Whether she’s acting, writing or directing, Stephanie Francis puts her heart and soul into her creative work.

Stephanie graduated from the University of Tasmania just last year with a Bachelor of Contemporary Arts, but she is already receiving accolades.

While she was directing and performing in her play Goose! at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Stephanie found out she had been awarded Best Supporting Performance in a Community Production for her work in Killer Joe by Three River Theatre last year, in a challenging role playing a young woman with a hypoxic brain injury. 

I had to do a lot of research into that role and I’m so happy I got recognition for that.

Contemporary Arts graduate Stephanie Francis.

Stephanie’s Fringe production Goose! did four shows and was deemed “charming” in reviews. Stephanie hopes to bring the production to the Junction Arts Festival this year.

Goose! is about identity, sexuality and conformity. It was based on my experiences coming out. When you’re writing and putting something on the stage, you’re allowing your voice to be heard.”

At the Fringe Stephanie and the Goose! team learned how to do budgeting, advertising, booking venues, and bumping in and out. 

We pretty much did everything we learned in our course. Thanks to Jane (Woollard, Head of Theatre) and UTAS giving us support we were able to use what we learned in the course.

“The school has given us enough to go and develop our skills in the real world.”

Dr Woollard said Stephanie works across the crafts of performance, directing, and writing. 

This, combined with her drive and vision, means she has what it takes to make her way in the performing arts sector. I am looking forward to following Steph’s developing practice.

Dr Jane Woollard, Head of Theatre at the University of Tasmania.

Stephanie is now completing a coveted Assistant Director Internship working alongside esteemed director Leticia Caceres on the Tasmanian Theatre Company/Ten Days on the Island production of Kate Mulvaney’s The Mares.

It’s amazing to be in a room with such talented people. Watching Leticia work is so incredible.

Stephanie said she chose to stay in Launceston and study at the University’s Inveresk campus.

“For me it was easier to stay in Launceston financially and I wanted to beat that stigma about ‘if you don’t go to one of the big acting schools you’re never going to make it.’ I want to prove that wrong.”

Stephanie said there was great support from teaching staff.

“Jane genuinely cares about you doing your best and pushes you. It’s really inspiring watching her be a strong woman at the head of the school,” she said.

“She goes out of her way to make everyone feel they can go out and achieve things.”

Stephanie said a lot of people associate acting success with fame and fortune, but for her it’s different. 

I just want to be proud of the work I am producing and put a lot of effort into it to make it as evocative as I can.

Interested in Theatre? Apply now to study a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Theatre and Performance.