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Artistic Director

Yaron Lifschitz Artistic Director Circa

Yaron Lifschitz

Yaron is a graduate of the University of New South Wales, University of Queensland and National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) where he was the youngest director ever accepted into its prestigious graduate director’s course. Since graduating, Yaron has directed over 60 productions including large-scale events, opera, theatre, physical theatre and circus. His work has been seen in 34 countries, across six continents by over 500 000 people.

He was founding Artistic Director of the Australian Museum’s Theatre Unit, Head Tutor in Directing at Australian Theatre for Young People and has been a regular guest tutor in directing at NIDA since 1995. He is currently Artistic Director and CEO of Circa.

With Circa, Yaron has created works such as by the light of stars that are no longer…, CIRCA, Wunderkammer, How Like an Angel, “S”, Beyond, Opus, Carnival of the Animals Il Ritorno, TROPPO and Reclaimed Pianos.  His recent works have been reviewed as being “stunning”, “exquisite” and “the standard to which all other circuses can aspire”.  Yaron lives in Brisbane with his son, Oscar.


Nathan Boyle

Nathan Boyle has been a natural performer his whole life. After terrorising his parents at a young age with handstands and cartwheels, his parents saw his passion for performing and acrobatics and enrolled him in gymnastics. His passion for acrobatics took him to sports acrobatics where he represented and won titles for New South Wales at many national championships.

After accepting his position at The National Institute of Circus Arts, (NICA) Nathan specialised in cloudswing, adagio, bungee trapeze and teeterboard. A memorable moment for Nathan whilst at NICA was performing at an International Circus Festival (CIRCA festival) in Auch, France in 2009.

Nathan joined Circa as a full time ensemble member in 2011 and has since entertained audiences nationally and internationally. Some highlights for Nathan so far has been creating and world premiering ‘S’ at Brisbane Festival and travelling around Australia on the National Roadworks Tour in 2012. He is excited for all the new adventures still to come.

Jessica Connell

Jessica Connell completed a Diploma in circus arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne. Formerly a member of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus specializing in hula-hoops and aerials, Jessica spent five years performing around Australia in a variety of productions. She also contributed to A4’s first production, Downpour in 2009.

In 2011 Jessica joined Circa where she was part of an eight-month season of Wunderkammer at the Chamäleon Theatre in Berlin. She then performed a three-month Australian regional tour of the Helpmann Award-winning show CIRCA. Jessica says one of her highlights was world premiering S by Circa at the Brisbane Festival in September 2012, which was her first new creation with the company. Jessica is excited to continue touring with the company and is looking forward to the year ahead.

Marty Evans

Marty Evans came to circus by a more roundabout route than most. After watching nothing but circus videos during his lunchbreaks at Australia’s only nuclear reactor, Marty left behind his published scientific career, embracing his physical sports background to pursue a career in circus.

His first taste of circus came at the University of Sydney in 2010 as he tried to entertain himself during free periods by learning to throw people into the air and trying to catch them again. Marty trained at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne. He is a fiercely determined and hard working hand-to-hand base that enjoys exploring new challenges and techniques.

Nicole Faubert

Nicole has a background in both dance and gymnastics. At the age of 15, at the end of her competitive career in acrobatic gymnastics, Nicole was introduced to the world of circus and hasn’t looked back since! She started off with flying trapeze and various aerial apparatus’ and hand to hand before she began studying at the National Circus School of Montreal where she specialized in handstands, duo straps and Banquine.

Keaton Hentoff-Killian

Keaton is originally from Saint Louis, Missouri where he grew up in a circus called Circus Harmony. He quickly became fascinated with circus and the constant challenges it presented him. During his childhood Keaton has performed in over 2,500 shows. Taking the next step he moved to Montreal, Quebec when he was 17 and began his 4 year training at Ecole Nationale De Cirque. At school Keaton studied Tight Wire and Chinese Pole, however upon graduating he wanted to explore other realms of circus and the easiest way to do that was to go to another realm of the world! So, he took a flight over to Brisbane, Australia and is hugely excited to tour with the Circa ensemble.

Lauren Herley

Lauren was born on the 21st of March 1989. The first day of Spring, the first day of Aeries. Lauren graduated from the National Circus School of Montreal, specialising in vertical rope, contortion and handstands. She has worked and collaborated with
Compagnie Dave St-Pierre, Cirque Eloize, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, Cirque du Soleil, Compagnie Marie Chouniard and Nord Nord Est. Lauren is an original cast and creation member of Cirkopolis by Cirque Eloize, with whom she toured Europe, North America and Mexico. She has also performed for many large events such as the opening ceremony for the Vancouver Olympic Games, to many special events and cabarets in Montreal and around the world.

Lauren describes herself as a rope artist, but on stage and in creation has also performed and studied everything from hand to hand to hair hanging. She enjoys risk and the beauty of pain. In her spare time she enjoys playing guitar, singing late at night, listening to jazz music and writing poetry. Lauren joined the Circa ensemble in 2015.

Rowan Heydon- White

Rowan Heydon-White started flying around on a trapeze at an early age. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Physical Theatre, she decided she wanted to actively delve further into circus and so moved to New Zealand to also complete a Diploma in Circus Arts.

Over the years she has performed widely around both Australia
and overseas for various events ranging from corporate & private functions, to festivals and many contemporary circus productions. Her highlights so far include touring with Circus Oz, Legs on the Wall, Awkward Productions and Catcher.

Rowan joined Circa in 2013 and is looking forward to the challenge of working closely with a new ensemble.

Bridie Hooper

Bridie Hooper tumbled into Spaghetti Circus at the age of 11, where her imagination became entirely unleashed. She was taught to bend, fly and dream, and at 16, Bridie ventured south to the banks of the Murray River to join the Flying Fruit Fly Circus. In 2008 Bridie bid Australian soils ‘adieu’ to complete her studies at the Montreal National Circus School where she also had the chance to perform in the Vancouver Olympics Opening Ceremony, at Festival CIRCA, and in the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival in 2010 and 2011. Upon graduating in 2012 Bridie toured Quebec with Vague de Cirque, performed in GOP Variété Dummy and returned to Australia to work for Circa. After an already smashing year with Circa, Bridie is dead keen to see what will happen next.

Todd Kilby

Todd Kilby from the New South Wales coastal city of Newcastle was born into the life of surfing and all things beach.
He is a black belt in Taekwondo and has both trained and performed with “Circus Avalon” and “Hands Free Physical Theatre” with whom he won a CONDA (City of Newcastle Drama Award) for stunt choreography.

He joined the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in 2008 and whilst there worked with the Tangentyre Council in Alice Springs teaching in the local Indigenous Youth Circus Arts Centre. While specializing in Chinese Pole and Hoop Diving he has also been trained in Teeterboard, Adagio, Tumbling and Knockabout.
Todd is a multifaceted performer with a uniquely Australian style combining circus, dance, martial arts and drama. Todd has a passion and love of performing and entertaining audiences through exploration and raw human energy.

For Todd, Circa is an elephant of awesome in the Savanna of Circus.

Nathan Knowles

Nathan is a fairly odd beast originating from Vancouver, Canada and describes himself as having the mind of a canine stuck in the body of a young man. Most days are a struggle between deciding whether to chase his own tail or find a way to appropriately deal with the conventional world around him.
Nathan had the luck of being introduced to circus at the age of 7 when he marched home from school to tell his parents that one day he would leave suburbia behind and maybe never look back. After 10 years of studying acrobatic dance and contortion, Nathan was accepted into Montréal’s renowned National Circus School where he spent 4 years specializing in hand balancing, contortion and aerial hoop. Now, with a head full of questions, a heart on fire and a new home with Circa, this pup has no doubt that he’ll find his way.

Cecilia Martin

Cecilia grew up as an only child. With Spanish as her first language, she was engaging with her friends physically before she could communicate verbally. She grew up surrounded by sport, music and art and found a passion for circus early on, attending Warehouse Circus in Canberra. Cecilia went on to co-found the company ‘Poncho Circus’ at the age of fifteen, where she created and performed in circus shows as part of an ensemble. Cecilia is also a talented musician, demonstrating this by composing scores to three different circus productions. Upon graduating high school, Cecilia went on to study circus full time at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) where she specialized in dance trapeze, Washington trapeze and group acrobatics. She joined the Circa ensemble in late 2016 and is excited to create new works with the company.

Conor Neall

Conor was born in London, UK, in 1989. Having been always a physical child, Conor grew up doing parkour, gymnastics, martial arts and theatre, and generally jumping around and climbing on things he probably shouldn’t have. At age 17 he discovered diabolo and after a year of obsessive practice he was able to combine his physical skills with a love of performance by attending The Circus Space in London (now the National Centre for Circus Arts).

In 2011 Conor graduated from the Circus Space specialising Chinese pole. During his studies he also developed skills in floor acrobatics, contemporary dance, trampoline/tramp wall and teeterboard. Since graduation Conor has worked in physical theatre, opera, events and contemporary dance as well as circus, performing for companies including the English National Opera, Nike and United Visual Artists. Off stage Conor enjoys exploring, coffee drinking and solving Rubik’s cubes. Conor first saw a Circa show in 2009 and has aspired to work for them ever since.

Daniel O’Brien

Daniel O’Brien, born in 1992, has been physically active throughout his whole life, primarily focusing on his gymnastics training in his hometown and a few small gyms along the Queensland coastline. After high school Daniel made a decision to transition from the sport of gymnastics to a possible career in circus performance. He decided to move to Melbourne and study at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), specialising in hand-balancing and aerial straps, where he gained his first experiences as a performer. Daniel spends his spare time feeding his unhealthy addiction to video games or reading whatever he can get his hands on.

After attending NICA for three years, Daniel has fostered an immense passion for circus, honed his skills to a level, which has allowed him to join Circa as an ensemble member, and is excited to see what new and exciting skills he can bring to the company.

Kimberley O’Brien

Kimberley grew up competing in athletics and playing representative AFL. After seeing one of Circa’s show’s, Kimberley joined Circa’s youth performance troupe Circa Zoo. After two years of training and performing Kimberley was given the opportunity to be the very first member of fast track, a program designed for young and aspiring performers within Circa.

In 2011 Kimberley left Circa Zoo and fast track and became a full-time ensemble member. Since then Kimberley has toured numerous shows in various countries. One of her highlights was performing Wunderkammer at the Sydney Opera House. Kimberley is excited about her career with Circa and cannot wait to see what the future brings.

Kathryn O’Keeffe

Kathryn O’Keeffe trained in Canberra originally as a gymnast and dancer before going to the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in 2003 to study dance. She then worked as an independent artist performing as well as creating works that mixed dance, physical theatre and circus for theatre, festivals and events. From 2008 onwards, Kathryn was a performer with Strange Fruit where she toured nationally and internationally for festivals and events in shows such as Swoon!, The Spheres and The Field.

During 2010 Kathryn was part of the seven- month aerial resident company that performed Airbourne – directed by Doug Tremlett and choreographed by Sue Broadway at the World Expo in Shanghai, China.
Kathryn first worked with Circa in 2011 where she performed in the world premiere of Nocturne in South Korea. She has been a full time ensemble member with Circa since 2012 where she has performed in shows including “S”, How Like an Angel, CIRCA, Wunderkammer and Beyond.

Paul O’Keeffe

Paul O’Keeffe, aka ‘the human whippet, dexterous daredevil, neat freak and mister fixit,’ had his first professional gig in 1996 playing one of the lead roles in Company Skylark’s, Wake Baby. Since then he has toured the world from outback Australia to 42nd Street/Broadway, New York performing in circus, dance, puppetry, musical and physical theatre.
Off stage, Paul has co-founded circus company, Kronik, co-set up a professional circus training studio in Melbourne, co-managed Warehouse Circus, ran independent circus troupes, and co-coordinated and implemented a number of circus workshops including one for 10,000 scouts over a 10 day period.

Paul has performed with Circus Oz, Circus Monoxide, Kronik, Cantina by Strut & Fret Production House, The Australian Choreographic Centre, Jigsaw Theatre Company, Out Of the Blue Studios, Malcom C Cooke & Associates and Legs On The Wall to mention a few…
Paul used to believe in his own immortality, now he just believes he’s a nut. He joined Circa as a full time ensemble member in 2013.

Brittannie Portelli

Brittannie Portelli has over 10 years experience in elite sport, and so had the perfect foundations to transition into circus. After competing internationally in both aerobic gymnastics and synchronized swimming, she wanted to combine her love for physical movement with her passion for performing. She completed the three-year Bachelor Degree Program at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in 2010 where she specialised as an aerialist. Shortly after graduating, at the age of 20, she started working with Circa as a full-time ensemble member.

Whilst at Circa, Britt has toured extensively and has many highlights including 3 Helpmann awards, an eight-month season of Wunderkammer at the Chamaleon Theater in Berlin, an Australian tour of CIRCA and performing in New York City and Montreal. Britt was involved in the creation and premiere of “S” at the Brisbane Festival 2012 as well as one of the 14 acrobats to perform in the world premiere of Opus.

Seppe Van Looveren

Seppe describes himself as a sharp-minded, playful, blue eyed, Belgium fried acrobat! Seppe’s acrobatic and artistic vocation started in his neighbors city garden, leading to his involvement with Ell Circo D’Ell Fuego (ECDF), an Antwerp-based artistic and social circus project known for ‘training their youngsters into lions.’ After exploring several different techniques and apparatuses, Seppe realised that moving and manipulating his own body and those of others proved to be more than just a hobby. During his involvement with ECDF, he took part in several creations, performing shows all throughout Belgium. After 6 years at ECDF, Seppe continued his training at The National Circus School of Canada in Montreal. After graduating in 2016 Seppe is ready to create, work, invent and explore the explorable.

Billie Wilson-Coffey

Billie discovered Spaghetti Circus at the age of 11 before moving to Melbourne to study at the National institute of Circus arts in 2007.
In her graduating year Billie made her international debut at the 4th World Circus Festival in Moscow.
Billie joined Circa as a guest artist in 2011 for the world premiere of ‘Nocturne’ in South Korea. Whilst working as a guest artist for Circa, Billie continued her solo work performing in cabarets and festivals nation wide.
Becoming an ensemble member at Circa in 2014, Billie toured ‘How like an Angel’ before an 8 month residency at the Chamaleon theatre in Berlin performing Circa’s production of ‘Beyond’.



Circa Staff

All Circa’s emails are first apart from our Finance Department.

Artistic Director & CEO Yaron Lifschitz
General Manager Charlie Cush
Strategic Initiatives Manager Kate Fell
Associate Director Libby McDonnell
Associate Director/Producer (One Beautiful Thing) Ben Knapton
Associate Director Alice Lee Holland
Technical Director Jason Organ
Senior Producer Danielle Kellie
International Representative – Worldwide Paul Tanguay
International Representative – USA David Lieberman
Production Manager Mark Middleton
Production Manager Richard Clarke
Production Coordinator Stephanie Cox
Tour Manager / Director Imogen Millhouse
Producer’s Assistant Tanya Bopf
Rigger / Truck Driver Bruce Jobin
Deputy General Manager Lisa McCready
Marketing Coordinator Samuel Boyd
Finance Manager Evan Wright
Training Centre Director Bree Le Cornu
Training Centre Trainers
Ellen Grow
Abby Kelso
Pitisi Hatcher
Alex Mizzen
Rachael Gibson
Daniel Catlow
Miku Ferguson
Rhylee Chapman
Solenne Hegarty
Anelyse Keane
Michael Maggs
Jacob Ramis
Alex Weckes-Huck
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games
arts and cultural program
Yaron Lifschitz & Kate Fell (Creative Lead)


arTour Staff

All arTour’s emails are first apart from our Finance Department.

Creative Broker Luke Harriman
Tour Producer Jo Currey & Angie Dunbavan
Marketing Manager Beck Grace
Accounts Assistant  Jen Hamilton



Chair Michael Lynch
 Treasurer Ric Roach
 Secretary Michelle Hyams
 Member Bill Andrew, Peter Cunningham, Peter Leonard, Kerry Comerford