Alison Croggon & Robert ReidWITNESS SALON
Alison Croggon is co-editor and founder of Witness. She is an award-winning novelist, poet, librettist and critic. She has 30 years experience reviewing performance for outlets such as the Australian, the ABC and The Monthly and generated an international reputation as a performance critic with her influential blog Theatre Notes, which revolutionised performance discourse in Australia. In 2009 she was the first online critic to win the prestigious Geraldine Pascall Critic of the Year Award.
Alison has published eight collections of poetry and several novels, including the acclaimed fantasy quintet The Books of Pellinor, Black Spring and The River and the Book. She won the Dame Mary Gilmore and Anne Elder Awards for poetry and the Wilderness Society’s 2016 Environment Award for Children’s Literature for The River and the Book. As well, her poetry collections and novels have been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the WA Premier’s Literary Award, and her most recent fantasy novel The Bone Queen was shortlisted for YA Book of the Year in the 2017 Aurealis Awards. She has written libretti for eight operas, including The Riders with Iain Grandage, for which they won Vocal/Choral Work of the Year in the Art Music Awards in 2015, and Mayakovsky with Michael Smetanin, for which her libretto was shortlisted for the Drama Prize in the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. You can find out more at alisoncroggon.com.
Robert Reid is co-editor and founder of Witness. His a freelance playwright, director, game designer and academic. He is the Artistic Director of the Australian live games company, Pop Up Playground, directed the Fresh Air International Games festival at Federation Square for three years and has created games for the White Night Festival, the State Library of Victoria, The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Bell Shakespeare and the Melbourne Football Club. His plays, The Joy of Text and On The Production of Monsters, were produced by Melbourne Theatre Company and his play Portraits of Modern Evil was shortlisted for both the Wal Cherry Award and the Griffin Award and was performed by Black Swan Theatre Company BSX in Perth. His play Eating Alone was shortlisted for the Griffin Award in 2013.
Robert was Artistic Director and a founding member of the independent theatre company, Theatre in Decay. Robert’s works produced by Theatre in Decay included The New Scum, Screaming in America: The Bill Hicks Project, All of Which are American Dreams, A Mile in Her Shadow, Sweet Staccato Rising and Empire. Robert published Hello World! Promoting the Arts on the Net, a Platform Paper for Currency House in 2011. He completed his PhD, After the Pram: a Survey of Independent Theatre in Melbourne, in 2016.