WE'LL DANCE ON THE ASH
OF THE APOCALYPSE
The near future. A young couple living in a world ravaged by climate change face a terrifying prospect; an unplanned pregnancy. Together they must decide whether they can bring a defenceless child into a seemingly hopeless world.
Trigger warning: discussions regarding abortion, mental health, suicide
A one-act play by Melissa-Kelly Franklin
Directed by Julia Billington
September 26, 2021
RHACA - 67 Bath Street
Stage Manager/Sound Op
Heather Edmonds (she/her)
Sy Browne (they/them)
October 2, 2021
Totem Theatre, Anzac Oval
Stage Manager/Sound Op
Tiana Bateman (she/her)
Benjamin Erin, Jez Conlon
OTW Theatre Co. acknowledges the Central Arrernte people of Mparntwe as Traditional Owners of the lands on which we present this piece of work. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present, and emerging, wherein the Culture lies.
Presented as part of Desert Festival 2021
Melissa-Kelly Franklin (she/her)
Born in Alice Springs, Australia, Melissa-Kelly has found herself living in various cities around the world, from Sydney to Bristol, Berlin to Lausanne.
She is based in both London and Sydney, where she writes and directs independent film and theatre. Her body of work focuses on female protagonists and centres the female gaze, exploring themes including female agency and desire (in both contemporary and historical contexts), social and climate justice and women’s reproductive rights.
Melissa-Kelly’s films share a poetic visual style that creates a tension between beauty and aesthetic simplicity on the surface and the darker themes and social complexities that lie beneath.
Her short films have screened at numerous festivals internationally, attracting nominations including Best Director (EMBRACE ME, Largo Film Awards), Best Short Film (ONLY THE LONELY, Melbourne Short Film Festival) and a Commendation for Vision and Contribution to Cinema (PORTRAIT, Experimental Forum). Her work has also screened at Fragments Festival (London) and the Screen Victoria sponsored Melbourne Women in Film Festival (Melbourne).
Both her short films PORTRAIT and EMBRACE ME have distribution through Samsung TV’s short film channel, and are screening online on Sofy.tv as part of the Largo Film Talent Program.
Melissa-Kelly’s work as a writer has also received international recognition, most recently as a finalist for Best Playwright for her debut play WE’LL DANCE ON THE ASH OF THE APOCALYPSE at the Scenesaver Birthday Honours. The OffFest nominated play has toured international online theatre festivals in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Iceland throughout the pandemic, and has attracted nominations including People’s Choice Award (Melbourne Fringe Festival), Audience Choice Award (Brighton Fringe) and was shortlisted for the National Theatre of Iceland’s 2021 Season.
Melissa-Kelly graduated from the University of Sydney with First Class Honours in Advanced Arts, with a double major in English Literature and History. She followed this with a Diploma of Classical Acting from London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Melissa-Kelly has several film and theatre projects in development, including a short film about women’s reproductive rights and a cycle of political plays.
A NIDA graduate, Julia works as a director, actor, and performance & movement coach. She is a regular director of the Bell Shakespeare Players who perform nation wide with a repertoire of shows for both high school and primary school students.
She is the Drama Coach on First Day (ABC & Hulu) assisting first-time transgender actress Evie Macdonald and twenty other youth cast in shaping their performances. Season One gained international acclaim receiving the Rose d’Or Award as well as an International Childrend’s Emmy.
Julia has extensive training in physical theatre, having studied and performed with New York based SITI Company in their adaption of The Bacchae as part of their 2018 Summer Intensive. She was the Movement Coordinator on Fierce, a Red Line Production at the Old Fitz Theatre in 2019, which received many positive reviews commenting on the physical strength of the play.
As an actor, Julia’s cinematic presence includes Buckley’s Chance starring Bill Nighy, currently playing in cinemas. She has toured International Film Festivals multiple times with Australian features Ellie & Abbie (and Ellie’s Dead Aunt) and All About E.
Television credits include: Janet King (ABC); the telemovie Catching Milat, (Shine Productions); East West 101 and Starting From Now (SBS); as well as Tricky Business and In Your Dreams (Southern Star). She has appeared in several short films including Shopping; Manmares; The Filmmaker; and Thanks For Coming.
Theatre credits include: For STC - Embers; Gallipoli; For Belvoir St - Baghdad Wedding; For MTC – The Myth Project: TWIN; For Bell Shakespeare - Romeo and Juliet; For La Boite – My Name Is Rachel Corrie for which she received a Greenroom Groundling Award for Best Performance in an Independent Production.
Julia has been a proud member of Equity since 2008.
Chrysoulla Markoulli is an award-winning screen and theatre composer based in Sydney, Australia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music (Honours)/Bachelor of Education from the University of New South Wales, receiving First Class Honours in Composition. She has worked with the Sydney theatre companies - Belvoir, Australian Theatre for Young People, Griffin Theatre Company, The General Public, White Box Theatre, New Ghosts Theatre Company, Aya Productions and Millstone Productions - to compose the music and sound design for the stage productions: HOT MESS (2021), THE LINDEN SOLUTION (2021), LIGHTS IN THE PARK (2021), DEAD SKIN (2021), JALI (2021), MY BRILLIANT CAREER (2020), IPHIGENIA IN SPLOTT (2020), INTERSECTION 2019 - ARRIVAL (2019), YEN (2018), IMPENDING EVERYONE (2018), MOTH (2017), OEDIPUS DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE (2017) and FIGHT WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT THE ZOMBIES OF TONIGHT (2016). Screen credits include the Waverly Council's BONDIFEST PROMO AD (2021), Alan Fang's WHAT WILL THE FATHER THINK? (2021), ARACOURT Studio’s CNUT (2020), Jean-David Le Goullon's BARNACLE FACE (2020) and Mohamed Mebarek's THE SHOT (2019). Chrysoulla’s music has been played in the Sydney Opera House, Art Gallery of NSW and Perth Concert Hall and has been acknowledged in several competitions including the ScoreLive Competition (2020 Runner-up), Glories of the Score Student Screen Music Competition (2018 Winner), and Artology Fanfare Competition (2016 Winner). Chrysoulla is currently collaborating on Miss The Mark Productions' MARY (2021) and is one of this year's composition mentors for the Artology Fanfare Competition.
Jac is an actor, movement artist, play artist, presenter and Speech Pathologist. With a great love of travel and learning, she has trained, created and performed across the globe. Jac is a passionate environmentalist and enjoys work that makes an emotional and/or cognitive thud.
She works with children and families across the lifespan doing the thing she loves most: facilitating play and expression, done through her work as a Speechie here in Central Australia, as a play artist and presenter with Sydney Opera House, for many years a Captain Starlight with Starlight Children’s Foundation and as a Teaching Artist and co-director with Milk Crate Theatre.
Television credits include: A Place To Call Home, Maverix. As movement artist, Jac has choreographed and performed in a number dance films, including Yes, created in response to the Australian Same Sex Marriage Debate. Training: LAMDA. Additional training highlights: Patsy Rodenburg, SITI Company.
Dan is a dude who gets to work with a bunch of amazing bad-ass women in this production, and is all the better for it. I mean, did you read those bios?! Scroll back up if you skipped them!
He's done some acting over the years, on stage and on screen. He also founded On The Wing Theatre Co., so there's that I suppose...
In the meantime watch this space for more cool things from On The Wing Theatre Co.