Rachael Coopes

Rachael is a storyteller in many forms and her career in theatre, film and television spans over 20 years. Rachael’s television acting work includes Play School (ABC- where she is currently a presenter and writer), Rake, Little Ted’s Big Adventure, Dance Academy, Balls of Steel, The Politically Incorrect Parenting Show, McLeod’s Daughters, Life Support, All Saints, Secret Life of Us, White Collar Blue, Dog’s Head Bay. Film work: The Ghost, Billy’s Holiday (Dir: Richard Wherrett) and Sirens (Dir: John Duigan). Theatre work: Sugarland (ATYP), Nothing Personal (Ensemble), The God Committee (Ensemble), The Sugar House (Public read- Belvoir), Stoning Mary (Griffin Dir: Lee Lewis) and The Decameron (Old Fitzroy). She started writing sketches for SBS’s Life Support in 2001 and devised The Decameron at the Old Fitzroy. On winning the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and Marten Bequest Scholarship, Rachael studied in Paris 2004-2005, with Philippe Gaulier, devising new work and writing her first play Art House. It was subsequently staged at The Old Red Lion in London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009, The University of Washington, USA in 2010 and The Idly Bent Theatre Company in 2013. Her short play Save Draft was staged at Short and Sweet Festival 2011.

Devised work includes Two Women (Grifffringe at Griffin Theatre 2010), I’m Not Sure I’m an Adult Yet (November ISM Festival 2011) and various corporate projects, including ten-minute silent piece A Moment in Time in 2013 for Cerrone Jewellery’s anniversary event. She has worked as a drama coach on The Sapphires, commercials directed by Ray Lawrence and ABC’s Clever Man. Her play Sugarland, winner of the 2016 Helpmann Award for Best Regional Touring Production, co-created with Wayne Blair, was produced at ATYP and the Darwin Festival in 2014. It was ATYP’s first professional production in 30 years, broke all ATYP box office records, won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Production for Young People, just completed a national tour, was nominated for a 2015 AWGIE Award for Theatre for Young Audience, and was published in 2015.

She regularly writes for ABC’s Play School and is currently part of the writing team for Australian/Irish co-pro Ambience/ AirPig Productions/ Telegael new children’s television series Drop Dead Weird (currently in pre-production). In 2016 she was awarded an honorary fellowship at The State Library of NSW, as their first-ever Creative Fellow. This will provide research support for her new work in development- Les Darcy (working title) a play based on infamous Australian boxer Les Darcy, who is also her great-grandfather’s cousin. She is currently replicating the Sugarland process with ATYP and BMEC in Bathurst, doing a series of residences 2016-2017, working with local young people and artists, and writing The Climbing Tree (working title), with production slated for 2018. Also in development is untitled project with The House That Dan Built, Danielle O’Keefe and Sally Blackwood, an ensemble of twelve young women all eighteen years and under, creating a new work inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tale The 12 Dancing Princesses.