"Shelly is a respected practitioner in the ACT working effectively with actors and creative teams in any context. She has: strong foundational training backed by extensive experience producing work; a structured approach to directing and dramaturgy; terrific intuition and sensitivity to emotional nuance; an excellent work ethic; and an aesthetic anchored by visual storytelling mixing up human relationships and place in surprising ways..."
Caroline Stacey, Artistic Director/CEO The Street Theatre, Canberra.
Shelly is a professional theatre director, dramaturg, producer, playwright, award-winning photographer, emerging film maker and a mum of four spirited kids. She loves drinking good coffee, going on adventures, trying to speak French and musing on life from the tops of hills...
Shelly trained as an actor (BA Acting CSU 2002), (RADA 2004) and co founded regional theatre company Gearstick Theatre with Craig Alexander in 2002. Through her time with Gearstick, Shelly produced over 20 shows, touring them throughout the Riverina, and to theatres in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. It was during her time with Gearstick she discovered a love for directing and play development and has worked on numerous new works, creative developments and storytelling based productions since. Her time at RADA fostered a strong love of language and text and Shelly is particularly interested in working with adapting classics or character driven work with relationships and human condition at their core.
Above all, Shelly is a storyteller; and in line with her work as a professional photographer her theatre work is grounded with a strong visual aesthetic and a search for authenticity.
Directing credits include: Art by Yasmina Reza (The Street), Fragments by Maura Pierlot (The Street) Closer by Patrick Marber (Gearstick) , Baby Talk by Doug Wright (Gearstick) The injuriousness of Tobacco and The Bear by Anton Chekov (Jetty Theatre), Irreconcilable Differences (Shakespeare adaptation toured as TIE piece throughout NSW and VIC), Cinderella (Jetty Theatre), Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol by Tom Mula (Street Theatre, Depot Theatre) and7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age by composer Sally Greenway (Premiere @ Street Theatre 2017) and Epitaph by Ross Mueller for the Australian War Memorial.
Shelly has also co- written and then directed a number of productions from Fringe shows The Toilet Monologues, to kids theatre pieces such as The Magic Story Coat and The Battle of the Storytellers. Her play And Then There Were 3 was created as part of the Hive program and premiered at The Street Theatre in 2013.
Shelly has worked dozens of creative developments and directed reads with the Street Theatre since 2012 and curated the First Seen Program of New Works in Development since 2017. She has worked as a dramaturg on numerous works, including Breaking The Castle by Peter Cook which has played at The Street Theatre, Riverside Theatres, Hothouse Theatre and most recently QPAC.
She was Arts Program Producer at The Street from 2020-2023, continuing co-ordinating First Seen Works in Progress and also producing the Early Phase concept development program - mentoring over a dozen artists and helping them grow work through a bespoke development process taking ideas from concept through to stage. In 2022 she created Playwrite sessions through The Street - like book club for plays, diving into the nitty gritty of text and writing technique with theatre-makers interested in playwrighting.