Thomas James Christophersen was born in Brisbane, Queensland in 1987, as the son of a musician (Robin) and a primary school teacher (Joanne). Tom’s parents moved to Adelaide when Tom was still under a year old with their Siamese cat Frank and all the haberdashery they could fit in the boot of their ’84 Commodore.
Tom showed an interest in the creative arts at a young age. By age 11 Tom had starred in his school’s annual musicals, won various art competitions, sang as a soloist with the school choir and had trained for a year as a ballet dancer (to not much avail). At age 12, a friend suggested Tom join ‘Urban Myth: Theatre of Youth’, a local youth theatre company, to attend a series of improvisation workshops. After these workshops Tom was asked to participate in the company’s 2000 production of Fiona Sprott’s new work ‘In My Life (I Died Once Or Twice)’, which discussed youth suicide and which toured to rural South Australia. Tom was the production’s youngest member at age 12. From 2001 – 2004 Tom continued performing in both workshop and production forums. With Urban Myth, Tom performed in the premieres of Sean Riley’s ‘Time of Ashes’ (2001), Andy Packer’s ‘Arenarama™’ (2002), the company’s 21st Anniversary show ‘Brave: A Work In Progress’ (2003) devised by the company and Michael Hill’s ‘Motion Sickness’(2004) just to name a few.
Through UMTOY, Tom has performed in various Adeladian Fringe Festivals and Come Out Festivals since 2000. As well as performing Tom has also undertaken a plethora of workshops dealing with a multitude of multidisciplinary arts practice. Tom was the Youth Representative on the UMTOY board for a year and a youth crew representative for two years. In 2003 – 04 Tom was part of UMTOY’s core acting ensemble and had the privilege to teach a young group of refugees basic theatre games on a week-long camp in conjunction with ‘Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre‘. At the end of 2004 Tom was nominated by UMTOY to attend ATYP’s week long ‘National Studio’ theatre making workshop in Nowra, NSW. Tom was successful in his application and was chosen along with one other young actor, representing South Australia. This opportunity allowed Tom to engage and create with some of Australia’s most formidable theatre personalities including Michael Gow, Robert Draffin and Margaret Cameron.
In 2005 Tom completed his final year of high school in Brisbane, returning to his home town to attend Wavell State High School, a Drama Excellence School. Tom was awarded Dux of both Drama and Drama Excellence and was cast as the lead role of ‘Proctor’ in his graduating class’s production of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ and ‘Lion’ in the school’s production of ‘The Wiz’. Tom also attended physical theatre workshops at ‘Zen Zen Zo‘ throughout 2005 which honed the skills Tom had already developed in physical and movement based theatre.
In 2006, Tom was accepted into ‘The South Australian School of Art’ (SASA) studying a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Specialisation). At SASA Tom specialised in Painting (Portraiture) as well as Drawing and Print Making. Tom has exhibited in the Adelaide CBD and has sold work to ‘Zhivago’ night club whilst still studying as a student artist. In 2007, Tom was involved with the Adelaide Feast Festival, performing in Moises Kaufmann’s ‘Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde’ directed by Rosalba Clemente. In 2008 Tom returned to UMTOY to play the role of MC in the world premiere of ‘Curfew’, written by Caroline Reed, the only piece of theatre for young people made by young people in the ASSITEJ World Youth Festival.
2009 saw Tom moving to Sydney to attend the ‘Australian Academy of Dramatic Art‘ (AADA). At AADA Tom performed in productions such as ‘The Laramie Project’ (2009), written by Moises Kaufmann (directed by Andrew Davidson) as well as ‘Blood Wedding’ directed by Iain Sinclair – adapted by the company. In his 2nd year of AADA Tom directed the world premiere of an adaptation of John Marsden’s ‘The Rabbits’, one part of ‘Sites of Power’, a student created and produced production. In his last semester at AADA Tom designed the sound (as well as performing) for the graduating company’s season of ‘Attempts On Her Life’, written by Martin Crimp.
As part of Tom’s final semester at AADA, he completed his professional placement at Shopfront Contemporary Arts Centre, acting as Assistant Producer, Graphic Designer and Technical Operator for the ArtsLab2011 season ‘together ALONE ALONE together’.
In early 2011 Tom worked with developing one of the short works featured in ‘together ALONE ALONE together’ and acted as Producer, Stage Manager, Publicist and Operator for Alice Cooper‘s one woman clown show ‘Clown Lights Stage’. In February of the same year Tom and Alice took ‘Clown Lights Stage’ to the Adelaide Fringe Festival, performing at the majestic Holden Street Theatres. The show received positive critical acclaim and delighted audiences for a week-long season.
Tom also practices as a visual artist, working both as a freelance and commissioned photographer and portraiture artist. Tom has exhibited his work alongside Australian painting icon Jeffrey Smart and has taken part in group shows for Urban Myth Theatre of Youth and f o u r w o r d s.
Tom hopes to launch his own multi-disciplinary theatre company in mid 2011, ‘The New What Next’ with fellow actors Sophie Haylen, Daniel Hunter, Katie Maudlin and Jenna Hutton.