Face to Face by Emily Wells – Clancestry 2023

Part of 2023 Clancestry Festival

Celebrating First Nations arts and culture

Moxie, passion, drive; whatever you want to call it, Leila’s got it and it compelled her hundreds of kilometres from the remote country town she grew up in to the big city. It’s been a hard six years, but she’s so close to the success she craves, so close to her dreams of representing her community, so close to being an inspiration to the other girls back home just like her.

However, one girl just like her, her niece Maddie, has just shown up on her doorstep in the middle of the night, disillusioned and far away from the same community that Leila left behind, and she’s about to make her understand just how far she’s strayed from home.

Face to Face is an intimate drama about two women navigating the complex effects of disconnecting from Country, and criticism from your community, your family, and above all, yourself.


In what can feel like situations of hopelessness at times, ‘Face to Face’ manages to show the resiliency of First Nations People. Showing not only survival, but how we can stand up and take action to improve our mobs.” – Nothing Ever Happens in Brisbane (Jaydem Martin, Wiradjuri writer)

Wells’ script really excels, especially in its trip from politics to pathos. The dialogue is intellectual, but punctuated with the affecting honesty of simple sentiments” – Blue Curtains Brisbane: Stories From The Stalls (Meredith Walker)

The inspirational play ‘Face to Face’ written by dynamic playwright Emily Wells takes the audience on a multi-faceted journey that embraces many of the social, political, and cultural issues impacting on the lives of First Nations peoples today, and it does so in a most delicate, subtle and non-confronting way and this in no way distracts from the seriousness of the issues raised.” – Dr. Laurie Crawford, Dip. T, B. Ed, M. Ed, Dr. Ed (Honoris Causa)

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Wed 8 Nov – Sun 12 Nov 2023


Wed 8 Nov


Thurs 9 Nov


Cremorne Theatre, QPAC


90 Mins, no interval


Suitable for 15+.


Linear, Theatre for Social Comment


Emily Wells


Ian Wilkes


Colleen Mar'un Wall


Sueanne Hooper


Annette Wells

Jackie Jones

Coral Jones

Merle Hurley


Alex Bayliss


Bill Haycock


David Walters


Wil Hughes


Mak Purdy


Jazleen Latrise

Shahnee Hunter

Emily Wells

Emily Wells

Emily Wells is a proud Kamilaroi producer and playwright working across theatre, contemporary dance and festivals. Emily is passionate about using performance to spark conversation and societal change, and supporting artists to thrive in the creative process. 

As a Playwright, Emily was selected for Playlab Theatre’s year-long script development programs Alpha Processing and the inaugural Sparks program, delivered in partnership with QPAC and Moogahlin Performing Arts.

As a Producer with BlakDance, Emily produced small to large scale presentations, gatherings and creative developments for First Nations choreographers across Australia. Alongside a fierce team, Emily collaborated with local and international artists and organisations, and led the world premiere of Karul Projects’ SILENCE, the first First Nations dance work to be commissioned by Brisbane Festival.

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Emily graduated from the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts and obtained a Bachelor of Entertainment Industries (Distinction) from QUT. Emily has worked closely with leading First Nations independents and companies such as Karul Projects, Digi Youth Arts and Isaac Drandic, and has worked closely with and for La Boite Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre, Brisbane Festival, and Walt Disney World.


A Playlab Theatre production presented in partnership with QPAC’s 2023 Clancestry Festival . Playlab Theatre and this project are supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. Face to Face is also supported by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative.