Friday, February 23, 2018

One Theater World Speakers: Rosemary Myers

Who is really excited about going to TYA/USA’s biggest event-One Theater World TOMORROW  in conjunction with Cleveland’s Playhouse Square and their acclaimed International Children’s Festival?   Who is crushed that you can’t make it this year?

Well to whet your appetite (or to rub it in that you aren’t in Cleveland this week), David Kilpatrick and Alicia Lark Fuss interviewed the keynote speakers and master class facilitators.   Excerpts from the interviews are in TYA Today.  Here is the entire interview.

Rosemary is a keynote speaker, is teaching a master class, and her company is performing at the festival!

rosemary myers

1) What is the first play you remember seeing that made an impression?

I grew up in Melbourne and had an amazing drama teacher who took our whole class to the Adelaide International Festival for three weeks in my final year of high school.  I saw three productions by seminal director Peter Brook. The plays were The Conference of the Birds, Ubu and The Ik. They were staged in a quarry and its fair to say they blew my 16-year-old mind.

2)     What upcoming project(s) are you most excited about in 2013?

We just opened our production School Dance at the Sydney Festival, staged at the Sydney Theatre Company, which is on the harbour next to the bridge and looks across at the Opera House. With Cate Blanchett in attendance it is definitely the glamorous end of our work. We have also been working on an installation with young people from the remote Anangu Pitjantjajara community, as well as developing the third work in a trilogy especially created for teenagers called Girl Asleep, which is loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty story.

3) If you could have a coffee (or an adult beverage) with someone in or related to the field of TYA (living or deceased), who would it be and why?

I am very fascinated by the Italian company Societas Raffaelo Sanzio. They create a very “post dramatic” work but many of their early works were created for children and families. They sound quite amazing and include a version of Aesop’s Fables staged with three hundred animals, Donkeyskin where the theatre was excavated and filled with water and Thumbkin where the audience lies on individual beds for the duration of the show.

4)     What advice would you give to a graduating student seeking to enter this field?

See as much theatre, music and visual art as possible. Never fall into a trap of attempting to second-guess your audience, especially when creating work for young people, as I think it leads to a patronising tone. Its important that artists are always creating work that genuinely excites them.

5)     What are you most excited about regarding attending One Theatre World?

I find I get very quickly consumed with the day to day of Windmill Theatre, so I relish any opportunity to meet with peers, have great dialogue and really consider the bigger picture of the work we do. To do this internationally is really exciting and presenting at One World really pushes me to think about and articulate my practice – and that is always an intimidating but invaluable exercise.
Rosemary Myers is the Artistic Director of Windmill Theatre and directed Boom Bah, the six-times Helpmann nominated Wizard of Oz, Fugitive, School Dance (winner of the 2012 Ruby Award for Best Work) and Pinocchio for the company. Under Rose’s artistic leadership, Windmill creates and presents work that is inspired by the vibrancy, sophistication and inventiveness of young people and the exhilarating challenges they pose to creating theatre of genuine relevance in this modern time. In 2012 the Company won the prestigious Myer Award for Excellence – the first time this award has been made to a company creating work for families and young people.

Rosemary was also the Artistic Director of Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Out of the Box Festival in 2010 and prior to Windmill, she was the Artistic Director of Arena Theatre Company. Under her direction, Arena won the International Association of Theatre for Young People Award for “inspiring and provocative ways of expressing a new theatrical language which genuinely engages young people in these contemporary times”.  Her projects with Arena include Criminology, SKID 180, Game Girl, Play Dirty, Outlookers, Eat Your Young, Panacea, Schnorky the Wave Puncher, Oblong and Autopsy.  Her independent work includes: ABC Television, Back to Back Theatre Company, Victorian College of the Arts, Queensland Theatre Company and Sydney Theatre Company and she was a Creative Director for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

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