sound artist / actor
Ben Oakes is a young Australian actor with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He performed in Melbourne for the Malthouse Theatre and Black Swan Theatre co-production of Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet in the role of Fish Lamb in 2019. Ben performs with the Theatre of Speed at Back to Back Theatre in Geelong and appeared in the short film, Oddlands, co-produced by Back to Back and Matchbox Pictures in 2017. Ben also makes sound art with the Noise Scavengers, performing both live and creating recordings.
Born Benjamin Edward Oakes in Geelong, Australia.
Ben is the son of artist Esther Konings-Oakes and designer Nathan Oakes, has an older brother, Tom – a bass guitarist who also creates and performs in the Noise Scavengers and a younger sister, Annemeike, who is a photographer. Ben started his creative career in high school in Lara, Australia – performing in musicals, rock eisteddfods and original theatre pieces. He has worked with the Snuff Puppets and JOLT Arts, and was involved with devising and shooting a short film for the Geelong Shootout competition in 2008, which won a Silver Spurs award. Ben has featured in the NDS training videos for their Zero Tolerance campaign (2017) for disability support workers and a Deakin University student short film, Friend for Life (2017).
Through Noise Scavengers, Ben has worked with artists such as The Amplified Elephants, Adam Simmons, Belinda Woods, James Hullick and Dave Brown. He has presented work at venues such as fortyfivedownstairs, Footscray Community Arts Centre, Federation Square and Geelong Courthouse Arts Centre.