Playwright Juliana Francis-Kelly

Necessary Exposure photo by Jody Christopherson-13

This portrait was on display at Dixon Place. It is part of Necessary Exposure’s 3rd installation which explores what it means to be writing for the theater as a woman at this moment in history.

Click below to listen to an excerpt of Juliana’s play The Reenactors read by Juliana Francis-Kelly. Sound Design by Martha Goode.


“Hello. I am one pretentious mother from the sticks.”

 Juliana Francis Kelly is a New York City based actor and a playwright who has performed in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. She has originated roles for many great directors, including Reza Abdoh (as a founding member of the internationally renowned Dar A Luz Company); Richard Foreman (in “Paradise Hotel;” “Bad Boy Nietzsche;” “King Cowboy Rufus Rules the Universe” and “Maria Del Bosco” – for which she received an OBIE Award) and for Anne Bogart, Karin Coonrod, Young Jean Lee, Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper, Lear DeBessonet, Normandy Sherwood, Charlotte Braithwaite, Hal Hartley, Meredith Drum, Mary Billyou, Marie Losier in collaboration with Guy Maddin, Bryan Doerries (for outsidethewirellc.com) and David Michalek (for the 2011 Lincoln Center Festival’s “Portraits in Dramatic Time.”) Recent performances include ”Feather Gatherers” for the Drunkard’s Wife and “elizabeth r/text and beheadings”, directed by Karin Coonrod at The Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival and The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. Plays she’s written include: “The Reenactors,” directed by Tony Torn at Abrons Arts Center; “Go Go Go”, directed by Anne Bogart at PS 122, reprised at The Institute of Contemporary Art for London International Festival of Theater; “Box”, directed by Torn and performed at The Women’s Project, PS 122; and The Fontanon Festival in Italy; “The Baddest Natashas”, performed at The Ontological Theater and published by Open City Magazine; “Saint Latrice”, at PS 122 (for which she received a Sundance Screenwriters Fellowship for the film script adaptation.) Her plays have been translated into four languages, and she has received project support from the N.E.A., NYSCA, The Greenwall Foundation, The Durst Foundation and The Jerome Foundation.. Ms. Kelly also builds dolls, one of which is installed at the American Museum of Natural History’s Discovery Room. Ms. Francis Kelly lives in Harlem with her husband, actor/musician David Patrick Kelly, and their eight-year-old daughter Margarethe. 

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