvisation as a performance and compositional tool he has developed a special interest in using recorded and live text to create narrative threads in performance. His work has been described as, “Astonishing electronic soundscaping” (Cameron Woodhead The Age)…”sublime…. the brilliance of the composition never overshadows the performance itself…. it adds texture, depth and a necessary point of reference about the emotion being projected.” (Michael Kingston Buzz Cuts). He is the recipient of an ATOM and Empire Ridge award, and was Australia’s entrant at the MILIA festival France for Three Mile Creek (with multimedia artist Alyssa Rothwell). He has workshopped with avant garde singer David Moss, David Hykes of The Harmonic Choir and Tran Quang Hai (Le Musee de L’Homme France) in harmonic singing.

 

Jon Clarke / Puppeteer & Performer

Jon is a physical theatre performer, performance maker and producer in Melbourne. His work encompasses theatre, circus and dance and is driven by an interest in exploring presence as a performer and the connections between ensemble members and audiences. He has performed and produced work with the Darwin Theatre Company, Corrugated Iron Youth Arts, Contact Inc., TRACKS Dance Company, the Darwin Cabaret and Burlesque Collective, Born In A Taxi and The Creatures of Habit. He trained in choreography with TRACKS Dance in 2014 and in Physical Theatre with the John Bolton Theatre School in 2015.