Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016 Grants Awarded

Melbourne Fringe is proud to announce that the inaugural Ralph Maclean Microgrants have been awarded to performers Jessica Moody and Rechelle Gayler.

The new grants program aims to facilitate the presentation of work by artists from diverse backgrounds. Both artists will be now participating in this year’s festival for the first time. Simon Abrahams, Creative Director and CEO says, “I am so proud to announce our first ever recipients of the Melbourne Fringe Ralph Maclean Microgrants and I know that Rechelle and Jessica are two exciting artists that demonstrate the diversity, talent and spirit of discovery that Melbourne Fringe represents. I can’t wait to see their shows in September.”

Jessica Moody has established a theatre company called Deafferent Theatre, accessible to hearing and deaf audiences alike, combining elements of Australian Sign Language and spoken English with movement and text. “We’re presenting our first production at

Melbourne Fringe, Daniel Keene’s Black is the Colour. We have two deaf actresses, and I’m deaf myself too.” Jessica has performed with University of Melbourne and several independent theatre companies. She made her directing debut in 2014 with To Be Determined at Frankston’s inaugural Anywhere Theatre Festival. With Deafferent Theatre, Jessica aims to pioneer the exploration of creative and collaborative ways to create accessible theatre for deaf and hard of hearing people.

Dancer Rechelle Gayler says: “The grant will assist in the overall development and production of our work for the Melbourne Fringe Festival along with providing funds to allow for further informative cultural research relative to explorations within our work. The work will be created and performed together with a fellow contemporary dancer Esperanza Quindara.”

Born and raised in Newcastle NSW, Rechelle embarked upon a dance career at the age of seven studying ballet, jazz and tap. While discovering her passion, she developed a keen interest in learning more about her background, most significantly her Aboriginal heritage. She has since become further intrigued in learning about Indigenous Australian culture, particularly Indigenous Australian dance. Through developing her own personal movement vocabulary, Rechelle aspires to understand how her cultural background has influenced her practice.  

Ralph Mclean (1957-2010) was Chair of Melbourne Fringe from 1986 – 1991 and a member of the Board until 1998. Ralph Mclean’s passion was celebrating diversity and art in all its forms. Melbourne Fringe continues his legacy through this new grant initiative of $1250 for artists.

For artists wanting to present at the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival, registrations are still open until Monday 23 May.

For more information see