“This play is about how to keep going when you feel lost, so a homing pigeon was the perfect fit.”

Hear from Mary Rachel Brown, Writer of Rosieville.

28 Sep 2023

We sat down with playwright Mary Rachel Brown to gain an insight into her journey, creative process and approach to writing Rosieville!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey, Mary!

How I got into the biz is a long story, as they always are in the arts. In short, persistence and not letting my failures and successes over influence me.  The way to keep going as a wrier is to look after your creativity by keeping your ear open to the world and being ready to get on the train when a story taps you on the shoulder. 

Highlights have been having my show The Dapto Chaser tour and it getting a run on the big screen at Dendy Cinemas. Being produced at The Griffin, Australia’s only new writing Theatre. Coming home to see my work at Canberra Youth Theatre, I wish I could go back and tell my 13-year-old self this would happen. 

And some of your favourites?


• The third policeman by Flann O’Brien – because it is so whack.

• Birth at the end of the earth by Abigaile Austin


Baskets, Documentary now, Better call Saul, Succession, Arrested Development, Flowers. 


Sexy Beast – I am mad for Ray Winstone.  

Aftersun – I saw it a few weeks ago, it made me cry about something I needed to have a cry about. 

Magnolia – So many worlds in one movie, and so much heart.

Barbie – Because it is fun. 

ANY FILM BY ROY ANDERSON and yes I did just yell that because ROY ANDERSON is my hero. 


Shinning City by Conor McPherson – Because it is so dark, spooky and human. It haunted me. Made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Air by Joanna Erskine – Great play about lost souls.

Gods and little fishes by Jamie Oxenbould and Richard Sydenham – It is a love letter to theatre, it is sentimental in the true sense of the word. 



What animal would your subconscious be and why?

I am part Peacock, part Prairie dog. I like to burrow and go underground, but I also like a party.

Rosieville explores themes of heartbreak and resilience. How did you approach weaving these themes into the narrative, and what messages or lessons do you hope the audience takes away from the story? Was there a particular inspiration or personal experience that influenced the creation of the story? 

I have had my heart broken, hasn’t everybody. I used my experience of struggle as an engine to write this play. As unpleasant as it is, I think heartbreak makes us better. Inerrant suffering is hard won self-knowledge. 

I hope people walk away reminded that everyone is waiting for something, everyone has some part of their life that is incomplete. We are all works in progress. 

Writing Rosieville must have involved creating imaginative and whimsical moments. Can you share one of your favourite scenes or lines that you wrote for the story?

I like Anika’s attempt to make an app that cures fear of pigeons.

I like it when the pigeon interrupts a serious conversation by flying into a door. I love a surprise interruption. I always try and write a few into my work. 

What inspired you to include a homing pigeon as a key character? Was there a specific reason behind choosing this unique and unexpected element in the story?

This play is about how to keep going when you feel lost, so a homing pigeon was the perfect fit. 

Writers often draw inspiration from various sources. Can you reveal any surprising or unexpected influences that helped shape the world and characters of Rosieville?

Type ‘weird facts about pigeons’ into google and it is all there. 

The birdman rally, I remember it as a kid. I never envisioned I would be writing about it but here we are.

If you had the chance to be a character in the story, which one would you choose and why?

The pigeon of course, it can fly and it helps people, those are two very attractive qualities. Close second would be Anika, because she’s cool and unpredictable.

Rosieville opens at Canberra Theatre Centre in The Courtyard Studio on September 29, running until October 8. Don’t miss out, buy a ticket now through our website!