I’m a Hong Kong born multidisciplinary artist currently based in Naarm (Melbourne). I live and work on stolen Wurundjeri Woi-Wurrung Land and pay my respects to Traditional Owners and Wurundjeri Elders past, present and emerging. This always was and always will be Aboriginal land. As a settler, paying the rent is just the beginning of my ongoing journey of learning and decolonisation.
Commissioned by the Royal Exchange Manchester to develop her play The Red Lead 红铅 winner of the 2022 Bruntwood International Playwriting Prize. More here.
Set in 1542 Ming Dynasty China, The Red Lead paints an anachronistic portrait of sisterhood, survival and an attempt to rise up. It is based on the true story of 15 Forbidden City palace women attempting to assassinate the Jiajing Emperor, who harvested virgin girls' menstrual blood for his longevity elixir.
Judges' comments (Bruntwood Prize): “At once epic and intimate, this entertaining play immerses us in 16th century China palace intrigue. Bold and surprising in its visual imagery and with a sharp, contemporary voice the story slices through layers of sexual politics and class, upending preconceived notions on a massive scale without ever losing sight of the young women at the centre, their humanity and bravery in the face of systemic oppression, and the hope that comes through collective action.”
Co-commissioned by Melbourne Theatre Company's Next Stage program to develop her play The Robot Dog with Matthew Heffernan. More here.
First presented at Melbourne Theatre Company's First Stage writers showcase, and Cybec Scenes, The Robot Dog is about an Aboriginal Cantonese couple grappling with their intergenerational ‘programming’.
Co-commissioned by Griffin Theatre Company to develop a site-specific show with Janel Yau for presentation at Melbourne Fringe and Griffin Theatre in 2025.
The roving performance work is based on early 19th century marriage resistance in the
Pearl River Delta region (Guangdong). ‘Self-combing girls' 自梳女 made ritual pledges of ‘spinsterhood’ and celibacy, supporting themselves by working in the silk trade or as maids. Marriage resistance also included hiding in open graves on the way to the altar, and marrying ghosts or tablets of dead men.
Roshelle is one of 12 artists on Melbourne Theatre Company's Artistic Associate advisory council. More here.
More of Roshelle's past works here.