What Is The Matter With Mary Jane?

Presented by Freefall Productions


One Woman's Cautionary Tale Of A Silent But Deadly Disease

Stefanie Rossi makes her one-woman show debut at Holden Street Theatres this September with award-winning playwright Wendy Harmer's powerful, funny and inspiring show WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH MARY JANE?. Debuting at the Sydney Theatre Company in 1995, WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH MARY JANE is a both a devastating drama and a sardonic comedy that deals with one woman’s long struggle with eating disorders Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia and is as relevant to audiences today as it was when it was first performed.

Co-written by actor and creative Sancia Robinson, the play charts Sancia's harrowing downward spiral into a mental illness that nearly took her life and gives the audience a keen insight into her journey from a self-destructive pursuit for control and perfection to acceptance and recovery. It is a cautionary tale about a silent but deadly disease that consumes so many in our society and which is not as openly discussed or acknowledged as it should be for the psychological illness that it is. As the play unfolds, we join Sancia on her challenging path and mental illness is given a voice, an explanation and a cure as we are confronted with the question "what is it in this life that sends us quietly mad?" Equally informative as it is heart-wrenching, this is a compelling, moving and pertinent piece of theatre not to be missed!


"What is the matter with Mary Jane? is a beautiful illustration of the power of theatre in changing lives." Stage Whispers

"This one-woman show is a fierce, sardonic, no-holds barred look at the experience of one woman battling with Anorexia and Bulimia." Australian Arts Review

"What Is the Matter with Mary Jane?writer Sancia Robinson finds lightness in the dark - a much loved Australian monologue..." The Music

Writer: Story by Sancia Robinson, Written by Wendy Harmer

Directed by: Tony Knight

Featuring: Stefanie Rossi

Sound & Lighting Design: Stephen Dean


STEFANIE ROSSI graduated from the Adelaide College of the Arts with an Advanced Diploma of Arts (Acting) in 2012 and has worked professionally in stage and film since. She also studied with 16th Street Actors Studio (Melbourne) as well as Rob Marchand and Tony Knight (Adelaide). Her theatre credits include Mr the Biting Flea McGee and (Patch Theatre), Macbeth (Foul Play), Patricia in William Mastrosimone’s Extremities (Tony Knight Productions), Velma Kelly in Chicago (Emma Knights Productions), Paula in Fefu And Her Friends (Joh Hartog Productions), and Izzy in Rabbit Hole (Joh Hartog Productions). Her theatre credits include Mr McGee and the Biting Flea (Patch Theatre), Velma Kelly in Chicago (Emma Knights Productions) and Izzy in Rabbit Hole (Joh Hartog Productions). In 2016 Stefanie took on lead roles in international award-winning webseries Freemales, Adelaide Film Festival feature Youth On The March and ABC iView series, Almost Midnight. In January 2018, Stefanie joined forces with Marc Clement and Tony Knight to form STARC Productions and over the last five years their credits include Gardener McKay's Toyer, Jim Cartwright's TWO, Suzie Miller’s Reasonable Doubt, Neil Simon's Last Of The Red Hot Lovers, David Ives’ All In The Timing, Terence McNally’s Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune, David Ives' Venus In Fur and Nick Payne's Constellations. STARC was nominated for an award in Outstanding Achievement in Professional Theatre for their 2019 season by the Adelaide Critics Circle. During the 2018 Adelaide Fringe, Stefanie performed the role of Azra in UK production company Smokescreen Production’s staging of Mengele and went on to perform lead roles in Smokescreen Productions’ shows All Change and Mengele at the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe. During the 2019 Adelaide Fringe, Stefanie performed with UK companies Oyster Creative and Smokescreen Productions in their productions Oysters, All Change and JUDAS respectively and went onto perform in the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe in Mengele and JUDAS. At the end of 2018, Stefanie was awarded the Emerging Artist Of The Year Award for 2018 by the Adelaide Critic’s Circle. She currently works with Adelaide and Flinders Universities with their training doctors, teaches singing and acting privately and is in the throes of writing a one-woman cabaret show.

TONY KNIGHT was educated at Sydney Grammar School, trained at the Drama Centre London, and is a B.A. (Hons.) graduate from Sydney University. He was the Head of Acting at Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), training some of Australia’s most celebrated national and international actors, such as Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington, and Anna Torv, as well as local Adelaide actors, including Elena Carapetis, Genevieve O’Reilly, Adam Tuominen, Sarah Snook, Ben Welford, and Kate Box. Tony has taught, directed and lectured in many parts of the world, including Australia, the USA, Japan, Romania, Singapore and Tonga. Currently living in Adelaide, South Australia, Tony is continuing to teach, direct and produce work of the highest standard, as well as regularly writing theatre reviews for the national Australian theatre magazine, Stage Whispers. He has worked for SA Casting, Angela Heesom Casting, and TAFE CPA, the NIDA Open Program, University of South Australia, and the University of Adelaide. Furthermore, Tony has held two highly successful photographic exhibitions for the SALA Festival in Adelaide. Tony has recently returned to Adelaide after directing a highly successful production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It for Lakespeare in Canberra. He is currently teaching from his own studio – The Actor’s Studio (Scarlett-Media). In 2018 co-founded a new professional theatre company, STARC PRODUCTIONS. Over the past number of years STARC has delivered a significant and successful body of work, specialising in two-person plays, and earning high praise – quality theatre at affordable prices, and ‘making the Ordinary “Extraordinary”! All these productions were staged at The Bakehouse Theatre. It was an honour and privilege to be a small part of the history of this important and influential theatre. It was a great journey.

STEPHEN DEAN believes that lighting has as much importance to a theatre piece as the performers. He also works as a venue technician and writes for CX magazine and Ramblings of a Techie. Stephen’s recent lighting designs include STARC’s “Venus In Fur”, SA Playrights “Bordertown” and “The Double Bass” presented by Cranking Hog Productions , just to name a few out of dozens. He has designed for several companies including Factory Space theatre in Sydney - including Macbeth, How I met my mother and Devil’s Caress -and the Hunter Valley Summer Theatre. He also designed the lighting and audio for “Seventeen” for the Theatre Guild in 2019. He has worked in Edinburgh, London, and Sydney. Stephen was also resident Lighting Designer/Technical Manager for all of the Bakehouse Theatre Fringe shows. He has his own production company, BallyHoo Productions, technical services for theatre. His design for “Brilliant Traces” by Joh Hartog productions received rave reviews.


Butterfly Foundation is the national charity for all Australians impacted by eating disorders and body image issues, and for the families, friends and communities who support them.

The organisation changes lives by providing innovative, evidence-based support services, treatment and resources, delivering prevention and early intervention programs and advocating for the needs of our community.

Butterfly highlights the realities for those seeking treatment for recovery, and advocates for improved access to effective, affordable care. Throughout its work Butterfly also emphasises the critical importance of prevention and early intervention strategies in limiting the development of, and suffering from, negative body image and eating disorders.

Butterfly operates a National Helpline that includes support over the phone, via email and online, reaching 20,000 people each year. The Helpline is staffed by trained counsellors experienced in assisting with eating disorders and body image issues. We also provide a wide range of programs for service providers and recovery groups.

How your gift can make a difference

  • $5 could support 1 child/young person to receive positive body image education in their school.
  • $15 could help to ensure 1 parent can receive our parent education programs.
  • $20 could enable parents of someone with an eating disorder to attend one of Butterfly’s online support groups
  • $40 could support the development of an e-newsletter for schools.
  • $50 could assist our National Helpline counsellors develop resources to support individual and family recovery
  • $50 could help run an online support group for sufferers and carers in under-serviced areas
  • $50 could help us provide low-cost seminars for parents on supporting a healthy body image in their children.
  • $70 could support the development of our ‘Let’s Talk’ podcast.
  • $75 could assist us with developing and producing free online resources for schools and families to create healthy body image environments for young Australians.
  • $90 could fund an educator/other professional working with young people to attend a professional workshop (prevention/early intervention).
  • $100 could fund an online support group for carers assisting a loved one experiencing an eating disorder
  • $150 could help us create new web and digital content for young people.
  • $500 could provide a course of online counselling sessions for someone suffering from an eating disorder
  • $500 could fund an evidence-informed, age-appropriate session to students in a secondary school, promoting positive body image.
  • $750 could provide a parent seminar to a school/sporting organisation.
  • $1,000 could help expand the training and support that the Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy therapists receive at Wandi Nerida from US-based EAP expert, Leif Hallberg.
  • $1,500 could provide professional development training for a school, sporting or community organisation supporting young people.
  • $2,000 could sponsor a 3hr Body Kind leadership workshop at a school, sporting or community organisation supporting young people.
  • $2,000 could provide assistance for a socio-economically disadvantaged family to travel from interstate to Wandi Nerida to take part in family therapy for their loved one during their residential treatment.
  • $5,000 could fund the purchase of therapeutic program equipment for participants at Wandi Nerida.
  • $5,000 could sponsor a whole of community program including professional training for those working with young people, a parent information seminar, and sessions for schools (years 5 to 12).


  • Over 1 million Australians are living with an eating disorder, and yet less than a quarter of those receive treatment or support.
  • Since Covid, Butterfly has seen a 45% increase in contacts to our national Helpline.
  • Butterfly Foundation is the national charity for all Australians impacted by eating disorders and body image issues, and for the families, friends and communities who support them.
  • Body dissatisfaction is one of the highest risk factors for developing an eating disorder. Through its prevention and education programs, Butterfly promotes healthy body image messaging and programs to support parents, carers, schools and young people.
  • Approximately 10% of the Australian population will experience an eating disorder in their life time.
  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.
  • 20% of anorexia nervosa deaths result from suicide.
  • The earlier intervention occurs, the more likely full recovery can be achieved.
  • People who have had an eating disorder for less than two years at the time of help seeking are more likely to have a rapid positive response, and experience fewer health consequences than those that do not access care for longer periods of time.


HST is incredibly excited to present a safe and secure experience at the theatre. To ensure public safety we have implemented a COVID Safe plan. Social distancing, density and hygiene practices will be adhered to at all times. Only attend the event if you are feeling well. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms please ensure you get tested as soon as possible and follow social isolation guidelines until you recover.

If you are unable to attend your event please call 8225 8888 or email manager@holdenstreettheatres.com to discuss your ticketing options.

The safety and health of our patrons, staff and performers is our main priority and we will do everything we can to ensure a fun and safe evening out.

Learn More about our Covid Safe Practices Here.


What Is The Matter With Mary Jane?


Genre: Theatre

Season: SEPTEMBER 2022


Preview(s): Wednesday 14 Sep @ 8:00pm

Opening night: Thursday 15th @ 8:00pm


Friday, 16 Sep 2022 @ 8:00pm

Saturday, 17 Sep 2022 @ 8:00pm

Wednesday, 21 Sep 2022 @ 8:00pm

Thursday, 22 Sep 2022 @ 8:00pm

Friday, 23 Sep 2022 @ 8:00pm

Saturday, 24 Sep 2022 @ 8:00pm

Duration: 60 mins approx. (no interval)

Preview $30, Adults $38, Conc. $33, Students $30, Group 6+ $35

Venue: The Studio

34 Holden Street, Hindmarsh SA 5007


HST are making every effort to make our performances accessible to all patrons. The Studio has accessible seating.


Tickets Available Now!