OFTEN FIND THAT I'M NAKED puts a strong woman on stage, says producer Grace Elizabeth
Broadwayworld's Brisbane editor, Virag Dombay, interviews Grace Elizabeth on her newly founded theatre company 'Rouge Theatre' and their debut production of 'Often Find That I'm Naked'.
'Often Find that I'm Naked' explores the complications of dating in the 21st century. Was there a reason why you chose this particular work with its contemporary subject matter to put on as the first show for your newly founded theatre company?
It's extremely interesting about the themes and issues the script addresses because it was actually written about 20 years ago, but yet all of the complications and interactions that Jezebel (the main character) has with the men throughout her life are still 100% relevant. I think that played a big part in wanting to produce and bring this script back to life. As Jezebel is a 21st century woman that has the high paying job and doesn't want to commit to having children and what I believe conforms to society's beliefs that a woman is fulfilled by having a man in her life, rather than actually staying alone because that's what she wants. This resonated with me a lot and really wanting to put that strong woman on stage.
Many theatremakers share the sentiment that theatre should entertain but it should also make you think. Do you think Jezebel's narrative and the way it's staged adheres to this philosophy? What is your companies philosophy?
I think that Jezebels narrative only adheres to the philosophy to an extent. It'd definitely an entertaining script with some fantastic themes that will resonate with every woman that comes to see it. And in that respect it will provoke thoughts from the audiences that see it however there's not underlying message to the script.
There are two philosophy's that I believe the company is built on, the first is to provide entertaining drama to audiences which have themes and thoughts are relevant to today's society. The second philosophy is to deliver these productions in non traditional theatre settings such as Bars, which is where I Often Find is held. To give the audience a great experience from the moment they set foot in the bar, with a relaxing/indulgent drink to leaving the bar once they've seen the show. Immerse the audience into the full experience not just the production.
As an emerging theatre collective, was it difficult to find creatives to collaborate with within the Brisbane community?
It has been both easy and challenging connecting with other creatives. I'm extremely lucky that in my time as a stage manager I worked with some great directors and was lucky enough that Sarah was available and also wanted to join me. But that has probably been the easiest I've found a creative to work with, I've definitely had to do some scoping but have found some really great people to work with.
As the founder of Rouge Theatre Company, what motivated you to create a new independent collective?
From such a young age I have been inspired and in awe of theatre. My mother took me to all sorts of art from music to theatre to museums but theatre was always something extremely special to me. I also had influence from my cousin who was an actor and became a stage manager as well and I thought that is the job I want. From there I've sunk my teeth all sorts of jobs. But what I've always wanted to do is produce work, and especially produce shows that resonated with me and like I said are relevant.
What's the next step for Rouge Theatre Company?
We already have another work in motion which will be announced on closing night of I Often Find that I am Naked. But I vision that we can continue to create beautiful pieces of drama and showcase them in creative and great spaces around Brisbane.
Rouge Theatre Co. presents I Often Find That I am Naked by Fiona Sprott
On the 17th and 18th of July at Black Bear Lodge.
Grab a cocktail and follow the darkly comic journey through the mayhem and madness of Jezebel's sexually charged take on life (which feels increasingly difficult), love (or the lack of it), fame (or something like it) and fortune (how else could she afford her cocktail habit??). A Modern Woman of the Sex and the City generation grappling with the dilemma of managing her career, her partying and her loneliness between bouts of excessive sexual intimacy (shall we call it?).