Alice Ansara

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Alice Ansara is an Australian actress who works in film, television and theatre.

Background[edit]

Ansara is the daughter of documentary filmmaker, Martha Ansara and Master Builder Bill Ethell. Ansara began working as an actor as a child and also traveled Australia whilst her mother made films. In her teens, she spent time in Colombia, South America, becoming fluent in Spanish. Ansara also signs Auslan (Australian Sign Language). She attended the Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney and later trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

Career[edit]

Ansara’s first significant role was as young Cathy Ann in the award-winning Australian telemovie Breaking Through.[1] She continued to work professionally across film and television into her adolescence. Before finishing high school, Ansara landed the lead role of Lucia in the 2001 Australian movie La Spagnola,[2][3] which debuted at the Sydney Film Festival and garnered her Best Actress nominations at the 2001 Australian Film Institute Awards [4] (now AACTA Awards) and the 2002 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards.[5]

After graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Ansara starred in Rosebery 7470[6][7] for which she won a Best Actress Award at the 2006 Melbourne Underground Film Festival.[8] She also began working in theatre, including with leading Australian companies: Sydney Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre Company, Monkey Baa Theatre and Bell Shakespeare. In 2009 Ansara was chosen by Artistic Directors Cate Blanchett and Andrew Upton as one of nine actors in the Sydney Theatre Company’s acting ensemble known as "The Residents".[9]

Ansara was part of the core cast of the TV comedy series Bogan Pride,[10] playing Rebel Wilson’s best friend Nigella. She has played various characters, including Lamees, in the first two seasons of Nazeem Hussain’s television sketch comedy Legally Brown.

She has been a member of Actors Equity since 1989 and has served on the Management Committee of the Actors Benevolent Fund.[11]

Ansara has directed two short documentaries in Auslan for the The Deaf Society of NSW, including Jacobs Story,[12] commissioned by the Australian Human Rights Commission. She has also served as a member of the Society’s Centenary History sub-committee in the creation of the website Deaf in New South Wales: a Community History.[13] In 2013 she received a Mike Walsh Fellowship[14] to study deaf theatre practices in Scandinavia.

Ansara is a member of the Film & Broadcast Industries Oral History Group associated with Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive for whom she records oral histories of Australian actors.[15]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1993 Gino Girl
1997 She’s Not Very Beautiful Jane (Lead) Short Film
1997 The One That Got Away Maria (Lead) Short Film
2000 La Spagnola Lucia (Lead) Best Actress Nomination AFI Awards, FCCC Awards
2005 Rosebery 7470 Alison (Lead) Best Actress Award MUFF Awards
2006 Meditations on a Name Wattle (Lead) Short Film - DOP Bonnie Elliot’s directorial debut
2007 Sexy, Single, Bilingual Zoya (Lead) Short Film
2008 The Ballad of Betty & Joe Betty (Lead) Short Film
2008 The Ladies Lounge Layla (Lead) Short Film won Queer Perspective Award, Sydney Queer Film Festival
2010 Nude Study Alison
2014 Project 25 Lana
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1990 Breaking Through Young Ann
1990 Death Duties Sophie
1997 The Teenage Guide to Popularity Amy
2007 All Saints Detective Grant
2008 Bogan Pride Nigella BFF of Rebel Wilson’s character Jenny
2010 My Place Mrs Stockton Directors: Michael James Rowland & Rachel Ward
2013 Legally Brown – Season 1 Lamees/Various
2014 Legally Brown – Season 2 Lamees/Various

Theatre[edit]

Year Title Role Company
2002 Three Sisters Olga WAAPA
2002 A Midsummer Nights Dream Titania WAAPA
2003 Pericles Gower WAAPA
2003 The Innocent Mistress Mrs Flywife WAAPA
2005 Pearlie in the Park Mrs Possum Monkey Baa
2006 The Merchant of Venice Jessica Bell Shakespeare
2008 Arabian Night Fatima Griffin Stablemates
2009 The Mysteries: Genesis Lucifer/Abel The Sydney Theatre Company
2009 Seagull The Seagull Screw Theatre Company
2010 Leviathan Caroline Chisolm The Sydney Theatre Company
2010 Vs Macbeth Lennox The Sydney Theatre Company
2010 The Oresteia Chorus The Sydney Theatre Company
2010 The Comedy of Errors Adriana The Sydney Theatre Company
2011 One for the Ugly Girls Claire 505 Theatre
2012 Look the Other Way Ensemble STC/BYDS
2013 The Other Way Mara STC/BYDS
2014 Jump for Jordan Sophia Griffin Theatre Company

References[edit]