Creative Team

Matt Bapty (he/him)

Matt Bapty is a Meanjin-based director, writer and actor, deep in the ever-mystifying quest to figure out what to do with an honours degree in humanities (first class, he’ll have you know). Matt began performing at the tender age of 11; debuting as a member of the Lollipop Guild in ‘The Wizard of Oz’, in an oh-so-very-tight costume. More frequently seen behind the scenes, direction highlights include ‘Backwards Broadway’, ‘Moth’, ’13: The Musical’, the QLD premiere of ‘The Things I Could Never Tell Steven’, the original work ‘A Ringing in My Ear’ staged at QPAC, and the multi-award-winning festival pieces ‘Lockdown’ and ‘Am I Your Dream?’. As an actor, highlights include leading roles in shows like ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Karamazoo’, ‘Heathers’, ‘Spring Awakening’, and most recently April Arts’ debut production ‘The Initiation of Tommy Wilson’. Outside of the industry, Matt also works at UQ as a research assistant, looking into Australian drama of the twentieth century. He aims to commence independent research (scarily soon) into the rise of Queer drama in Australia. He’s keen as a three-bean soup to be supporting local artists as a producer with Flaming Carnations.

Sam Hanelt (he/him)

If you had to describe Sam Hanelt in one phrase, it’d be “he really tries his darndest”. A Meanjin based creative of perhaps-too-many disciplines, he’s proud to have finally found the answer to “so what ARE you going to do with a business and drama degree?”

His mutli-disciplinary experience has taken him from the QPAC stage, both acting and providing sound design for School2Stage’s “A Ringing In My Ear”, to creating soundscapes for Tristan Niemi‘s ASK for Anywhere Festival, and then back to acting & textile art as a part of his final show for QUT’s Drama program, “Under The Bed” (not to forget solely acting in shows such as “Flash”, “Lockdown”, “Paralysis”, & “Harmony”). Combining this on stage experience with a background (and degree!) in business, he aims to provide Meanjin’s up-and-coming creatives with an environment to grow in that’s not only cute, but also slay. 

When he’s not finding a new hobby to obsess over for two weeks before abandoning forever, he’s reliving the triumphs and defeats, the epic highs and lows of running a meme account in high school, and hustling hard to keep the #1 spot on Kate Miller-Heidke’s Genius page (it’s true, look it up).

Triss Niemi (she/her)

Triss Niemi is a Queer, Disabled, Greek-Australian artist with backgrounds in writing, theatre, dance, and music, (fuck that’s a mouthful) living and working on the unceded lands of the Jagera and Turrabul people. She has developed poetry, prose, performance, and various other works for numerous local and international publications, festivals, and production companies – including her self-published zine High Priestess Monthly. 

Outside of her creative work, her is a researcher at the University of Queensland with this guy you might have heard of him idk it’s @matt.bapty. She has been training for and competing in numerous function across so-called Australia for the last year under the name Priestess (we love consistent branding lol). Highlighting and uplifting this community means everything to Triss and so she prioritises it in all things. 

She recently graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts (Drama) with First Class Honours. Her research asked questions about the ethical responsibilities writers and dramaturgs have to Queer persons and communities when writing stories about their suffering. Triss also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drama) from the Queensland University of Technology and an Associates Diploma from the Trinity College of London. 

Tallis Tutunoa (she/her)

Tallis is a proud Polynesian woman, born and raised on Gadigal Country and currently residing in Meanjin. Tallis found her love for music at the age of 6, learning hot cross buns on the top E string of a budget guitar. She has definitely come a long way since then, now performing around Queensland as a proud POC artist. 

In 2019, Tallis studied at JMC Academy, obtaining her Diploma in Audio Engineering and Sound Production and has since put her knowledge and skills to the test by running tech for local theatre companies. Tallis has also found her new passion as a Music Director in theatre and teaching music to those who also share the same passion for singing and playing. 

Tallis is grateful for the opportunities that have been given to her and believes there is always more to learn, she plans to continue learning as her opportunities come.

Tallis hopes to be a role model for the next generation of polynesian and BIPOC kids and show them that it’s worth following your dreams.