Bridgette Burton – Writer, Director, Actor, Producer – Baggage founder
Bridgette has been involved in the performing arts since she was 15 years old. Beginning in Youth theatre she graduated to performing as part of University of Melbourne troop Awkward Stage, eventually following them to the outside world, where she continued to work under the auspices of Michael Cathcart. After a meeting of minds with Christina Costigan in 1999, and an overwhelming desire to take control of her creative direction, Baggage Productions was born. Bridgette has directed, written, produced and performed with Baggage ever since. Bridgette has worked as a performer for (among others) Hoy Polloy, The New Theatre, Phunktional Arts and Chambers. Bridgette has written over 30 plays, a combination of short, one act and full length plays. In 2005 Bridgette won the RE Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Award and again in 2009, she was also shortlisted for the Griffin award in 2006. Bridgette’s short pieces have been performed over Australia and also abroad. Apart from being remarkably glib Bridgette also enjoys reading and baking.
Christina Costigan – Actor, Writer, Producer – Baggage founder
Christina Costigan: actor, writer, Baggage founder Christina was bitten by the acting bug early in life. Blessed with a secondary education at an all-girls school, she got to play a series of improbable male roles there, her favourite of which was Daddy Warbucks in Annie, at the tender age of 16. She graduated from Deakin University (Rusden) in 1995 with a BA in Drama and Media, where she learnt the skills of creating theatre, performing in both group devised and classic plays under the directorship of Yoni Prior, Tony Nikolakopoulos and John Jacobs. Christina undertook further intensive training at St Martins Youth Theatre and honed her skills in dozens of productions with non-professional theatre companies around Melbourne before co-founding Baggage with Bridgette Burton in 2000. With Baggage came the impetus and motivation to write scripts and create work for herself and other talented women, frustrated by the lack of roles available. In 2008, Christina took great pleasure in gender-bending the role of Capulet in Romeo & Juliet for Eagles Nest Theatre; turning the patriarch into a feisty, manipulative, knife-wielding matriarch. While acting remains her passion, Christina enjoys writing also and has had two plays selected for both Melbourne and Sydney Short & Sweet competitions: A Poultry Affair and Double Dana. She also wrote, produced and performed in the mockumentary short film Keeping Up with the Jones. Her short play, No Regrets, was selected for Short & Sweet, Melbourne 2009. Christina has recently returned from an 18 month stint in Los Angeles where she undertook further training with veteran actor Vincent Guastaferro, and improvisation at Upright Citizens Brigade. Christina also brought Baggage to LA, producing a version of Beaten Hearts, co-wrote and performed in a sketch comedy show in Hollywood, and appeared in several short films.
Maureen White – Technotix, theatremaker, Producer.
Maureen found herself drawn into the Theatre in 1997 after attending a lighting and sound workshop conducted by Stelios Karagiannis and Chris Boek on behalf of Heidelberg Theatre Company. Over the next two and a half years she served an apprenticeship of sorts, working as lighting operator and often assisting designer Karagiannis on various community and independent productions. Eventually she began to produce her own lighting designs. Her ongoing association with independent theatre has seen Maureen also take on roles in Stage Management, Sound Operation, Set Design and Realisation. As a core member of the Birnam Wood Theatre collective (founded 2004), she has effectively taken on the role of co-producer for several of their projects and has often provided ancillary support for other independent projects within the Melbourne writers’ theatre community. Maureen’s association with Baggage Productions goes back to 2000, when she created the lighting design for Femme, staged at Bar Open as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival. She has since designed and (usually) operated lighting for most Baggage productions.
Production highlights include:
- Jazz Angel (Birnam Wood 2013)
- Time’s Arrow (Birnam Wood 2011)
- Acts of Loneliness (Baggage 2005)
- The Glass Menagerie (WLT 2005)
- Macbeth (WLT 2004)
- The Boys (Hoy Polloy 2001)
- The Venetian Twins (WLT 2000)
- Heart of a Dog (Hoy Polloy 2000)
- Molly Sweeney (HTC 2000)
- A Perfect Ganesh (HTC 1999)