Branch Nebula

branch nebula headshot with two artists

Branch Nebula: Mirabelle Wouters and Lee Wilson.

Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters co-founded Branch Nebula in 1999, and co-created all the company’s

works to date. Their shared aesthetic draws its dynamism from passionate engagement with street culture

– shopping malls, protests, community vogue balls, skate competitions – and cultivates its intelligence from a discriminating awareness of movements in contemporary arts.

Branch Nebula is one of Australia’s most adventurous performance companies pushing the boundaries of theatre. Working at the nexus between theatre, dance, sport and street-styles, they immerse their diverse audiences in the creativity of urban landscapes and vital theatre experiences.

Branch Nebula’s new work DEMO premiered last year at Custom’s House Forecourt for the Art & About program presented by the City of Sydney.

In 2018 High Performance Packing Tape, a new in-theatre work commissioned by Performance Space, premiered at Liveworks in 2018, and in 2019 toured to the Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Festival, Homo Novus Festival in Latvia and an upcoming season at Adelaide Festival 2020.

In 2016 the Helpmann Award winning Snake Sessions premiered in Nowra in regional NSW, and toured to Artlands Regional Arts Australia Conference & Festival in Dubbo. In 2017 Snake Sessions’ six city regional tour of skateparks was presented by Mandurah Performing Arts Centre; by Performance Art Development

Agency in Adelaide, Whyalla & Mt Gambier; by Country Arts SA at Lighthouse Theatre in Warrnambool, Bleach Festival, Gold Coast; in 2018 it was presented at APAM in Brisbane and toured to NSW regional centres Wagga Wagga and Griffith; in 2019 at Horizon Festival on the Sunshine Coast.

In 2016 Branch Nebula curated Swarm for Campbelltown Art Centre’s live art program, and developed a large-scale event Foodfight: The Battle for Food Security with artist Diego Bonetto for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Liverpool City Council.

In 2015 the company premiered Artwork, commissioned by Carriageworks, working with unrehearsed nonperformers

who first meet the company an hour before going on stage.

Concrete and Bone Sessions was commissioned by Sydney Festival 2013, and toured to the Santiago A Mil festival in Chile in 2014.

The Helpmann and Green Room Award winning Whelping Box premiered at Performance Space’s SEXES festival at Carriageworks in 2012, toured to Arts House in Melbourne in 2013, and Brisbane 2014.

In 2013 Branch Nebula created s.l.o.a.p. (space left over after planning) working with local professional street-style artists, an international co-production with the Kiasma Museum in Helsinki Finland for the Urb Festival, later adapted for Freespace presented by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong, in 2014.

LEE WILSON – Co-founder Branch Nebula & Co-Artistic Director

LEE WILSON graduated from University of Western Sydney, Theatre Nepean in 1991 and has been a major contributor to the independent performance scene for thirty years as a highly regarded performer/actor and director. He is co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of Branch Nebula whose genre-defying works incorporate popular culture, sport and street styles in stage productions and on site-specific projects to inhabit and activate urban spaces for audiences. Branch Nebula’s award-winning work has toured extensively in Australia as well to international festivals.

Lee has performed with Australia’s major physical theatre companies, including Shaun Parker Projects, Force Majeure, Acrobat, Legs On The Wall, Stalker Theatre Company, Gravity Research Institute and Post Arrivalists. Lee directed the remount of SDS1 by Ahil Ratnamohan for its national tour of Australia (2015) and The Football Diaries, which toured to South Africa (2010). He was dramaturg for Nick Power’s Cypher (2014), Between Tiny Cites (2017) and Two Crews (2020); choreographer on Roslyn Oades’ I’m Your Man, (Belvoir St 2012); and movement director on Urban Theatre Projects’ Last Highway and Back Home, both for Sydney Festival.

MIRABELLE WOUTERS – Co-founder Branch Nebula & Co-Artistic Director

Mirabelle Wouters is a Belgian performance maker, set and lighting designer living in Sydney. She is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Branch Nebula, one of Australia’s most adventurous performance companies working at the nexus between performance, dance, sport and street-styles.

Mirabelle also works as a free-lance set, lighting and costume designer. Most recently she designed costumes for Marrugeku’s Le Dernier Appel (The Last Cry). Mirabelle designed Wade Marynowsky’s Robot Opera, Urban Theatre Projects’ Buried City, The Football Diaries and The Last Highway; Nick Power’s Cypher; Ahilan Ratnamohan’s SDS1; Theatre Kantaka’s Club Singularity and The Bargain Garden; Hole In The

Wall by Matt Prest and Clare Britton; Martin Del Amo’s Never Been This Far Away From Home and created lights and choreography for The Hosts: A Masquerade Of Improvising Automatons by Wade Marynowsky.

Mirabelle completed an industrial design degree in 1995 at the High Institute for Architecture and Industrial Design in Antwerp and did a post-graduate in scenography at the Flemish Autonomous University Antwerp.

HARLEY STUMM – Company Producer

Harley Stumm has worked in performing arts producing since 1994, and with Branch Nebula since 2005, and established the independent producing company Intimate Spectacle in 2012. In that role he has produced and toured artists including Branch Nebula, Nick Power, post, Vicki Van Hout, Cambodian Space Project, Sam Routledge, Erth, Team Mess and Lenine Bourke, to major festivals & venues nationally, regionally and internationally.

Producing highlights include three highly successful works for Art & About, Branch Nebula’s DEMO dropping a skate parke in front of Customs House (2019); Sam Routledge’s I Think I Can placing a model railway on the Grand Concourse at Central Station (2013, co-produced with Performance Space), and Lenine Bourke’s The Walking Neighbourhood in the streets of Redfern and Kings Cross (2014). Previously, he was Producer at Performing Lines 2005-11, managing the Mobile States contemporary touring program, He was Executive Producer and joint CEO at Urban Theatre Projects 1995- 2003, with UTP winning the Sidney Myer Award in this period. He undertook the National Touring Framework consultancy with Rick Heath for the Australia Council in 2011-12.

Branch Nebula website