9 August 1977 – 18 June 2002
Hannah May Barry was completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts at Melbourne University when she died in an accident on her motorcycle, on the way back to Melbourne from a motivational speaking tour. Hannah was a professional actor from her late teens; on television she was a guest artist in Blue Heelers, and had a minor role in State Coroner. She would have been widely seen in one of the hard-hitting ads put to air by the Transport Accident Commission, in which – ironically – she ‘died’ in a car accident on a country road.
At university she was involved in many productions, and was able to pursue her interests in scriptwriting, as well as costume and set design. Her last public role was in Split at La Mama in 2001, a two-hander written by fellow student and playwright Sivan Gabrielovich. Her acting career began at age six in a pro-am company in Hobart; her first public performance was as an alphabet block in The Velveteen Rabbit! On moving to Melbourne, she studied with the Victorian Youth Theatre and St. Martin’s. A summer study of Butoh in Brisbane brought her control of the intensity she brought to her roles.
Her friends in stand-up comedy, theatre and music banded together to raise money through a series of variety concerts, to raise funds for a bursary in her memory. This is awarded annually for a project of creative merit proposed by a Melbourne University undergraduate student. The bursary has funded many interesting and experimental works.
Tribute provided by Hannah’s mother, Maxine Barry 2017