Funky Zoo Bio

Anna Passerman


Anna has a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Theatre Performance and a Masters in Primary Teaching. She began acting at the age of 10 as ‘Leanne' in the original Funky Zoo. Since then, her roles have included Peggy in Godspell’, Christina in ‘’Still Life with a Dead Artist’ and Janet in ‘Rope’. She has also worked with Peter Cousins on the devised musical ‘Migratory V’. Short film roles include Stina in ‘Return to Sender’ and Diana in ‘Terms’. Last year, Anna starred as ‘Sue Lewis’ on Channel 7’s CIA. Currently, she is the music and drama teacher at Merrylands East Public School.

Jacob Thomas

Stephen the Echidna

Jacob is still very much a child at heart so has embraced The Funky Zoo whole ‘childheartedly’. His musical performances have included roles in Cabaret, Gypsy and most recently Slick Operettas Floradora. Recent theatre performances include ATYP’s Phaedra’s Love directed by Kate Gaul, a couple of stint in Short and Sweet and Brave New Theatre’s ‘Meta-mor-phases’ A Difference of Opinion.

John Michael Burdon

Brian the Wombat

John Michael Burdon has been working in the theatre industry for ten years after graduating from ACTT in 2000. An actor, choreographer and director, John's current projects include Hamlet, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, the professional premiere of Beaudy - The Musical, Little Shop of Horrors and Bare.

Kathleen Hollely

Glenys the Kangaroo

Kathleen has a Bachelor of Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong. Since completing her degree she has starred in and run a Hey Dee Ho music for tinies, specialising in Childrens Music, Dance Yoga and Auslan Sign Language. Kathleen has performed as a singer and actor for the past 3 years and has starred in short film and various stage productions. With Hey Dee Ho she has performed at some of Sydney's leading children's events such as Westmead Hospital's Teddy Bears Picnic, Randwick Children's Hospital - Starlight room, Ronald McDonalds House, Pram Stroll (raising money for Post Natal Depression) and Sydney's Childrens Concert raising money for children with disability. Kathleen now teaches drama and singing and is undertaking a Masters of Speech Pathology at Macquarie University.

Paul Bevis

Charlie the Kookaburra

Paul completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Theatre Performance at Wollongong University, during which time he performed in over 20 plays. His roles include Lamp Lighter / Snake in the Australian premiere production of The Little Prince directed by Stuart McRae. Other roles include Willie Struthers in Kangaroo, Cosmo Disney in A Pitchfork Disney, Rot in Features of Blown Youth, and Horatio in Hamlet. In addition to completing a DipEd in Drama and English, Paul has played drums for over 22 years, currently playing in the band Ranger Spacey all across Sydney (look them up on Facebook and MySpace). He likes blue skies, green lights, red roses and purple pumphandles.

Alyssan Russell

Kelly the Koala

Alyssan Russell completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Theatre Performance at Wollongong University and since has completed many theatre courses in both Sydney and Melbourne. She has performed in many shows including Summer Rain, Terrorism, Romeo and Juliet, Persae, West Side Story and in Under Milk Wood at the Wharf Theatre. She has worked on many short films and can also be seen in the new Fox series Spirited later this year. Along with singing Alyssan has played the piano for 22 years, and also plays the trumpet and french horn. Alyssan spends a lot of her time working in Before and After School Care and teaching drama and music to primary aged children.

Ken Stewart

Ken worked professionally for 10 years in the Out of School Hours and Vacation Care programs in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. He currently teaches bigger kids in the postgraduate audio program at the University of Sydney. Born in Adelaide, Ken moved to Sydney in 1983 with urban folk/rock band “Urban Guerillas” as guitarist/ singer/ songwriter and is well known for his witty observations and cutting comments on societies ills. Ken has always wondered how, when and why from innocent, fun loving children, suspicious and bitterly compromising adults too often emerge. The Funky Zoo is a celebration of the joys of children and hope for their future as happy, well adjusted adults with sensible environmental priorities. The Funky Zoo parallels the world in which we all live due to ‘progress’ and was created and written by Ken with help from fellow songwriter Phil Paviour in 1992. The title song “Funky Zoo” was nominated as the Children’s song of the year at the 1993 APRA awards.

The Urban Guerillas

Phil Paviour

Philip Paviour - aka ‘Pav‘. Phil's latest album is called Head Space and was released in November of 2009. It has already out sold any other release by the Bowral based singer/songwriter. Phil has played in bands since the mid 80’s including the URBAN GUERILLAS, THE WORKS and HEAD OVER HEELS. He has been a songwriter since the age of 16 and has now recorded 6 CD’s of his own songs in varying styles. Several of Phil’s songs have been published in the prestigious ABC (Australia) “Sing” books. Pav co-wrote the successful children’s musical “The Funky Zoo” which is now running in Sydney and is currently working on a TV pilot for a Funky Zoo series. He is a qualified primary classroom teacher and has a masters degree in music. Phil is a multi-instrumentalist who teaches guitar, bass, mandolin and ukulele. He is also a part time timpanist. Pav runs his own digital production studio and was a member of multi-award nominated country rock band COWPOKE, who released two highly acclaimed albums. He has more recently been seen playing around Western Sydney and the Southern Highlands/Tablelands in good time party band GOOD COMPANY. He is married with two children a dog and four fish.