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Andrew Hansen

Andrew was a founding member of Handspan in 1977 and remained at the core of its heart and soul throughout its quarter century history.

Andrew was part of the Parry-Marshall Puppet Theatre company from which the Handspan collective evolved. Before his employment with Parry, he had been a member of Nigel Triffitt's Yellow Brick Roadshows (1974 - 1976), an experimental and edgy performance troupe launched by his disciples from Monash University in Clayton, Victoria where Triffitt was Director of Student Theatre.

Andrew departed Handspan for a couple of years after the first seasons of Hansel and Gretel to travel the world with his partner, Jeffrey Lipp. On his return in 1980, he and Peter J.Wilson toured with The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek and established Handspan's Australia-wide reputation while Helen Rickards and Ken Evans toured the same work to UK, Europe and USA extending the company's contacts and reputation abroad.

With Ken, Helen and Peter, Andrew formed the leading artistic directorate of the company collective until 1986 when Trina Parker was appointed.

From 1980 till 1997, Andrew worked as a performer in almost every company production that was developed and independently, performed in the original casts for Nigel Triffitt's works: The Fall of Singapore (1987); Moby Dick (1990) and the revival of Momma’s Little Horror Show .

In tandem with his performing roles, Andrew maintained a committed involvement in all aspects of Handspan's operations, including the endless maintenance of its workshop and equipment through which he mastered the technicalities of paintbrush and hammer with endless humour; was assiduous and compelling in the liaison, promotion and recording keeping for the company's extensive community and schools marketplace; and served on the Handspan Board for a first decade, both as a founding member and as an elected working company representative.

Andrew directed Guts for kindergatens and lower primary school touring in 1984, and in the late 1980s, was Artistic Co-Ordinator of Handspan's education and community workshop program: HandMade under the umbrella of which he devised and directed Snapshot 1986), The Butterfly Project (1986) and The Tomorrowland Game (1987).

In the 1990s Andrew formed Puppetree with designer, Alison Bogg to work for festivals, schools and community arts residencies in regional and metropolitan Victoria, ACT and New South Wales and in India in through an Asialink supported residency.

From 2013 - 2015, Andrew cataloged, classified and digitised Handspan's extensive video and film archive which has made possible the video clips linked on this site.

Since 2004 Andrew works at Melbourne’s leading independent theatre venue, fortyfivedownstairs, as front of house manager.