Dr Cher Coad 严雪文 is a Chinese-Australian writer, director and performer with a PhD in co-production scriptwriting from Griffith University entitled The Bridge Between and Swell: Writing Difference in Feature-Film Scriptwriting for National Production and International Co-Production (2012). Cher has been professionally involved in the performance arts since the age of 15, when she joined the Cultural Troupe of Yinnan, Ningxia Province, China. As well as professional engagements as a ringmaster and model, Cher has played lead roles in several television productions. She has also worked as assistant director on films including Tai Chi Master (1993, starring Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh) and Beside the High Rise Buildings (1993). Cher’s publications include short stories, poetry, lyrics, and a translation of the opera Aida. Additionally, Cher has worked with Michael Edgley International on numerous productions, including large-scale arena versions of Aida, Swan Lake and the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. She studied acting at the Shanghai Drama Academy and is a graduate in directing from the Central Drama Academy, Beijing, where she taught for several years in the acting and directing programme. More recently, she has accepted several invitations to guest lecture at Griffith University in the scriptwriting programme. In 2015, Cher directed a sold-out season of The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh for AOTU Theatre Company at The Open Stage, The University of Melbourne. She is currently busy establishing a new theatre venture in Melbourne, One Tree Theatre. The company’s first production, The Gate to Paradise, will premiere in September at the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Cher is also principal of a training school for young actors as part of One Tree Theatre. Recently, they performed two sold-out Show Case Performances at the Guild Theatre, The University of Melbourne. In January-March 2017, Cher is planning to direct a Net TV series, and in April-July she will co-direct a segment of the musical Sweet Charity with Dr Zachary Dunbar, to be performed at the Chinese Museum, Melbourne. From August onwards, she will be directing several new theatre productions, while running a parallel actor-training programme. Recently, Cher has been awarded a one year residency at ACMI X. While at ACMI X, Cher will be working on a multi-media installation and performance project entitled Crystal Balls & Cultural Clairvoyance, inspired by Alfred Jarry’s ’Pataphysical, magical methodologies.