I live and make art on Wurundjeri land in so-called Melbourne, and on various other colonised First Nations lands across Australia. I extend my respects to Indigenous Elders, Peoples, and Storytellers.
Always Was, Always Will Be, First Nations Land. Saying sorry and paying respects isn’t enough, please join me in paying the rent at www.paytherent.com
Jamila Main is a true slashie artist in the first five years of their practice. Jamila works predominantly as an Actor and Playwright, and additionally as a Disability Inclusion Consultant and Dramaturg.
Since graduating from the Acting Program at Adelaide College of the Arts in 2018, Jamila has swiftly become a prolific and respected artist working across Tandanya/Adelaide, Gadigal land of the Eora Nation in Sydney, and lands of the Kulin Nation in Naarm/Melbourne. Jamila is an active contributor to the contemporary creative landscape as an artist but also through sitting on the Advisory Panel for Australian Plays Transform, and mentoring emerging artists.
Jamila Main is a prolific award-winning playwright making raw, joyful performance works infused with the survivalist humour of living in a queer, disabled body in chronic pain. Jamila has been writing and performing for the stage, screen, and livestream since 2016; working with Sydney Theatre Company, Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre Company, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, State Theatre Company of South Australia, ArtsHouse, Back to Back Theatre, Vitalstatistix, Midsumma Festival, La Mama, ActNow Theatre, First Draft Gallery, Embrace Disability Arts Festival, Alter State Festival, Riverland Youth Theatre, and Carclew.
Jamila is a proud disabled advocate. Jamila was a 2020-22 Co-Chair of the Equity Diversity Committee, and is a freelance access and inclusion consultant. Discussing disability in the arts, Jamila has been featured in Frankie magazine and interviewed Kate Mulvany for the This Is How We Do It podcast. Jamila was also commissioned for the ground-breaking article On the Precipice: Theatre for the Isolated Audience (ArtsHub, 2020) and it’s follow up Why We Need Online Theatre After Lockdown (ArtsHub, 2021).
In 2022 Jamila collaborated with award-winning visual artist Solomon Kammer on a series of visceral oil paintings depicting Jamila’s disabled body, with the series exhibited in Yavuz Gallery in Singapore, and selected portraits a finalist in the 2022 Archibald Prize and exhibited at Carriageworks for Sydney Contemporary.
Notable acting roles include Lover in the Squealing Pig x Australian Open X Sydney World Pride campaign (dir. Amber Mealing, the Producers, 2022-23); Phoebe in the development of Curiosity (dir. Shari Sebbens, Sydney Theatre Company, 2021); Sita in Shadow (Back to Back Productions, winner People’s Choice Award SXSW 2022), and Karin in a development of Set Piece by Nat Randall and Anna Breckon (Vitalstatistix, 2019). Other stage roles include L’Hotel (Adelaide Cabaret Festival, 2021); Aleppo. A Portrait of Absence (Adelaide Festival, 2020); and Butterfly Kicks (RUMPUS, 2021).
Jamila also performs as Ivy Drip, a wheelchair dancing diva, with award-winning appearances in Singin’ in the Pain (Adelaide Fringe 2022 and 2023). Jamila has an extensive resume of leading roles in the independent and experimental film scene, and is dedicated to incorporating creative online viewing options for their live perfomances.
Working as Pillow Fight Theatre, Jamila created and performed sell out seasons of Benched (4 stars Time Out Sydney) at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Midsumma Festival, FELTspace, Carclew, SALA Festival, and Headspace Berri. Pillow Talk, originally commissioned for First Draft Gallery in 2022, with seasons presented at Alter State Festival and Abstract Thoughts Gallery, is an intimate examination of queer, disabled pain that straddles live and remote performance. Jamila will be further developing Pillow Talk in the Warehouse Residency at ArtsHouse in 2024.
In 2022 Jamila researched and wrote a report into the inclusion of disabled people in the Australian screen industry for Back to Back Theatre, with their research platformed at Edinburgh International Film Festival. Jamila was a pep talk writer for Hey Lemonade and a commissioned writer for the Ruby award-winning Decameron 2.0 (STCSA and ActNow Theatre). Jamila’s play Butterfly Kicks was a finalist in the Queer Playwriting Awards (Midsumma Festival, 2020) and winner of the Queer Short Story Award (Feast Festival, Writers SA, 2018); winning again in 2019 for Queer Utopia is on the Roof of a Westfield. STCSA has awarded Jamila’s plays Immaculate (2017) and How to Eat Rabbit (2019), with Griffin Theatre Company also awarding How to Eat Rabbit (2021). Jamila’s sapphic pain poems have been presented by Hail Lilith, New Balance by Dr Christopher Bryant, and many more publications.
Jamila is a mentor to various emerging queer, disabled artists, and has previously worked as a teaching artist with True Ability, Urban Myth, and SAYarts. Jamila is also a frequent guest speaker, with a focus on embedded access and meaningful engagement with disabled artists and audiences. Jamila is represented by Loom Arts and Management, and is a proud MEAA member.
Jamila made their interstate debut as a Dramaturg working on Cat Piss by Jordyn Fulcher at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, and was mentored in writing for the stage and screen by Kate Mulvany 2020-22.
Jamila has been Carclew Fellow and Artist-in-Residence and previously sat on the National Performer’s Committee at MEAA.
Accessibility for audiences and artists, queer joy, and safe modes of working are all key components of Jamila’s practice.
“Jamila Main has a breathtaking ability of taking theatre and turning it into something completely unique and unexplored.“Kate Mulvany
Jamila holds an Advanced Diploma of Arts (Acting) from Adelaide College of the Arts, 2018; as well as a Bachelor of Arts in the Enhanced Program for High Achievers (Drama and International Relations) from Flinders University, 2015.
While completing the BA, Jamila spent a semester at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada specialising in Interdisciplinary Devising.
Jamila has trained in Voice Over Acting (Lizzy Falkland and BestFX Studio), Screen Acting (Don Kontouris), Bouffon (Frank Theatre), Singing (Rosie Hosking), and Stage Combat (Ruth Fallon MASK Course).
Jamila has been trained in writing for the stage with Kate Mulvany, Patricia Cornelius, and Lachlan Philpott. Jamila is an alumnus of the ATYP National Studio, 2019.
Jamila has undergone training in facilitating workshops on disability inclusion with JFA Purple Orange.
Engage me as an actor for productions, developments, and readings across stage and screen.
Commission a play from me or license an existing play for performance.
Commission an opinion piece from me.
Pay me as a dramaturg to work on your script development through mentor sessions or creative developments.
Hire me as a consultant on your script development (stage and screen). I provide consultancy on access, inclusion and representation of disabled and chronically ill people, queer people, and nonbinary people.
Employ me to run workshops on disability awareness and inclusion, grantwriting, devising theatre, and playwriting.
Hire me as a speaker for panels and keynotes.
Employ me as a teaching artist with primary and high school students for after school programs or holiday workshops featuring drama games, devising shows, writing from your lived experience, rehearsing and performing plays. For tertiary students I also teach playwriting, devising, and grant writing.
Pay me to develop an access guide for your performance or event.
Pay me for mentorship sessions. Perfect for emerging performing artists and playwrights who are chronically ill and disabled and/or queer, or for artists wanting to move into live performance writing and/or performance.
Engage me as a host or MC at your event.
Sliding scale of pay rate available based on your level of funding and financial situation.
Butterfly Kicks, play, available for touring and presentation
Benched, play, available for touring and presentation
How to Eat Rabbit, play, available for presentation
How Long Can This Last?, durational theatre, pursuing funding for development
Chicken Pox Party, play, pursuing funding for development
Here If You Need, play, pursuing funding for development
Immaculate, play, pursuing funding for development
Occupant, short film, pursuing funding for production
You Taste Like Codeine, short film, pursuing funding for production
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