Playwright Juliana Francis Kelly

Photo by Jody Christopherson
Photo by Jody Christopherson

Juliana Francis, also known as Julianna Francis or Juliana Francis-Kelly, is an American playwright and actress. She is the recipient of an Obie Award for her performance in Richard Foreman‘s Maria Del Bosco, and a Dramalogue Award for Reza Abdoh‘s The Hip-hop Waltz of Eurydice. As a performer she is best known for her work with Richard Foreman’s Ontological Hysteric Theater and with the late Reza Abdoh’s internationally acclaimed Dar A Luz company, of which she was a founding member. Francis-Kelly has also performed for many younger theater auteurs, including Young Jean LeePavol LiskaLear DeBessonet, as well as Whitney Biennialist filmmaker Marie Losier(in Losier’s The Ontological Cowboy and Manuelle Labor—in collaboration with Guy Maddin.)

After the untimely death of Reza Abdoh, Francis-Kelly began writing plays and screenplays. Her first play Go Go Go (which she also performed in) was directed by Anne Bogart, performed at PS 122 in New York and at the London International Festival of Theatre at the Institute for Contemporary Art I.C.A. Go Go Go was published by Theater Forum Magazine and T3 in Europe. It was subsequently translated into Greek and performed by actress Marili Mastrantoni in Athens and in Kiel, Germany. Her second play, Box, was directed by Anthony Torn and performed at The Women’s Project, The Ontological Hysteric, at the Reverend Billy’s Millennium’s Neighborhood Festival, at Here Arts Center, and was published in the anthology Rowing To America (Smith & Kraus.) An Italian-language version was performed at The Fontanon Festival in Rome. The Baddest Natashas, also directed by Torn, was performed at The Ontological Hysteric and published by Open City MagazineSaint Latrice, which she also directed, was performed at The Collapsible Hole and PS 122. A German-language version was performed at Theater-Graz in Graz, Austria.

In 2004 Francis-Kelly received a Sundance Screenwriting Fellowship to develop Saint Latrice into a screenplay for The Killer Films Company.

Francis-Kelly has received project support from The NEA, The Jerome Foundation, TCG, NYSCA, chashama Inc., and The Greenwall Foundation.

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