"Black Mary" is the story of Aboriginal bushranger Mary Ann and her partner, Captain Thunderbolt, roaming north-western New South Wales in the mid-nineteenth century. Dressed like the men, Mary Ann is one of the gang, managing to survive in the outback and to elude capture most of the time. She dreams of returning with Thunderbolt to live with her people but instead witnesses their massacre and plots revenge. The play premiered in Sydney in April 1996. A contemporary play, "Gunjies" combines family life, young love, a football match and a debutante ball with political activism, racial discrimination and uneasy relations with police (the gunjies). Janson's characters are ordinary people -- warm, funny, resilient -- who are suddenly involved in tragedy. First performed in 1993, the International Year of Indigenous People, Gunjies was highly commended by the Human Rights Commission and was also nominated for an Australian Writers Guild award.
Playwright Julie Janson has a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies and a Bachelor of Visual Arts. She has worked for many years in Aboriginal education, as a teacher and lecturer, and in community, fringe and children's theatre. Julie began writing plays while living in Arnhem Land with remote Aboriginal communities.