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About A Date With Death

Swipe right on a night of variety with Ballarat National Theatre for the best first date of your life - and one that just might be your last! Get tix & chill with us this winter, with a smorgasbord of short plays and monologues that explore a theme that touches every single one of us. 
We’re offering 10 separate courses by local and international writers that touch on the joys of life, the crushing inevitability of our mortality, and the curiosity and absurdity of death.
Featuring one act play The Death of Ellen Moore, written & directed by Jon Amesbury, we are showcasing brutal comedies to heart-breaking dramas and everything in between.
The talents of our actors and directors will make you laugh until you cry and just, well…cry.
Put on your glad rags, because Death waits for no-one, not even the hottest date in town!

The season includes the following short plays, monologues and excerpts:

  • Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard, Directed by Laura Hudson
  • Date With Death by Steven Hayet, Directed by Gin O'Brien
  • Enlightenment written by Ann Chadwick, Directed by Ann Chadwick
  • Sister Cities by Colette Freedman, Directed by Liana Emmerson
  • Heaven's Above written by Peter Nethercote, Directed by Megan J Riedl
  • Just Friends by Maryrose Whyte, Directed by Ann Chadwick
  • He Died Alone by Marty Monstar, Directed by Shannon Nicholls
  • Still Water by Katrina Mathers, Directed by Ruby Penhall
  • The Death of Ellen Moore by Jon Amesbury, Directed by Jon Amesbury with co-Direction by Megan J Riedl

5th July - 14th July 2024

  • Open Door, 106 Albert St. Sebastopol

  • Genre: Drama

  • Playwrights: Jon Amesbury, Sir Tom Stoppard, Steven Hayet, Ann Chadwick, Colette Freedman, Peter Nethercote, Maryrose Whyte, Marty Monstar, and Katrina Mathers

  • Directors: Jon Amesbury, Laura Hudson, Gin O'Brien, Ann Chadwick, Liana Emmerson, Shannon Nicholls, Ruby Penhall, and Megan J Riedl

  • Producer: Megan J Riedl


  • With the City of Ballarat

Performance Venue

Open Door

106 Albert Street, Sebastopol

About the Directors

Nine plays, eight directors, one production.

Jon Amesbury - The Death of Ellen Moore by Jon Amesbury

Jon is a seasoned actor and director who has been involved in numerous plays, including John Godber's Bouncers, Ben Elton's Silly Cow and Agatha Christie's The Hollow.

Megan J Riedl - Heaven's Above! by Peter Nethercote

A prolific creative, super solo mum and all-round good guy, Megan is a professional wordsmith and autistic woman.

A powerful (and award-winning) spoken word performer, Megan’s poetry fearlessly gives voice to the secret stories we tell ourselves.

Megan’s playwriting explores themes of identity, belonging, truth and power, highlighting issues of social justice. A collaborative theatrical director, Megan has writing, producing and directing credits with community and independent theatre companies across Victoria. Known for  creating beautiful worlds of stylised realism, her work as a director with BNT includes MedeaAct Like A Girl, and Mr Bennet's Bride.

Ann Chadwick - Enlightenment by Ann Chadwick, Just Friends by Rosemary Whyte

Ann studied drama at Victoria University as a part of her BA. Since then, she has been involved in all aspects of theatre, on stage and off. She has collaborated with people of all ages and abilities, and worked as a solo artist to tell stories through performance. Ann wrote and directed the play Nude in Decline specifically to be presented in art galleries.

Liana Emmerson - Sister Cities by Colette Freedman

Liana is an award-winning director and actor who studied at 16th Street Actors Studio. She directed Terry Pratchett’s: Wyrd Sisters for BNT in 2023, which tied for Best Production (Comedy) at the VDL Awards. She also directed BNT’s Pride and Prejudice Podcast in 2020, which went on to become a Webby Award Honoree in the 25th Annual Webby Awards (Limited Series Podcast - Scripted Fiction) alongside podcasts from HBO, BBC and Comedy Central. She is an “actor’s director” with a focus on bringing all of an actor’s skill to a performance to get the most fulfilment from a script. 

Laura Hudson - Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead by Sir Tom Stoppard

Laura Hudson is a creative artist based in Ballarat. She’s a songwriter, singer, dancer, actor and now director. Laura has worked both on-stage and off for BNT productions over the past ten years. She has also worked with BLOC and Lyric.

Shannon Nicholls - He Died Alone by Marty Monstar

Shannon trained as an actor at Federation University's Arts Academy, graduating in 2017, and has been involved with BNT since 2018. He has served as an actor, assistant director, and member of the company board in the time since. Shannon returns after his directorial debut in 2023 with Shakespeare’s Caesar.

Shannon has always been passionate about inclusive, positive, and accessible theatre. He strives to create a workspace wherein everyone can create as equals, and not be constrained by lack of resources.

Gin O'Brien - Date with Death by Steven Hayet

This is Gin's first time directing and she is starting small! Gin has graced the stage in a number of BNT productions including Wyrd Sisters, Steel Magnolias, A Christmas Carol and Medea. Gin also played the title role in Louisa's Dawn at La Mama in 2022. Coming from a dance background, Gin has taken on the role of choreographer for Jekyll and Hyde (BLT) and two musicals with Hutt City Musical Theatre (NZ). Gin is looking forward to working with and alongside such an impressive group of directors for this production.

Ruby Penhall - Still Water by Katrina Mathers

A familiar face in local to Ballarat Theatre spaces, this is Ruby's first time directing. She has recently performed in Wyrd Sisters for BNT, and in Les Misérables with Ballarat Lyric Theatre. She was recognized for her work on Wyrd Sisters with a BNT Community Contribution Award for Production.


Some directors have written their own scripts.

  • Jon Amesbury

    The Death of Ellen Moore

  • Sir Tom Stoppard

    Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead

  • Steven Hayet

    Date With Death

  • Ann Chadwick


  • Colette Freedman

    Sister Cities

  • Peter Nethercote

    Heaven's Above!

  • Rosemary Whyte

    Just Friends

  • Marty Monstar

    He Died Alone

  • Katrina Mathers

    Still Water


The Death of Ellen Moore

by Jon Amesbury

Directed by Jon Amesbury
Co-Directed by Megan J Riedl

Ellen Moore - Christine Holmes
Richard Moore - Benj Beatty
Poppy - Tessa Marshall
Priest - Graham Maxwell
Nurse - Laura Farrow

Rosencrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead

by Sir Tom Stoppard

Directed by Laura Hudson

Rosencrantz - Esther Bachelor
Gildenstern - Corey Loader

Date with Death

by Steven Hayet

Directed by Gin O'Brien

Angela - Kirily McKellor
Karen - Charlotte Botterill
David - Mat Ram


by Ann Chadwick

Directed by Ann Chadwick

Steve - Graham Maxwell
Sandra - Laura Farrow
Krystal - Peppa Sindar
Jess - Elly Krieg

Sister Cities

by Colette Freedman

Directed by Liana Emmerson

Baltimore - Ruby Abbott
Carolina - Charlie Peters
Austin - Connie Foord

Heavens Above

by Peter Nethercote

Directed by Megan J Riedl

St. Peter - Graham Maxwell
John - Mat Ram
Ruth - Kirily McKellor

Still Water

by Katrina Mathers

Directed by Ruby Penhall

Woman - Connie Foord

Just Friends

by Rosemary Whyte

Directed by Ann Chadwick

Woman 1 - Peppa Sindar
Woman 2 - Laura Farrow
Woman 3 - Elly Krieg

He Died Alone

by Marty Monstar

Directed by Shannon Nicholls

Whitey - Simon Carroll


  • Producer

    Megan J Riedl

  • Production Manager

    Megan J Riedl

  • Assistant Production Manager

    Paul Rose

  • Assistant Director

    Clementine Sawyer

  • Stage Manager

    Ann Chadwick

  • Production Assistant

    Kiran D'Costa

  • Costume Co-ordinator

    Ruby Abbott

  • Hair and Make-Up

    Ruby Abbott

  • Photography (Rehearsals)

    Evelyn Zeven

  • Marketing

    Liana Emmerson
    Evelyn Zeven

  • Front of House Manager

    Daria Ledovski