Mary-Frances is an internationally acclaimed Actress & Theatre Maker.
Born and raised in Northern Ireland, she graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a BA(Hons) Degree in Contemporary Theatre Practice and has performed her shows in Singapore, Belgium, Germany, New York and Australia as well as extensively throughout the UK and Ireland.
"As an artist I love being part of new and exciting experiences. I make original devised theatre with the intent of creating a strong emotional connection with my audience. I am particularly interested in creating theatre for young audiences and I'm constantly challenging myself to find imaginative ways to deal with and explore difficult subject matters. Over the past few years I have successfully toured my show 'Katie's Birthday Party' to a number of prestigious international children's festivals and was delighted to have it selected as one of only ten shows from the UK & Ireland to be presented at On The Edge: The World Festival for Young Audiences & ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering in Birmingham as well as having it selected by the Children's Theatre Reviews as one of their Top 10 Shows of 2016!"
History of Artistic Practice - A Brief Overview
Currently: ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association) Artist and Creative Director of Curious Doings, Northern Ireland’s leading devised theatre company.
2019: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘Online, offline, on the thin line' - International School of Brussels, Middle School Festival.
2019: 'BFF' was performed at The Montgomery, Sheffield as part of Anti Bullying Week 2019.
2019: Guest Tutor on the Devising Project for the Rose Bruford College of Theatre & Performance, Acting Foundation Course Belfast.
2019: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘Our Story' - Zurich International School, In-House Middle School Festival.
2019: Director, devisor and performer of ‘Faust: would you make a pact with the devil?’ by Curious Doings supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
2019: ‘Katie's Birthday Party’ was performed in the Adelaide Festival Centre as part of the DreamBig Children’s Festival in Australia.
2019: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘Continuing Ways’ - International School Moshi, Arusha, Middle School Festival.
2019: Selected as one of three female artists to present a new show as part of the Cocoon Collective - Women of Sheffield Showcase at Theatre Deli, Sheffield supported by Arts Council England.
2018/19: Received an Award from the Artist International Development Fund scheme, jointly funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the British Council, to undertake a three-week devising research and development residency with ThinkArts in Kolkata, India.
2018: Nominated along with Maria Connolly for Best Ensemble in Accidental Theatre’s 'Michelle & Arlene: Ulster Says Snow!’ by Rosemary Jenkinson in Simon Fallaha's 2018 NI Christmas Theatre Awards.
2018: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘Behind The Label’ - The American International School of Guangzhou, China, Middle School Festival.
2018: Selected as one of four artists/companies to be mentored by Third Angel as part of their Third Angel Mentoring Scheme (TAMS) 2018/19 in association with The Crucible Theatre and Sheffield Theatres.
2018: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘Milestones’ - ACS Egham International School, London, High School Festival.
2018: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘Bullies and Bystanders’ - Zurich International School, In-House Middle School Festival.
2018: Creative Shop Director in Ballyclare for Big Telly Theatre Company.
2018: ‘Katie's Birthday Party’ was performed in the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds and York Theatre Royal as part of Tutti Frutti Productions ‘Little Feet Festival’.
2018: ‘Home Sweet Home’ was nominated for Best New Writing as well as Best Female Performer and was the WINNER of Best Design at The Guide Liverpool Fringe Festival ‘Best of The Fringe’ Awards 2018.
2018: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘Seas, Ships and Stowaways!’ - Copenhagen International School, Primary School/Middle School Festival.
2018: Director, devisor and performer of ‘All Things Old and New’ (New Work Commission) by Curious Doings supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
2018: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘Nobody puts their children in a boat unless the water is much safer than the land’ - International School of London, Middle School Festival.
2018: ISTA Artist in Residence at International School Manila and Guest Drama Artist in Residence at the IASAS (Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asia Schools) Cultural Convention.
2018: ISTA Artist in Residence at International School of Kuala Lumpur.
2017: Nominated along with Maria Connolly for Best Comic Duo in Accidental Theatre's 'Michelle & Arlene Holiday Special: Trains, Planes & Tractors!’ by Rosemary Jenkinson in Simon Fallaha's 2017 NI Christmas Theatre Awards.
2017: ‘Katie’s Birthday Party’ was performed in The Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo; Roscommon Arts Centre; The MAC, Belfast; Platform, Glasgow (Schools Performances); Riverbank Arts Centre, Co. Kildare; Horse & Bamboo Theatre, Rochdale as part of their Puppet Festival; and in The Barn (Barnstorm Theatre Company) as part of #BarnFest and the Kilkenny Arts Festival.
2017: Programme Leader on Wave 2 (Preston) and Wave 6 (West Lancashire) of NCS (National Citizens Service) - The Challenge; a government-funded initiative for 15-17 year olds that brings together schools, community organisations, businesses and individuals to build a stronger and more cohesive society.
2017: Director, devisor and performer of 'The Monsters Within' by Curious Doings at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
2017: Writer and director of ‘One World New World - Alex’ an advocacy project for Tinderbox Theatre Company with young people from minority ethnic and disadvantaged backgrounds and with developmental disabilities.
2017: Community Director for ‘Convergence’ - Northern Ireland’s biggest participatory theatre event of the year by Tinderbox Theatre Company.
2017: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at ‘From The Velvet Underground To The Velvet Revolution, Making Our Voices Heard’ - International School of Prague, High School Festival.
2016: ‘Katie’s Birthday Party’ was selected as one of the top ten shows of 2016 by the Children’s Theatre Reviews.
2016: ‘Home Sweet Home’ was selected to go through to the semi-finals of the New York New Works Theatre Festival in Times Square.
2016: Director, devisor and performer of 'The Things People Say' by Curious Doings at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast.
2016: ‘Katie’s Birthday Party’ was performed as part of the Imaginate Festival in Edinburgh, in The Egg in Bath, at the Grenzenlos Spurensuche Children's Theatre Festival in Cologne, selected as one of only 10 shows from the UK & Ireland to be presented at On The Edge: The World Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences and ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering in Birmingham 2016, and in The Ark as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival.
2016: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at 'Rising Above' - International School of Kuala Lumpur, Middle School Festival.
2016: ISTA Student Ensemble Leader at 'Creating New Worlds' - International School of Brussels, Middle School Festival.
2015/16: One of fifteen artists throughout Ireland, and the only one from Northern Ireland, to be selected as a Gap Day Artist with the Mermaid Arts Centre in Co. Wicklow.
2015/16: One of twelve participants selected to take part in 'Embodied Theatre - Physical Theatre and Devising Residency' at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow led by Al Seed, Alex Rigg and Ewan Downie.
2015: Invited as one of four writers to take part in Accidental Theatre’s 'Fast & Loose - 24 hour playwriting experiment' at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast.
2015: Received a General Arts Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as part of their Support for the Individual Artist Programme.
2014: Invited as a founding member of the performance collective Curious Doings to perform 'Just For Tonight' in Brussels as part of The Northern Ireland Executive Office and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Culture Night 2014 celebrations, to promote the culture and creativity of Northern Ireland.
2014: Director, devisor and performer of 'Where Are We Going?' by Curious Doings at The MAC, Belfast.
2013: Artist in Residence at The Ballymena Arts Festival.
2012: Received a MAC Hatch Artist Award from the Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast as part of their Supported Emerging Artist Programme.
2011: Awarded an ACES Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland as part of their Artist Career Enhancement Scheme.
2009: Selected as a participant for the 'Intensive Performer Training' Masters trial at Queen’s University Belfast.
2008: Selected as a participant for 'Fireworks' - Tinderbox Theatre Company’s Young Writers Programme.
2007: Graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with a BA(Hons) Degree in Contemporary Theatre Practice.