About

Big MAMA Productions

Gwendolyn Knox and Big MAMA Productions

Gwen Knox, has works as an artist in the community as proprietor of Big MAMA Productions, based in Broome, Western Australia, but works right across Australia.
She develops community cultural development projects in collaboration with communities that incorporate puppetry, music, dance, spoken word and physical theatre. She is a multi arts teacher, writer, facilitator of small and large events in the community that incorporate considerable community participation. By “hanging around with the wrong people”, she has developed a passion for circus and strongly identifies the important transferable skills that the artform provides and so the Sandfly Circus was born which she eventually handed over to Theatre Kimberley to manage. (Now called Act Belong Commit Sandfly Circus). 

The name Big MAMA is taken from a 4 metre high puppet created for a festival parade around 1997 by Gwen and two friends. Her name was Big Mamma. Gwen adopted the name for her freelancing business but changing Mamma to MAMA  which stands for Making Arts More Accessible

Big MAMA Productions works with people to tell their stories using mediums that are appropriate to the individual or group involved at that time, through developing visual theatre works. This may include using puppetry, where puppets are created with a community or made on commission, circus, film, music and fun. Performance outcomes are negotiated with the community or individual throughout the process to develop a  work that is the best fit for that community or individual at that time.

Big MAMA Productions works with communities in: 

  • Health promotion through community theatre and the arts.
  • Cross curricular projects in schools to tell stories. Using the arts to help create individual and community pride and more meaningful learning environments.
  • Creation of large and small community events that help celebrate important aspects of that community such as, festivals, site specific processional theatre, any celebration that is designed and run in collaboration with the community.
  • Training emerging artists and arts workers

Gwen Knox was  the Artistic Director of Theatre Kimberly Inc between 1998 and 2016 which is a non-profit community organisation based in Broome WA. She was a member of the first board of Theatre Kimberley that became a not for profit organisation in 1995. Theatre Kimberley produces high quality community based, semi professional and professional theatre and training in a range of theatre skills across the Kimberly region. 

The model that is still used by Theatre Kimberley was developed by Gwen. Developing community cultural development projects in collaboration with communities that incorporate puppetry, music, dance, spoken word and physical theatre. Theatre Kimberley works with the local Broome community or in remote Indigenous and general communities as part of the Act Belong Commit Dragonfly Outreach project.

She is a multi arts teacher, writer, facilitator of small and large events in the community that incorporate considerable community participation. By “hanging around with the wrong people”, she has developed a passion for circus and strongly identifies the important transferable skills that the artform provides and so the Sandfly Circus was born which she eventually handed over to Theatre Kimberley to manage to become Western Australia’s premier regional youth circus. (Now called Act Belong Commit Sandfly Circus). 

She has worked in community cultural development and children’s theatre for over 30 years, especially in remote Indigenous communities promoting health and wellbeing. 

Gwen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences, agriculture minor), a Diploma of Education.

Awards and Accolades:                                                                                                             Premier’s award for citizenship, Life membership of Community Arts Network Western Australia, Life Membership of Theatre Kimberley Inc, Artist residency at Stwdio Maelor Wales 2016,  2017 recipient of the Churchill Fellowship