#No Exemptions

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#NO EXEMPTIONS is a play about the last ninety minutes of one woman’s life. This is future environmental Armageddon as experienced by one family, in one city, at one time. It is a mother’s lament, a poet’s surrender, a child’s rebellion and a narcissist’s appreciation of good lipstick…
In this crisis we see the humour of what we value at the end, the strength of our love for each other and the tragic consequences of old mistakes.

#No Exemptions explores a dystopian vision for humanity that is not predictable, but a savage critique of current privilege and inequality—with a twist- and not without humour. Told from the intimacy of one family’s crisis and isolation, the play is a compacted moment in time in which unfolding events are the result of an already projected environmental collapse from climate change, pollution and over consumption. No amount of privilege can protect anyone from the consequences. #No Exemptions is a bold, confronting and provocative statement of human equality. We all share one world.

This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body


The Story

In the not too distant future, global environmental collapse triggers wars,
the movement of millions of people, failure of mass food production and the breakdown of democracies. But this story focuses on one woman’s
desperate struggle to survive.
Maria lives in a city plagued by chronic food and water shortages. Now
it is survival of the fittest and young people have the competitive advantage.
The controlling gang has made the brutal decision that non-essential
people over 50 years old must be rounded up, deported and killed. Maria
is trapped in her apartment with her husband Paul and their neighbor, Ewa.
Their last moments are a bitter competition for food and water. But Maria
refuses to give up. Maria plans her escape. She needs to see her son one last
time. And when she does – nothing is as she wished.

#NoExemptions Promo

The Team

susieDeeSUSIE DEE the director, has worked extensively in the theatre as a performer, devisor and director in Australia and overseas for the past thirty years. She has been the Artistic Director of three theatre companies: Melbourne Workers Theatre (MWT), Union House Theatre (UHT) and Institute Of Complex Entertainment (ICE), whose projects went on to win various awards and received many accolades for their ground-breaking site-specific work. In 2011, Susie was the recipient of the Australia Council residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. She has directed works for MTC, Malthouse Theatre and many independent theatre companies and has been nominated for and won numerous awards. She directed Patricia Cornelius’ plays, SHIT and Love, both touring to
the 2019 Venice Biennale Theatre Festival. Susie most recently directed Anthem (Playhouse, Arts Centre) for the 2019 Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Angela-croppedANGELA BUCKINGHAM the writer, is currently writing a book for Five Mile Press and her latest play will be performed at the Cammerspiele in Leipzig Germany in October 2020 directed by the German director, Michaela Maxi Shultz. She is a graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts. Her literary work focuses on historical narratives, but also on fact-based dramatic texts that demand intensive research work. She has lived and worked in Berlin, Paris and Washington in the last ten years. During this time her writing was published by Aeon, The Wire, Elusive Magazine, Motherboard, Quartz Media and Vice. She also wrote and directed Paper Dolls for Marina Films, Aftershock for Pericles Films and wrote Challenges, Change and Faith for X-Ray Vision and The Last Great Amateurs for Apollo Films.

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HELEN HOPKINS (Co-producer and performer) is a co-founder of The Shift Theatre, a member of La Mama’s Committee of Management, a script writer, theatre producer and an actress with a long career in both film and theatre. Together with Carolyn Bock she has written, produced and performed in The Girls in Grey and Hallowed Ground- Women Doctors in War. Her theatre appearances include Melbourne, Adelaide, Dublin and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. She has acted for Essential Theatre, The Australian Shakespeare Company and many La Mama productions. Helen appeared in the Green Room Award winning In Angel Gear and Green Room Award nominated ensemble for The Merry Wives of Windsor.


Carolyn headshot 2018CAROLYN BOCK (Co-producer and performer) Co-Founder of The Shift Theatre, Carolyn is a graduate of The Victorian College of the Arts and her extensive performance career over 25 years has spanned dance and drama. As an actor Carolyn has many theatre, television and film credits with both independent and commercial productions. She has previously been nominated for a Green Room Award for her body of work as Female Performer in the Fringe. As a writer for The Shift Theatre she co-wrote The Girls In Grey, and Hallowed Ground-Women Doctors in War both enjoying touring throughout Australia and internationally. In addition to her career as a performer, Carolyn is the Associate Artistic Director of Rollercoaster Theatre for actors with intellectual disability, a coach and mentor for young actors and dancers, and works with children in rural areas devising performing arts experiences.

Eva Seymour

EVA SEYMOUR (Performer) is an actor and writer, passionate about both theatre and film-making. Upon completion of her training in 2015 at 16th St Actors Studio, she was selected as the Graduate Ensemble Member for Red Stitch Actors Theatre. In 2017 she furthered her studies when she was selected by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London for their Full Time Acting Shakespeare program. Concurrent to training, Eva has performed in many theatre shows around Australia, including ‘Uncle Vanya’ dir. Nadia Tass, ‘desert 6.29pm’ dir. Bridget Balodis (Red Stitch), ‘Moral Panic’ dir. Bridget Balodis, (Double Water Sign), ‘Puffs’ – Original Australian cast – dir. Kristen McCarthy Parker (TEG Live) and ‘Anthem’ dir. Susie Dee (Performing Lines, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth Festivals), television shows including ‘My Life is Murder’ (CJZ) and ‘How to Stay Married’ (Princess Pictures), and feature films such as ‘West of Sunshine’ dir. Jason Raftopoulos, and ‘So Long’ dir. Caitlin Farrugia and Michael Jones. As a writer, Eva shot her first short film, ‘Superstars’ co-directed with Caitlin Farrugia, in 2018, which premiered at Peninsula Film Festival in 2019.

ENDRICO BOTHA (Performer) Endrico (he/him) is a South African-Australian actor based in Naarm/Melbourne. Endrico’s credits at the Victorian College of the Arts include Guilt in GABAN directed by Budi Miller, Prosecutor in Machinal directed by Daniela Farinacci, Polixenes in The Winter’s Tale directed by Petra Kalive) and Vanya in Uncle Vanya directed by Budi Miller.


HughS00005HUGH SEXTON (Performer) has been working in and around the Arts scene for over 20 years after graduating from Wollongong Uni with a BA in theatre. He has performed in numerous productions with many theatre companies including Theatre South, Riverina TC, Hothouse theatre, La Mama, Australian Shakespeare Company and the PopUp Globe. Most recently he has played the title role in Macbeth with the ASC as well as Oberon in  A Midsummer Nights Dream. Prior to the plague hitting he enjoyed a whirlwind 3 years with Popup Globe performing over 400 shows in transfers to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Auckland as well as a national tour of New Zealand with the critically acclaimed shows, Measure for Measure and Hamlet. Highlights include the title role in Hamlet with the ASC, the greenroom nominated self devised Shakespeare’s Best Bits with the ASC as well as Macbeth with the Melbourne Company of Players. TV and film credits include Stingers, Rush, City Homicide, Wentworth, Killing Time, Dr Blake Murder Mysteries, Blue Heelers, Big Sky, Hunters (US), Mitch from Neighbours and Ghostrider with Nicholas Cage.

Ian MoorheadIAN MOORHEAD the sound designer is a Melbourne based artist specialising in music composition and sound design for theatre, dance, film and radio. He has performed around Australia and internationally, including New York, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Wellington, Calgary and Vancouver. He has worked with numerous companies, including Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne Theatre Company, State Theatre Company of South Australia, New Working Group, Back to Back Theatre, Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Dee and Cornelius, Windmill Theatre Co, Barking Gecko, Lab Kelpie, La Mama, Leigh Warren and Dancers, Patch Theatre Company, Restless Dance Theatre, Vitalstatistix, NICA, Arts Centre Melbourne, the Australian Festival for Young People, Underbelly Arts Festival, FOLA, Big West Festival, Museum Victoria, the Australian Museum and ABC Radio. He has been nominated for two Green Room Awards for his designs for Jurassica (Red Stitch Actors Theatre in 2016) and for Looking Glass (New Working Group in 2018).

Sophie-High-ResSOPHIE WOODWARD is a Melbourne based Set and Costume designer. Sophie graduated with a Bachelor of Production (Design) from VCA in 2010 winning the Beleura John Tallis Design Award in her final year. Sophie recently designed set and costumes for Iphigenia in Splott at Red Stitch Actors Theatre, Those Who Fall in Love like Anchors Dropped Upon the Ocean Floor at HotHouse Theatre and Burn This at FortyFive Downstairs. Earlier design work includes Hungry Ghosts (MTC), The One and Mr Burns, A Post Electric Play (FortyFive Downstairs); Between the Clouds, Pyjama Girl and Letters from the Border (Hothouse Theatre); Extinction, Rules for Living, You got Older, Uncle Vanya, The Honey Bees, The Village Bike, Wet House, Love Love Love, 4,000 Miles and Day One, A Hotel, Evening (Red Stitch); Thigh Gap, A Long Day’s Dying, Conspiracy, Patient 12 and The Savages of Wirramai (LaMama); Love Song (Melbourne Fringe); and The Sapphires, Glorious, Educating Rita, Shirley Valentine, Always Patsy Cline and All My Love (Hit Productions). Sophie was Design Assistant on An Ideal Husband and Twelfth Night (MTC). You can view Sophie’s work at https://www.sophiewoodwarddesign.com/


GINA GASCOIGNE is a lighting designer with over 30 years of experience. She spent many years touring in Europe as a lighting designer and operator, working with contemporary dance groups and physical theatre companies. In Australia she spent eight years working for Circus Oz alongside numerous companies and performers including  Archie Roach, Susie Dee, Outer Urban Projects, Top Acts, Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Festival, La Fura dels Baus, , NICA, Chamber Made Opera, Maude Davey, Lou Bennett, Kate Hunter, Castlemaine Festival, Citizen Theatre, Union Theatre, Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Women’s Circus, Westside Circus and Snuff Puppets.

Claire.ShepherdCLAIRE SHEPHERD studied stage management and technical theatre at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Since moving to Australia, she has managed numerous music and corporate stages from Festivals to Gala Balls! Company Managed tours of Menopause the MusicalCosi, Café Rebetika, Playwriting Australia National Script Workshops and Malthouse TIE Suitcase Series. Theatre credits include Billy Elliot, The Letter, ‘allo’allo, Whiteley’s Incredible Blue, Mademoiselle, SavagesTrue Love Travels on a Gravel Road, Mein KampfTears Before BedtimeColoured Aliens, Big HeartCaravan, Ich Nibber Dibber, Bottomless, Archimedes War.  #NoExemptions is Claire’s first production with The Shift Theatre.