Ilana Charnelle Gelbart has been performing since she was two years old, with experience in screen acting, theatre acting, theatre devising and producing, cabaret performance, and songwriting. Beginning her professional career at age eight with appearances in well-known television series like ‘Round The Twist’, ‘Jeopardy’ and ‘Summer Heights High’, Ilana has also starred in numerous theatrical productions, including originating the role of Kat in Daniel Lammin’s ‘The Cutting Boys’, where her performance was praised as “the stand out performance… such skill that I still get goose bumps when I think of it” (Theatre People). She continues to be an active member of the Melbourne independent theatre scene, appearing at festivals including Melbourne Fringe Festival (2017, 2015, 2014), Adelaide Fringe Festival (2015), and Melbourne Cabaret Fringe (2016, 2018) and at venues including Federation Square, Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), and The Butterfly Club.
Ilana has completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University, as well as undertaking an Honours year which she used to research the use of Auslan in heightened moments of the human experience to create bilingual theatre. She performed regularly with the Monash University Student Theatre company, with lead roles in shows including Blood Wedding, Loveplay and The 39 Steps. In 2018 Ilana gained admittance into the highly competitive Screen Actor’s Studio course run by NIDA, where she has been furthering her skills throughout the year.
Not limiting herself to acting alone, Ilana performs regularly as a jazz era-inspired chanteuse and storyteller, creating biting confessional cabarets with musical director Ned Dixon. She has released two full length albums, the first a live album of her cabaret ‘A Class Act‘, and her latest a studio recording of her show ‘Play Nice‘ featuring a three-piece band. On YouTube, her original songs and ‘jazzified’ covers have received over 230,000 views. Ilana’s original cabaret ‘Play Nice’ was nominated for a Green Room Award for Musical Direction in 2017.
Ilana is also the co-founder of Deafferent Theatre, a bilingual company that makes work for and by Deaf and non-Deaf people. Ilana and her co-founder Jessica Moody create work that will bridge the artistic and Deaf communities and resonate equally for all audience, regardless of language preference. For her work with Deafferent Theatre, Ilana has been awarded ‘Best Emerging Producer’ for Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015, as well as being awarded the Arts Access Victoria Access and Inclusion Award at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2016. Deafferent Theatre’s show ‘Ollie and Rose Go Viral’, which Ilana co-created, produced and performed in, was nominated for Best Children’s Show at Melbourne Fringe Festival 2018. Ilana is a Certified Provisional Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreter, gaining her NAATI qualification in 2015.
Click here to see Ilana’s CV //Ilana C Gelbart CV 2018