Tony Le-Nguyen

Teaching Artist

Born under the name of Le Thien Toan in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam in 1968, changed his name to Tony Lee in 1985 as he began a career in acting and eventually to Tony Le-Nguyen in 1995 as he became a director.Le-Nguyen studied Television production techniques at RMIT, Melbourne in 1989 and was awarded his Bachelor’s degree in Drama Arts and Community Development in 1998, followed by a Graduate Diploma of Education from Victoria University two years later.Presently, he is the founder of The Drama Lab, a research centre for drama in education in Vietnam. Over the past three decades, he has accumulated a wealth of experience in the arts, having acted, written plays, directed, produced, and taught. He has accumulated more than ten years of experience teaching drama at Caroline Chisholm College, Melbourne, Australia, as well as eight years of drama and life skills teaching in Vietnam since 2013.Le Nguyen took to the stage in Australia in 1986 with actress Maria Coustas, Handspan Theatre, in the play  “A Change of Face” under the direction of Carmelina di Guglielmo. From 1990-1992 he worked with the Victoria State Opera, performing in “Madama Butterfly” and “Titus” at TheaterWorks under the direction of David Pledger and Robert Draffin.He is best known for his role as “Tiger” alongside actor Russell Crowe in the 1992 movie Romper Stomper, directed by Geoffrey Wright. He has also featured in numerous other Australian TV episodes including “Stingers, SeaChange, Raw FM, GP, Fast Forward, All Together Now, Embassy, Secrets, The Damnation of Harvey McHugh, Paradise Beach, English at Work, and Australia Most Wanted”.In May of 1994, Tony Le-Nguyen established the Australian Vietnamese Youth Media (AVYM) Group at the Footscray Community Arts Centre. In 1995, the group was awarded its first funding from Queens Trust Australia to create “Running in Circles,” a production that was both written and directed by Le-Nguyen. The following year, he obtained additional funding from the Arts Council of Australia and the Sidney Myer Foundation to present a fully professional rendition of “Running in Circles” at the Napier Street Theatre in South Melbourne. In 1998, Urban Theater Projects entrusted Le-Nguyen with the direction of a new interpretation of the same play in Sydney. After his triumph with “Running in Circles,” Tony Le-Nguyen embarked on a professional career in many community productions, among them the highly acclaimed “A Time of Our Lives” at St Martins Youth Theater & Flemington Community Center, and the co-direction of the pioneering Vietnamese Drama “Worlds Apart,” which aired on SBS Television in Australia. Le-Nguyen directed “Now I Lay Me Down” by Frank Ottis at La Mama Theater, as well as “Taboo.” He was also the co-author and producer of the play “Aussie Bia Om,” which was presented at the Next Wave Festival, and one of the segment directors of the Maribyrnong Festival. Furthermore, Tony served as a producer for “Children of the Dragon” at Trades Hall in 2005, and “Silence” in 2008 at La Mama Theatre in Melbourne.In 2000, he became the first Vietnamese to be presented with an Arts Council of Australia Community Development Fellowship to study the Vietnamese diaspora around the world. Since then, he has been asked to give lectures and teach in many locations in the US, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Vietnam. Beginning from the end of 2013 until the present, he has returned to Vietnam to deliver talks, drama workshops and soft skills for schools and organisations, such as Sony Vietnam, TH School Hanoi, Sentia Primary School Hanoi, FPT University, Hoa Sen University, FPT University, Fulbright University, RMIT Vietnam, Da Nang University, HCM City Dance School, HCM City Theatre, Quoc Thao Theatre, Erato School of Music & Performing Arts, Koto Vietnam,  Can Tho Disability Association, Black Box Hanoi, 123TV, Hanoi Steiner’s School, Institute of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, Rong Tien Sa Da Nang, Will To Live Centre Vietnam, School on the Boat Hanoi, and SM English Centre.