About Asphyxia

Asphyxia is Australia's leading Deaf circus performer turned puppeteer. She has toured nationally and internationally over the past decade with her performing arts company Sky Works.


Asphyxia has a background in ballet, and has trained with Circus Oz and the National Institute of Circus Art, specialising in trapeze, adagio (double balance) and hula hoops. She has created theatre shows, including Blood Makes Noise, which have performed sell out seasons in Melbourne, Sydney and the USA.

A chance encounter with master puppeteer Sergio Barrio on the streets of Guatamala in 2006 introduced Asphyxia to the world of marionette theatre – and she was hooked! Asphyxia's first puppet show, The Paint Factory, has won the hearts of audiences all over Australia. Her show The Grimstones - Hatched took her eighteen months to create. She designed the aesthetic for the show, handcrafted each of the marionettes, and built the set.

Despite the growing popularity of puppetry in Australia, marionettes are rarely used here. Asphyxia is passionately committed to introducing Australian audiences to the delightful world of marionettes, and creating groundbreaking new concepts with this traditional form of theatre.

Rather than hiding behind a miniature stage, Asphyxia brings the puppeteers into the performance and creates an integral role for them.

As a Deaf artist, Asphyxia creates works that reflect and strengthen Deaf culture and values - providing positive modelling and validation for Deaf audiences. She provides education about Deaf culture and lifestyle to hearing audiences.

"They came to life and you forgot they were just puppets."

- Daniella Grasso

"So beautiful and touching. It was very special to see the puppet-human relationship."

- Louise Osland

"Nothing in the world gives me greater pleasure than creating things - whether by stitching, performing, drawing, sculpting, writing or building."


The Grimstones is a high quality, engaging, beautiful and innovative piece of theatre by Australia's premier Deaf performing artist.

For more information about Asphyxia's early influences and her inspiring life read The Grimstones - an artist's journal by Asphyxia.

... also check out the ABC's interview with Asphyxia