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Who is the Empire of Australia?

The Empire of Australia is a huge undertaking brought to life by a gang of clever, talented, and creative people all over the planet. Here are some of them...

Click on any name below to read more about each person involved...

Richard Kotulski    |     Wally Zialcita    |     Nell Bang-Jensen    |     Brad Rothbart    |     Piper-Jane Brown    |     Jacqueline Goldfinger    |     Joseph Leduc    |     Doug Baldwin    |     Alléne Hébert    |     Daniel Student    |     Enrique Andrade    |     Robert Hicks    |     Katie McFarland    |     Irish Harvey    |     Kathryn Franz    |     Genevieve Andersen    |     Samantha McKinney    |     Lucas Carlson    |     Jeff Omstead    |    

Join Our Ranks

If you are interested in building a humungous, immersive entertainment experience through live events, digital media, and the latest technology then you may be a perfect fit for our team.

The Empire of Australia generally compensates its creative collaborators in cash and/or company stock.

Actors

We are continually casting for live events, audio productions, and video projects.

If you would like to be considered for a role, please sign up for our casting notices.

Writers

The stories of the Empire of Australia are our lifeblood.

If you are an incurable storyteller who would be thrilled to work across mediums to tell irresistable stories then email us.

Designers

Graphics, physical objects, websites, special effects, and pure fucking magic.

If you love to create new things and if the idea of a creepy, delightful parallel universe excites you then get in touch.

Other Awesome People

Directors, marketers, videographers, composers, editors, accountants, or anybody else.

If the idea of working on a grand-scale, profitable, creative endeavor thrills you don't stay a stranger.

Richard Kotulski

Founder, Chief Ambassador, and Patient Zero

Richard Wakefield Kotulski

In 2009, Richard contracted a rare disease that caused him to hallucinate characters living in a parallel universe.

These characters were fun, wicked, brilliant, sexy, disturbing and delightful. They would not leave him alone.

Richard began to tell others of life in this parallel universe and the disease mysteriously spread.

In the time since he first contracted this illness, Richard has brainstormed and created, with the help of a small legion: a mystery podcast (The Joe Show); a science-fiction podcast (Under the Ancient Suns); an immersive New Year's Eve event (Tea and Terror); a website for an extremely creepy medical company (Morgen Genentech); a website for an extremely sexy events company (Sassy Lass Entertainment Company); an ad campaign for a clothing company (Cascadia Apparel); a post-apocalyptic house album (Mr. Darling is the Last Man Alive); and myriad other projects and events.

Prior to creating the Empire of Australia Richard worked in both technology and professional theatre.

Most recently, Richard served as the Director of Communications for the CenturyLink Innovations Lab where he led content and viral marketing.

Before that Richard served as VP of Operations at AppFog. While at AppFog Richard was in charge of all business operations for the company managing a $4M annual budget and overseeing all accounting/finance, human resources, legal, and facilities operations for the company. He oversaw buy-side and sell-side due-diligence and managed all aspects of integration with regard to CenturyLink's acquisition of AppFog in 2013.

Before making the switch full-time into technology, Richard worked as Casting Director and Literary Programming Assistant at The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia.

Richard's theatrical activites in Philadelphia included a stint as Board Chair of the Philadelphia Dramatists Center, National Advisory Board Member of the Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship, and Steering Committee Member of the New Play Initiative. Richard also created and managed the electronic voting system for Philadelphia's Barrymore Awards. Richard also directed critically acclaimed productions of Cabaret and Urinetown: The Musical.

Before transplanting to Philadelphia, Richard worked in professional theatre in his hometown of Portland, Oregon. Richard spent six years working on the production team of Portland Center Stage's JAW/West new plays festival. He founded Portland Theatre Works, a new works company, and worked at theatres including Artists Repertory Theatre, Profile Theatre, Theatre Vertigo, Defunkt Theatre, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's TBA Festival. Richard also served as a board member and Vice-Chair of the Portland Area Theatre Alliance.

A self-taught web developer, Richard is proficient in PHP, MYSQL, Javascript, HTML5 and CSS3.

Richard has built dozens of websites and web apps including LiteraryManager (used by 30+ theatres in North America), CastingManager, and The Playwrights Club.

Richard resides in one of the most amazing cities in the world, Portland, in one of the most breathtaking states, Oregon.

Wally Zialcita

Chief Story Officer

Wally Zialcita

Wally Zialcita has been a playwright, a story editor, a designer, and a dramaturg.

He has written for a number of large projects including two massive team-written productions: a play written "as-if-by Tennessee Williams," and a play that combined the worlds and characters of both Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.

Wally also created the Ozona Project, a serial drama that brought to life a fictionalized version of the town of Ozona, Texas. Wally has also created the world’s first ever open-source play, Jalapeño, Mon Amour, launched in Tucson, Arizona in 1988, and which has subsequently been written and rewritten by different authors twenty-one times, all of them fully produced. JMA is the experience that first steered Wally in the direction of large-scale, open-ended creative endeavors.

Nell Bang-Jensen

Creative Contributor

Nell Bang-Jensen

She has worked as a director, actor, and dramaturg for many theater companies including Luna Theater, Applied Mechanics, The Riot Group, Hedgerow Theatre, Plays & Players, InterAct Theatre Company, and the Philadelphia Dramatists Center.

She joined the artistic staff of the Wilma Theater in 2014.

Nell has also worked in education as a teaching artist for Philadelphia Young Playwrights and Hedgerow Theatre, and is one of three national curriculum designers for Microsoft’s Bing in the Classroom initiative.

She has trained through workshops with Jean-Rene Toussaint and the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training. She is a founding member of Murmuration Theater and was awarded a 2011-2012 Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for independent study and travel in seven countries.

Jacqueline Goldfinger

Creative Contributor

More coming soon!

Joe Leduc

Creative Contributor

More coming soon!

Doug Baldwin

Creative Contributor

Doug Baldwin

Doug Baldwin has a writing background that encompasses video, theatre, print, interactive media, journalism, and advertising. In styles that range from the serious to the comedic, he has written for some of the nation’s largest companies including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Sunbeam, Fidelity Investments, Nike, General Mills and many others.

His play The Xenophobe won First Place in the Writer’s Digest 2001 Writing Competition. His comedy Drawing Down Clio won the 1997 Oregon Book Award for Drama and Wrestling With Charlotte was a finalist in 2006 for the same award.

He is also a blogger at Stone-Cold Nuts, The Write Stuff, and Pitzkin Poker!

Brad Rothbart

Creative Contributor

Brad Rothbart

T-minus 6 months
Fetal stroke.
now I am
qualitatively different
from
you

4 first seizure
diagnosis
Cerebral Palsy

6 kids
chase me
off playground
throwing rocks
calling me retarded
Light dawns
never would I
fit in
and wheee--
I was free
I could invent and reinvent myself endlessly
they wanted a freak
they got one

15 English teacher / drama coach
announces
nothing above a “B”
if you aren’t in a show
never considered Theatre
audition for Our Town
get cast as Wally Webb
First night - walk out onstage, spotlight hits me
Revelation
this is what I want to do
with the rest of my life
I think
as I forget my only line

21 - leaving college
Head of drama department
apologizes
barely cast me for 4 years
because I reminded him
of his mother
who died of
Cancer
in his arms
at a time when
you couldn’t tell people
they had
Cancer

22 - Seattle
21 auditions in 18 days
not even a sniff of
a job
think about giving up
Being a plumber
suddenly sounds good
In a used bookstore
with rickety shelves
my rickety foot hits one
it sways
looks about to topple
instead
one lone book falls
at my feet
The Life of The Theatre: The Relation of the Artist to the Struggle of the People
by
Julian Beck
I go home with it
and my life is forever changed

24 -- NYC
Living my dream
working with the Living Theatre
creating collectively
putting my talent in the service of the world
speaking my truth from the stage

27
go to a meeting
in Iowa City
a meeting to see
if we have anything to talk about
turns out we do
meet some fantastic playwrights
brilliant Theatre workers
this becomes
The RAT Conference

29
father dies suddenly
age 59
as only son
back home
I go
to be with mother
take acting class
to keep working
end up directing
scene from The Zoo Story
Give socio-historical notes
am not directing apparently
but
Dramaturging
first time I ever heard the word

32
Literary Manager
small Theatre
Philadelphia
run reading series
Underground Voices: From the Marginalized to The Transgressive
playwrights
people I knew from RAT
people they recommended
the Fabregé commercial model

36
At Stanford now
ensconced in the Ph.D program
paid and paid for
owned and worked hard
overwhelmed but happy

38
Mom gets sick
go home
care for her
take terminal MA option

43
Mom dies
now an orphan
living in the house
I moved to
at age 4.

46
I get sick
unable to do much
but lie in bed
think
plan
decide I am tired
of being Cassandra
screaming at the gates
begging for approval
I want in
and I want to be heard
I will be quiet no longer
And here we are
Now
this is my ground from which I speak
the artmaker
the marginalized
the freak
the activist
the associative thinker
the madman who will say anything to anyone
driven to it
by years of not being heard

Daniel Student

Creative Contributor

Daniel Student

Daniel Student is a freelance "story artist" currently located in Los Angeles, California, focusing on film and television. He previously served as Producing Artistic Director at Plays & Players, for whom directing highlights include Hold These Truths, The Disappearing Quarterback, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, A New Brain, and Take Me Out, as well as starring as Shakespeare in William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead. His storytelling show he co-created and co-performed with Jennifer MacMillan and R. Eric Thomas, Overexposed: A Slightly Awkward Peep Show enjoyed five sold out performances with Quince Productions before going to the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (also starring Jamison Foreman.) His solo-show "The Daniel Student Gay Porn Viewing Party" performed in the 2012 Philadelphia GayFest and the 2015 SoLow Festival. “Superheroes Who Are Super!,” a classic comic book staged reading comedy series which he created, produced, and frequently directed, won Best In Philly from Philadelphia Magazine in 2010. He was a company member of the improv ensemble Bright Invention with White Pines Productions in 2015 and served as the Events Vice Chair for the Board of Directors of Emerging Arts Leaders: Philadelphia from 2014-2015. He is a graduate of Vassar College with a B.A. in Film.

Piper-Jane Brown

Creative Contributor

More coming soon!

Enrique E. Andrade

Creative Contributor

Enrique Andrade

Enrique E. Andrade, originally from Mexico City, is a graduate of the University of Oregon. Enrique has performed in numerous Miracle Theater productions since 2008 most recently in 2015 La Muerte Baila and in 2014 in the Drammy winner O'Romeo, and in American Night the Balad of Juan Jose . Enrique expanded his classical Shakespearean repertoire with Portland Actors Ensemble in the role of Tubal/The Prince of Aragon in the Merchant of Venice in 2013 and as Mardian/Menecrates in Antony & Cleopatra in 2014. He has performed in Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires at the Aspen Festival of Music in 2005, 2007, and summer 2015 as well as with 3rd Angle Music Ensemble, and in 2013 with the Lexington Philharmonic in Kentucky. Enrique's Television credits include TNT’s Leverage season 4 as Professor Humberto Garcia as well as NBC's GRIMM. Enrique is well known for being the Spanish voice of the MAX, as well as various TV/radio/internet commercials in both English and Spanish and also as a story teller at Portland Story Theater, and as Judge Hathorne in Arthur Miller's The Crucible for Bag & Baggage in Hillsboro 2014. Enrique is honored to be part of this exciting project and part of the fascinating world of the Empire of Australia.

Alléne Hébert

Creative Contributor

Alléne Hébert

Alléne Hébert grew up next to the creator of the Star Wars Empire north of San Francisco. Destiny then took her to the Netherlands, Mexico and Spain. A series of dramatic events led her to return to the US where she continues her work as an actor, translator, interpreter, consultant and occasional camerawomen. Communications of all kinds are the golden thread that runs through her ever changing adventure. www.allenehebert.com

Robert Hicks

Creative Contributor

More coming soon!

Katie McFarland

Creative Contributor

Katie McFarland

Katie McFarland is a young actress based in Portland, OR. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 2014 and is currently taking time off to pursue her passion. She was most recently seen in the Clinton Street Play Festival, and as 'Moist' in a gender twisted Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog at Funhouse Lounge; where she is a Artist In Residence. Katie is also an aspiring playwright having her works preformed at the Vision and Voices showcase at Portland Center Stage in 2013 and 2014. Her full length play 'And Counting' was produced in Lincoln High School's annual New Work Festival and directed by Matthew B. Zrebski. Currently she is the lead singer and songwriter in a punk rock band. She has heeded the call of The Empire and is very excited to see what will transpire.

Irish Harvey

Creative Contributor

Irish Harvey

At age nine, Irish Harvey walked into a Broadway theater wanting to be an astronaut and walked out wanting to be an actor.

Since then, theater and performing arts have been a compelling force in Irish’s life. In the demanding, highly competitive theater program at her high school in Wilton Connecticut, she performed in several major productions per year, including as a lead in Oklahoma! and Camelot. A strong vocalist, Irish has performed in numerous musical productions and recitals as a soloist and ensemble singer. She was a founding member and coach of her improv group Freeplay, an officer in the drama club, and was the recipient of the Theater Arts Book Award and TAPS Award for Commitment and Dedication. A participant in all forms of theater, she was most recently seen as a scare actor at The Fear PDX, a Portland haunted house.

Irish’s emphasis in theater is not oriented just to performance, however but also to wardrobe and costuming. An aficionado of anime and esoteric pop culture, Irish entered the world of coslay and never looked back. She personally tailored dozens of costume replicas of characters from sources such as anime, video games, and television, wearing and performing in them at anime and pop culture conventions around the country. She has attended everything from one-day gatherings on college campuses in her home Connecticut to the week-long world famous extravaganza that is San Diego Comic Con.

Currently, Irish is a theater student at Reed College, Portland, Oregon, Class of 2019. Since arriving at Reed in August, 2015 Irish is enthusiastically taking on as much of the college, community, and city of Portland as she can. In addition to fully investing in the rigor of academic life and intellectual scholarship, Irish balances her personal development with the stimulation of culture and the arts, and a passion for engaged citizenship.

Rounding out her academic work and theatrical vocation, Irish is an engaged citizen committed to understanding and helping people. A world traveler, she has made visits to four continents (so far) – connecting with people in a variety of venues and cultures, including a tour of Cape Town’s roughest townships in 2015. Her activity in debate and Model Congress deeply involved her in the important issues our time – such as health care, human rights, and social justice. Her arguments on topics such as comprehensive sex education, reproductive rights, and transgender rights have earned her various awards, including Honorable Mention in Red Senate at Yale Model Congress and Best Speaker in HELP Committee at Columbia Model Congress.

Irish was born in Los Angeles, CA, and moved three times between there and New York City before age eight, only to land in a small Connecticut town where her parents, brother, and chocolate lab still reside. Her recent transplant to Portland, OR has been the best transition yet.

Kathryn Franz

Creative Contributor

Katy Franz

More coming soon!

Genevieve Andersen

Creative Contributor

More coming soon!

Lucas Carlson

Creative Contributor

More coming soon!

Samantha McKinney

Creative Contributor

More coming soon!

Jeff Omstead

In Memorium

Jeff Omstead

Jeff Omstead was one of the earliest believers in the Empire of Australia project and he offered early encouragement and advice that is responsible for our success.

Jeff was one of the smartest, kindest, funniest people we ever knew and we were so blessed by the time we got to spend with him.

Jeff is with us in our thoughts every single day.

Thank you, Jeff. We miss you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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