Josipa Draisma & Mara Knezevic in The Hen House Photo by Anna Kucera
IN WILD COMPANY is an independent multidisciplinary theatre company that specialises in music and theatre storytelling. Our work is inspired by female driven narratives, music, culture, identity and place. Our process is highly collaborative and draws on our artists creative practices in devised theatre, European cabaret and clown traditions, music composition, film, dramaturgy and performance.
Through our artistic work and advocacy, we champion diversity as a source of artistic excellence and bold innovation that allows for compelling, new and relevant stories to be amplified by voices and communities that for too long have been missing, ignored or underrepresented. We believe that diverse stories have a central role to play in broadening conversations and debate, and in creating an atmosphere of understanding and empathy across our society.
We value kindness, integrity, family, humour, cultural diversity, creative courage and experimentation. Through these values we aim to be ground-breaking, surprising and relevant in our art making and create enriching, wildly playful and compelling art.
FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR
JOSIPA (KNEZEVIC) DRAISMA (SHE/HER)
Josipa is an award winning multidisciplinary performing artist, producer and cultural leader whose practice converges contemporary theatre, music, cabaret, clown, visual art and film. Josipa holds an MFA (Cultural Leadership) from NIDA and is the 2023 recipient of the Lynne Williams AM Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cultural Leadership. Josipa also holds an MCA (Theatre & Performance), is a trained mezzo soprano and has studied performance techniques in NYC, UK, Sydney and Melbourne. Josipa's recent credits include creating and performing in the critically acclaimed production The Hen House (dir. Anthea Williams), producing, developing and performing in the cabaret, Ljubičica - Wild Violet (dir: Melita Rowston), which was awarded The Sydney Fringe Best Music Show Award, Menagerie, Shapeshifter, C'est La Vie and Josipa Draisma Is Jean Claude Van Damme.
Josipa has independently produced, developed and performed in live performance works that have been programmed nationally in performing arts venues and festivals including Sydney Comedy Festival, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Sydney Opera House, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Josipa is an IETM Campus and Playwriting Australia Directors Studio alumni. Josipa was the co- artistic director and co- founder of The Colour Blind Project and a founding member of the Sydney based clown collective Choo Choo Troupe. Josipa has over 15 years work experience leading the delivery of performing arts and screen programming, events and professional development initiatives for organisations such as ABC, Beyond Productions, Disney Channel, Screen NSW and Create NSW.
Josipa is a passionate advocate for cultural diversity in programming and leadership within the arts, screen and culture sectors. Her academic research focuses on current systemic and structural barriers for culturally diverse women are in attaining leadership careers in the Australian arts and cultural sector.
REVIEWS ON PREVIOUS WORK
On LJUBICICA: WILD VIOLET (Developed and performed by Josipa Draisma)
"Draisma’s performance is a passionate one, and we are swept away by the many beautiful Croatian songs she presents with gusto... [Wild Violet] strikes a thoughtful balance between biography and entertainment...it is ultimately a delightful insight into one of our many migrant experiences, with a special poignancy that seems to arise uniquely from true stories" Suzy Goes See
On SHAPESHIFTER (Created and performed by Josipa Draisma)
"Draisma is in the business of relating almost one to one with her audience. She is on the side of the confused dispossessed lonely and downtrodden. No wonder she provoked real empathy and laughter from the audience. She evinces laughter from her pain because it is the pain and confusion, we may have seen in ourselves...It is theatre for the adventurous" - Sydney Arts Guide
MARA KNEZEVIC (SHE/HER)
Mara is an emerging music theatre composer, theatre-maker, performer, singer-songwriter and Josipa’s sister. Her theatre credits include the critically acclaimed production of THE HEN HOUSE (dir. Anthea Williams), which Mara co-created and co-composed, Helpmann Award nominated dance-theatre work PLAYLIST (dir. Karen Therese, PYT Fairfield), Ljubičica: Wild Violet (dir. Melita Rowston) and Myths and Legends (Development and reading, Riverside Theatre). Mara has performed in major festivals and venues such as Festival Unwrapped at Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, Red Earth Arts Precinct in Karratha WA, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Seymour Centre and Flame Festival Fairfield.
Mara is an accomplished contemporary singer/songwriter with a background in classical voice and has trained under soprano Margaret Andrews Russell for over 15 years. Since 2016 Mara has independently released original music as pop artist Mara Duke, receiving wide community radio airplay both nationally and internationally. Mara is an International Songwriting Competition semi-finalist for her songs INTERSTELLAR (2016) and WHO IS THIS GIRL (2017). In 2022 her song INTERSTELLAR was selected for Eurovision: Australia Decides Top 20.
In addition, Mara has collaborated on vocal sound designs with acclaimed Australian composer and sound designer James Brown for the art films The Beehive (dir: Zanny Begg, 2018), presented at Sydney Festival and ACMI, Melbourne and Magic Mountains (dir: Zanny Begg, 2020) commissioned by ACCA, Melbourne. She is a graduate from The University of Sydney with a BA in Performance Studies and Music and holds a Master of Teaching (Secondary) specialising in Drama and Music. Mara lives in in Western Sydney.
REVIEWS OF PREVIOUS WORK
On PLAYLIST (co-devised/performed by Mara Knezěvic)
“Electrifying and every synonym thereof...for these five artists have distilled the rage of all women in several sublimely intellectual and superbly touching sequences, both spoken and physical. There is a chilling list of names, there is female muscle and strain and sweat, there is a jolting, shocking representation of gang violence, there is original sin and there is wail and chant. And love and fun and wit in these complexities of female spirit. These young women are simply superlative exhausting. So I will make this last part simple. Repeat after me. “Hey Siri. Urgently book tickets to PYT Fairfield’s PLAYLIST”. Sydney Arts Guide
“It is about creating a new vision of a future ... an entirely unpretentious theatrical exploration of a modern feminism... humorous... essential... true.” Suzy Goes See
© 2021 IN WILD COMPANY