Name: Shaelee Rooke
Pursuit: Theatre Production
I am a professional actress, originally from Sydney but now based in London. I moved to the UK in 2012 to train at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Soon after graduating in 2013, I established Paperbark Theatre – a company dedicated to producing Australian theatre in the UK and internationally. Under Paperbark, I have produced work in Bristol, London, Edinburgh and New York.
When did you start?
I've always wanted to be an actress. Since I was very young, I've loved going to the theatre and I feel pretty lucky to now be working in the industry. When it comes to running a theatre company, that's a pretty new pursuit for me! It's something I'd always thought about but I never quite knew how to make it happen. With hard work and a few strokes of luck including striking up a great partnership with Oliver de Rohan, everything fell into place in late 2013. I've been committed to building the company ever since and can't wait to begin work on the next production.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
What is your dream?
My dream career scenario is to establish both Paperbark Theatre and myself as internationally renowned proponents of Australian theatre.
Who or what have inspired you?
Trygve Wakenshaw. The first I saw of this rubber-limbed clown was in his hour long physical comedy show, Kraken, at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. It was the most wonderfully absurd, playful, side-splitting piece of theatre I've seen. What this man can create on an empty stage using clowning, mime and improvisation is truly inspiring. If ever you get the chance to catch this incredible show, you must go! I had to go twice!
Who's your hero?
When it comes to creative heroes, I look to Sonia Fraser, Andrew Bovell and Cate Blanchett but ultimately my family - Big Suze, Drew, Ramesh and Harry - hold the top spots.
Any other special talents?
I am a pretty keen knitter!
I love nothing more than listening to The Grateful Dead.
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
Favourite TV Show?
I’ve got a few, but the most recent addition to the list is Olive Kitteridge. It’s a mini series starring Frances McDormand and it’s just brilliant.
Lemon polenta cake!
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
This grant will mainly help to cover the production and touring costs of Paperbark’s next show.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
Do more of what makes you happy.