Baggage Productions was founded in 1999 by Bridgette Burton and Christina Costigan, two actors with a love of theatre and a burning desire to perform. Passionate about their art but frustrated at the lack of roles for women, they decided to start creating their own work, the kind of energetic, thoughtful theatre they like to see themselves.
Over the last 24 years, Baggage has been dedicated to producing original scripts written by women—from sketch comedy to short and full-length plays—that have delighted audiences and critics alike. What began as a venture to create their own work, expanded to encourage the work of other women writers by providing a platform to tell their stories and share their perspectives.
In 2011, Baggage produced the inaugural Madwomen Monologues. Designed as a showcase for women writers, Baggage invited script submissions and were overwhelmed with the response. Madwomen has since become a much-anticipated annual event, attracting and nurturing a community of writers, actors and directors – not to mention enthusiastic audiences – every year.
Bridgette has been involved in the performing arts since she was 15 years old. Bridgette is a director, writer, performer and producer, she has written over 30 plays, a combination of short, one act and full length plays. Bridgette has won the RE Ross Trust Award twice and her work has been performed across Australia and in the UK. Apart from being remarkably glib Bridgette also enjoys reading and baking.
Christina has written numerous monologues, sketch comedy and short plays, some of which have been performed in Short & Sweet Melbourne and Sydney, Play Six, Bite Size theatre in the UK, and on stages in Los Angeles and New York. Christina is also an actor, with a BA in Drama and Media from Deakin University (Rusden), and has performed in countless plays from Shakespeare to Stoppard via Genet and Brecht. From 2009 to 2011, Christina lived and worked 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. As a producer, while loving all her ‘children’/productions, she is most proud of the Madwomen Monologues, and the remarkable writing, directing and acting talent it attracts each year.
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.
Advisory Board / Associate Producers
- Nadia Andary
- Chris Boek (Vice President)
- Steve Gome
- Bruce Langdon
- Lucy Norton
- Shannon Woollard