Core Team



Lizzie Schebesta is the creator of Festival Fatale, co-founder of WITS and a highly acclaimed actor and director for both screen and stage. She graduated from WAAPA in 2009 and since then has performed for Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare, Sport for Jove, Griffin Independent and starred in TV series and features such as Catching Milat, Felony and Sleeping Beauty, which was nominated for the Cannes Palm D’Or. She has received three Sydney Theatre Nominations for her work as a stage actor and was shortlisted for the prestigious Heath Ledger Scholarship in 2014. Lizzie’s directing credits include Shakespearealism (SFJ) and the short film Standing Up. Lizzie is also a founding member of Sport for Jove Theatre Company, co-founder of Variety Fair and a proud member of Equity since 2009.


Erica Lovell’s performance background is diverse and eclectic, having worked in theatre, musical theatre, film, television, and even performance art. She has worked with Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, Ensemble Theatre, Darlinghurst Theatre Company/Squabbalogic, Kookaburra, and Sport For Jove. Recent credits include Merchant of Venice (SFJ), and A Place To Call Home. Erica is also an experienced educator. She runs a private singing studio, teaching students of all ages, from beginners to professionals. She has worked as an audition coach for Gordon Frost Organisation, and coached voice for The Ensemble Theatre. She works extensively in schools, providing extra curricular and extension drama and music classes. Erica holds a BA in Media and English with distinction from UNSW. Erica is a proud member of Equity and a co-founder of WITS.


Matilda Ridgway is an award winning actor, theatre-maker and arts educator. Theatre credits include Jasper Jones (Belvoir), Hamlet, Henry 4 and The Players (Bell Shakespeare) Crucible, Midsummer Nights Dream, A Doll’s House and Much Ado About Nothing (SFJ) Cock and Sprout (Old Fitzroy Theatre) Proof, Seminar, My Wonderful Day and Brooklyn Boy  (Ensemble) Platonov (ATYP). Film and television credits include, Hiding (ABC) and 1919 (ABC) and the Cannes Palm D’Or nominee The Guests. Matilda trained at the Ensemble Studios Sydney, Atlantic Theatre Company NYC, SITI Company NYC and L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier Paris. Matilda is a proud member of Equity.


Julia Newbould is co-founder and head of The Stella Network, an inclusive female network founded by BT Financial Group in October 2013 to increase the number of females working as financial advisers.In less than a year, the Stella Network attracted more than 1300 members and is recognised as the pre-eminent network for gender change in the financial planning industry. There are now more than 2000 members. Julia is well-known throughout the Australian financial services industry thanks to her 20-year plus career as a senior editor and journalist writing for the leading consumer and trade publications in this sector. She has worked at leading publishing houses including Fairfax and Reed Elsevier and in 2005 was headhunted by Morningstar to manage its publications and to launch its Australian retail website. In 2010, Julia joined BT Financial Group as Marketing Communications Specialist, further utilising and developing her extensive communication and publishing skills. Julia’s role in Stella harnesses her twin passions for working towards better workplace diversity as well as her belief that good financial planning can make a huge difference to many Australians lives. Outside work Julia is a passionate supporter of the arts. Julia is currently Vice President of the Sydney University Business School Alumni Network. She is also on the advisory committee of 1 Million Women.


Tara is a trained actor, unwitting director, published playwright and one half of theatre company Two Peas.

Her most recent stage performances include Darling Mae Thomas in Old 505’s inaugural subscription season production, We’re Bastards and Tanya Crawley in the Australian premier of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, a production which earned 7 Sydney Theatre Awards nominations in 2014. The same year she wrote and directed Jennifer Forever, since published by Playlab Indie and described as a  “…thought provoking piece of theatre, such a brave and bold accomplishment.”*

In 2016 she co-wrote (with Kieran Foster) and directed Drift, performed at ATYP and since published by Australian Plays.

In 2017 she was invited to join the Women in Theatre and Screen (WITS) Committee and is excited to be General Manager/Producer of Festival Fatale 2018. None of this, however, pays her rent. She thinks that Tracey Letts’ August Osage County is perfectly written and her dream is to play Sylv in Berkoff’s East. She’s currently completing her MBA, and trying to learn how to meditate.

*Stevie Zipper – Theatre Unzipped


Anna is a media and entertainment lawyer, and a keen advocate of legal education as a means of empowering women of all backgrounds. She is particularly passionate about equipping artists and producers with the legal knowledge to support their creative endeavours.

Anna currently works at boutique law firm Blueprint Law, where she specialises in the development of theatre and live events, both domestic and international. She has also produced a range of theatrical and other arts projects for young artists with Edgewise Productions, and is proud to support the Arts Law Centre of Australia as a committee member of Hearts for Arts Law.


Jessica is thrilled to be a member of WITS, having been a passionate admirer and supporter since its inception. She brings experience as an actor, musician, educator and arts administrator and is a graduate of WAAPA with a Bachelor of Arts (Acting). She also holds a Bachelor of Music (Music Education) with honours from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Jessica’s recent theatre credits include stepping in as emergency understudy in The Rover at Belvoir, The Laden Table with kxt/bakehouse and Girl Shut Your Mouth for Black Swan State Theatre Company. For television she has appeared in A Place to Call Home. In 2018 Jessica has been a member of Bell Shakespeare’s touring education ensemble, The Players.

Jessica is a particular advocate for young women’s development in the industry and is excited to be working with the WITS team to help to encourage young women to be limitless in their ambition and courageous in their work. She believes that it is our responsibility to help create an industry that we can be proud of.


Bio coming soon.


Bio coming soon.