Inside the actor's brain...

Ever wanted to know what actors think about the characters they play? Read below to see what Marissa O'Reilly thinks about her character Alison Ellis from Crestfall.

If the writer of Crestfall decided to edit the script again and cut lines, which line of Alison’s would you fight for?
… though I love him all the more for what he's lacking...

What do you love the most about Alison?
I love her steadfastness in her care for her son despite the difficulties they face. What she encounters during the course of the play is traumatic yet her determination is unwavering.

What do you find challenging about playing Alison?
Her pride and stubbornness are key elements of her personality which are at odds with the love and generosity she has for her family.

Describe Alison in a word.

What do you think audiences will take away from Alison’s story?
Hopefully it will provoke thought on what binds a relationship and why women stay in situations that are bad for them, what role does duty play in a modern woman's navigation of her role in society and within her family.

What made you want to be involved with Crestfall?
I'm fascinated by the idea of women speaking or behaving as men and how that is perceived. Also, the beauty of the language which delivers such morbid and violent imagery.

Why should Citizens come and see Alison in Crestfall?
She is a strong woman who is experiencing possibly the lowest point in her life and cannot seem to find the path up and over. Although we (hopefully) have not had to go though an ordeal like Alison's, I feel her struggle is something we intrinsically understand and empathise with, and so, her final choices are quite provoking.


Moving from her hometown of Brisbane to Melbourne in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts from UQ in French and Spanish, Marissa then graduated in 2014 from The Victorian College of Arts with a BFA in Theatre Practice. Her stage credits include Taylor in Bock Kills her Father (She Said Theatre), Sandy in The Long Red Road (HTC Theatre), Sylv in East (Blackwater Prod.), Masha in Three Sisters (VCA), The Woman in Tuesday (VCA), and was a creator/performer in Un/Clean (VCA) and Lucky Country (VCA).

Marissa is a proud member of Equity and a recovering chocaholic.