Plot Points: Q1 2019
I’d like to start a new routine where I take the time to reflect on my favourite parts of each quarter. Ready? Let’s go!
Saw: Our Town at Black Swan State Theatre Company
This production of a classic text, directed by Clare Watson, featured a cast of Perth’s real mums, doctors, undertakers and delivery drivers, lead by .a core trio of professional actors. The show brought everyone together with a sense of community, and an invigorated appreciation for the interactions and rituals that make up our lives.
Saw: Counting and Cracking at Sydney Town Hall
What a thrill to see the old colonial Town Hall building with a Sri Lankan town hall built inside, and delicious Sri Lankan food being served and eaten in the foyer! While I had to walk past the old chandeliers, grand staircases and imposing portraits to get to my seat, it was such a breath of fresh air to then watch S. Shakthidharan’s Sri Lankan and Australian epic.
Read: Bowerbird by Alannah Valentine
While Alannah’s style of writing is very different to mine, I think we share a similar drive for in depth research and bringing new audiences into the theatre. I loved this book. While there are specific chapters of straightforward advice and suggestions for conducting interviews and looking after the health of your interviewees, it’s also the type of book that you can open to a random page any time you’re in need of inspiration, and you’ll probably find a line that resonates.
A Westerner’s Guide on Tour
Well, how could I look back on the past few months and not linger on these productions? It has been a long journey! 2 cities, 8 shows, and hundreds of red dot stickers on a world map hinting at hundreds of stories.
In the lead up to our Sydney show, I thought about how it all started, and wrote an article for Audrey Journal: https://www.audreyjournal.com.au/arts/the-power-of-telling-your-own-story/
Review excerpts and photos can be found on the production page here: http://www.tabithawoo.com/thirtyfivesquare-previousprojects/guide
I’m still trying to decide where to take A Westerner’s Guide to the Opium Wars next. Melbourne? Hobart? Brisbane? Singapore?
I’d like to take a moment to shout out to The Blue Room Theatre’s Zal Kanga-Parabia, who coordinates the Assembly program. The program for young and emerging culturally diverse artists provides a year of professional development, including individual mentorship and free tickets to various shows at The Blue Room Theatre.
Zal approached me to ask if A Westerner’s Guide to the Opium Wars would be one of those shows, and we held a post-show Q&A downstairs in one of the rehearsal rooms.
I found it kind of funny to be the subject of such a session, being a young artist myself! I don’t have decades of experience to draw on, or insight from the top companies. But I do happen to know the challenges being faced by young artists today, and I’ve developed some strategies to work through them.
More important than that though: something wonderful happens when culturally diverse artists get together to support each other. I felt a real sense of community with people I had just met. We all left the room buoyed by each other’s warmth, and inspired to go out and continue deconstructing contemporary storytelling.
Not to mention…
Duckpond is getting a total overhaul in preparation for production at the Freshworks Femme season at Old 505 Theatre in October. This second draft is looking to be a bit more sinister…
I’m coming back to Rapid Reads at the Old 505, with a brand new work! House on Fire is a collection of three monologues about home and climate change. See it on the 19th of April.