$3,875 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 6 months
A story of hope, healing and transformation.

 “…as you all know there is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself’ Hannah Gadsby

 Cockroach was born from a place of anger. As a woman, I’m growing increasingly frustrated and angry at some men in prominent positions who have been getting away with sexual misconduct and abuse.

 Unfortunately, the victims are often suffering alone and in silence. After all, a civilised and sophisticated woman should act like a lady (read: hide her shame, pain and suffering and pretend that all is well).

 Well, all is not well.

 For victims of abuse, life can never be the same again. It will also be more difficult if they take no action and keep doing what’s expected instead of what’s right.

 All the time we hear of stories where the woman was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, wearing the wrong clothes. The perpetrator, it seems, had no choice but to teach this ‘unruly person’ a lesson. The blame is always directed at the victim.

 We regularly see headlines such as:

 “A medical doctor molested hundreds of girls and women.”

 “A beautiful young girl was raped and murdered walking home at night, and the police tell women they need to be more careful.”

 “A champion swimmer faced a maximum of 14 years in state prison for three counts of rape, but instead was sentenced to six months in county jail and probation.”

 I've had enough of those stories where assault is downplayed and victims are shamed and blamed while the perpetrators are excused and set free. The legal system has let victims down. But, getting angry and suffering in silence is not an option.

That’s why I believe my play, Cockroach, is so important - it’s essential to empower the disempowered.

 The vision behind Cockroach

 Cockroach is a blend of various theatrical forms that speaks to audiences in rich and complex ways. It aims to find a loophole of laughter in the tragedy of abuse, to create a space for acceptance where real healing and transformation is possible.

 I’m passionate about the intelligence of the body. The trauma we have stored in our toes, arms, hearts and face need to be channeled so healing can take place.

 Cockroach will direct this energy into something creative to inspire positive change and meaningful dialogue to raise awareness.

 A peek into the world of Cockroach

 Writer/Director: Melita Rowston

Creator/Performer/Producer: Leah Donovan

Live music: Benito Di Fonzo


An amoral revenge tale for the #MeToo generation

 “They deprive me of food, I survive. They sever my limbs. I don’t die. I’ve outlived the dinosaurs. I will outlive them. I’m Cockroach. I go where darkness thrives… And yeah, I don’t get asked on a lot of second dates.”

 When C awakes from a nightmare, she finds herself transformed into a monstrous vermin.

 For too long she’s been told there’s something wrong with her. So she learned to hide. For so long, she’s yearned to behave badly. Tonight’s her night of reckoning.

 Join C on a blood-curdling bar crawl, as this avenging exoskeletal anti-heroine rises from the ashes of abuse to become the true definition of a pest.

 Featuring a live score smashed together with a vintage Casio, saxophone, percussion and Fender Strat, Cockroach is furious, funny and hopeful.

 Part free verse poem, part dance theatre, part grunge cabaret, this twisted urban-noir adventure will have you belly laughing while squirming in your seat.

 Subverting Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Cockroach is about the silencing that follows abuse and the transformations that occur recovering from it.

 Broken by brutal love, C searches for a way to discard her armour and be seen. She’s not your mother and she’s not your bitch.

 Why fund Cockroach?

Cockroach will showcase at the Sydney Fringe festival and was selected among fierce competition to be featured at the Melbourne Fringe Festival Fringe Hub, which is very exciting! Melbourne Fringe encourages artists to push the boundaries of genre, art form and innovation. This is exactly what Cockroach is all about.

 The content of this piece is very close to my heart. We’ve all been affected by abuse on some level (either personally or through someone close to us). Survivors of violence are beginning to find a voice. I believe this is just the beginning. I hope as time goes on survivors can now feel more able to throw off their burden of shame.  

 Cockroach will dance the badness out in an environment free of judgment. The show will empower survivors to remove their armour and walk down the terrifying and thrilling road of being seen. It might get messy, it will definitely be funny and there will probably be tears!

 Your impact

 We need $8,000 to develop, rehearse and perform the show in Sydney and Melbourne in September 2018.

 The $8,000 will pay for the following:

 ·       Submission fees for Sydney and Melbourne Fringe

·       Rehearsal room hire in August

·       Venue hire in Sydney and Melbourne

·       Publicity and production images

·       Flights and two week's accommodation in Melbourne for creative team (3 people)

·       Costumes and stage décor

·       Set, sound and lighting costs

·       Advertising costs in Sydney and Melbourne

 Other ways you can help

 I’d love to see you at the show in September! Tell everyone!

 If you feel this project might resonate with someone you know, please pass this page onto them.☺

 Thank you so much for all of your support. We would not be able to complete this project without it!

  “The arts … cannot change the world, but they may change human beings, who might change the world.”                      Maxine Greene

love, leah x
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$3,875 of $8,000 goal

Raised by 28 people in 6 months
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