I first met the marvellous Mary Rachel Brown in 1995, when she was an actor and emerging writer in Canberra. I had just moved there to take up the role of Artistic Director with Jigsaw Theatre Company. Mary was one of the first local artists to take me under her wing and introduce me to the flipside of ‘Monumental Canberra’ – the warm and quirky one that you never get to experience if you are just rolling into town to check out the War Memorial or Parliament House. Mary was also there at the exact moment I was christened with my nickname ‘Lynno’, a moniker that has stuck to my back like a wrinkly post-it-note throughout my career. But that’s a story for another time.
Way back then, Mary was a much-in-demand actor for Jigsaw, Skylark and all of the independent companies in town, before she started to write and perform her own work. A breakthrough moment was a short solo piece: A Streetcar Named Datsun 120Y (still my favourite new Australian play title ever), which evolved into a full-length work that was performed for the SOLO season as part of B Sharp at Belvoir St Theatre in 1999.
In 2015, Mary is a highly respected writer in the national landscape, with an impressive body of theatre and television credits behind her. She is the recipient of The 2006 Griffin Award, 2007 Max Afford Award and The 2008 Rodney Seaborn Award. Her play, Last Letters is currently on at The Australian War Memorial. Other works include Inside Out – Christine Dunstan Productions, Die Fledermaus (Adaption) – Sydney Conservatorium Of Music, National Security And the Art Of Taxidermy – The Glynn Nicholas Group and B Sharp, and All My Sleep And Waking – TRS, Elbow Theatre. Mary has also written extensively for TV shows such as The Elegant Gentleman’s Guide to Knife Fighting on ABC, and Home and Away.
Mary will be staying with us for the whole run of The Dapto Chaser, and I know you’re going to love meeting her. Apart from being an exceptional talent, she’s one of the funniest people I know. Plus she’s a dog lover, and will be bringing her adorable terrier ‘Pikelet’ with her!