A graduate of The Actors’ Institute, London (UK), Sally McLean created her own film and theatre production outfit, Incognita Enterprises in 1997, under the honorary patronage of Academy Award nominee and multiple BAFTA Award winning British actor, Sir Nigel Hawthorne – an association he continued until his passing in 2001.
Under the umbrella of Incognita, Sally co-produced and co-wrote the UK 45 minute feature film A Little Rain Must Fall (invited to screen at the Cannes Film Festival), as well as writing, producing and directing the short films fixNATION in 2004 (screened on “OutThere”, Foxtel 2005, Selected: Best of Anything Goes Film Screenings 2004, Melbourne), going on to complete her second short film Brigit & Benny (a modern faerietale) (screened at The Festival of the Spirit) in 2005. Her first television pilot as co-writer and Executive Producer was the comedy short Why Must The Show Go On? (2010), in which she also played the lead role of “Madeleine LaRoy”. She additionally wrote, directed and produced the independently commissioned short documentaries The Gyuto Monks – An Australian Awakening (20 mins, 2001) and The Giant, the Witch and the Waterhorse (15 mins, 2002).
Her most recent projects as writer, director and producer are the multi award-winning and critically acclaimed web series Shakespeare Republic, starring Michala Banas, Alan Fletcher, Nadine Garner, Dean Haglund, Christopher Kirby, among others, and the commissioned short film Speaking Daggers, starring Nadine Garner, Michala Banas, Scott Major, Christopher Kirby, Billy Smedley, Faran Martin, Jaron Natoli, with Sally in the role of “Beatrice”.
Sally has also worked in production with the BBC in the Music & Arts Dept., on program strands such as Bard On The Box, Poetry Nation, and the BAFTA award-winning documentary series, Bookmark, before moving across to the BBC Commercial Channels (now UKTV) to work for the Head of Programing. During this time, she was invited to Chair the BBC Alternative Program Development Unit, managing and coordinating three committees of researchers, production assistants and assistant producers, tasked with creating and pitching new documentary and reality ideas for the BBC in-house, which resulted in several new program commissions for both BBC1 & 2.
Sally’s professional memberships include the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA), in both the Equity and STAA divisions, as well as being a Professional Member of the Australian Film Institute (AFI/AACTA), serving as a Juror for several years for the AFI Awards and AACTA Awards (the AFI Awards’ successor). Sally additionally served as a Judge for three consecutive years for the ATOM Awards (the second-longest-running film and media awards in Australia after the AFI/AACTA Awards and publishers of Metro Magazine) for various “Best Documentary” award categories. She is also a previous member of British Equity.
Additional production positions include Production Coordinator (Melbourne Live Nights) and Assistant Script Coordinator for the highly successful GTV9 sketch comedy program, Comedy Inc. and Production Assistant roles for Big Brother: Hunt for a Housemate(2004-2007), the Australian Idol auditions (Melbourne, 2005) and Series One of 1 vs 100 for Endemol Southern Star.
Sally began her apprenticeship in directing for theatre under the guidance of New York theatre director, Andy Gale, working as his assistant director during the professional Australian Premier of the off-Broadway musical, I Love You, You’re Perfect Now Change, at the Athenaeum Theatre, Melbourne in 2001, of which she was also a member of the cast. Sally then branched out into the area of writing, directing and producing for the theatre on her own with her first play Chasing Pegasus – A Play In Ten Chords, first work-shopped in front of audiences in December 2003, then professionally staged in October 2006. She followed this with PS I Love You, which made it’s first workshop appearance on the stage in July/August 2004.
Sally is currently working on three feature film screenplays in various stages of development, as well as completing her next play Bayonets & Bully Beef (excerpts from which were staged at the Melbourne Arts Centre as part of the Your Text Here emerging playwrights showcase, under her direction).
Other projects in development include the TV series Faerie (working title), ‘Till The Boys Come Home and Dalny (co-written with Christopher Kirby, adapted from Sally’s original feature film script of the same name), as well as Season Three of Shakespeare Republic.
Her television credits as an actor include an appearance on The Bookworm with host Griff Reece-Jones and the lead role of “Angie Powers” in the mini-series Bootleg for BBC Television, guest and support roles in Utopia, Jack Irish, Upper Middle Bogan, The Bazura Project, Killing Time, Lowdown, Blue Heelers, Neighbours, Comedy Inc., The Late Show, Bingles and Totally Full Frontal for Australian TV, as well as lead and supporting lead roles in over fifty theatre productions in both Australia and the UK.