Juz has been involved in the theatre industry for over 20 years, beginning as a performer, most notably with Sydney Theatre Company, and then expanding into the administrative and technical side of theatre with a grass roots drama school in New South Wales.
Studying Technical Production at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney Juz freelanced as a technician for a range of companies and venues including NIDA, Belvoir St Theatre, Griffin Theatre Company, Sydney Festival and Riverside Theatres Parramatta. In 2013 Juz became the Production Manager at the Australian Theatre for Young People, working with independent shows touring into The Wharf-based venue, collaborating with Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Company.
Prior to joining Charcoalblue, Juz relocated to Victoria and took on the role of Senior Technician at Bunjil Place, Narre Warren, specifically in charge of lighting. As an inaugural member of the production team, Juz assisted with the procurement and procedure creation for the new civic precinct.
Juz on tour in Perth
Juz on tour in New Zealand working in production as a Stage Manager
Juz working as a Stage Manager
If you were to establish your own venue, what would you call it? And what would that venue specialise in?
I’d probably go for something a little left of field like Bastard Amber or The Bosun’s Chair. But it would be a nice intimate space designed primarily for theatre but could also be adapted to house other art forms as well.
What qualities should a 'great performance space' have?
The first important quality is the sense of occasion when you are waiting in the foyer, whether it be grungy and raw, or refined and elegant. This is what creates the anticipation and opens up the receptors to being part of a live experience. The next quality that helps define a great space is the relationship between audience and performer. It is so easy to have an auditorium that is architecturally stunning, but it means nothing if it doesn’t support the intangible connection and bond that is created between patrons and production. The last quality for me would be the layout and functionality of the backstage areas. From my experiences, a show has a much better chance of hitting the highs if everything has been simple and efficient getting the show into a venue, whether it be for one night or a six-month run.
What first sparked your love for the performing arts?
The first spark was struck when my parents put my brother and I into drama classes when I was kid. Being a shy kid, I loved the idea of being able to adopt a character and being someone else. The sparks were further fanned when my dad and I were both cast in a local amateur production of Oliver. It was such a thrill going to rehearsals with my dad and being part of the unconventional family that theatre offers. Since then theatre has been a part of my life, and I can’t see that ever changing.
If you could recommend visitors to Melbourne to experience one thing, what would it be?
For me, one experience that is quintessentially Melbourne is going to a match of AFL at the MCG. The sense of theatre as the crowd cheers and jeers at the display on the field is absolutely incredible. Of which the whole occasion is only made that more glorious by chowing down on a luke-warm meat pie and washing it down with a cold ale from a plastic cup.