INTERVIEW WITH ‘OUR TOWN’ DIRECTOR CLARE WATSON AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

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I love the play Our Town, I think it captures the essence of life in all its tragedy, beauty and humour so effortlessly that it never surprises that as it ages it remains timeless. The Artistic Director of Black Swan Theatre is a fan too and getting the chance to talk to her about her production of it was one of the most fun interviews I have ever had. The kind of ones where you lament having to put it to a set word limit because it can’t possibly cover the scope of the artists’ passion, thoughts and ideas. Yet you try, because you want to be worthy of the opportunity to speak to such people.

The production sounds like a winner, set outdoors in the theatre courtyard they’re going to have a reflective surface for the stage which will capture the long beautiful Perth sunsets and then the night sky. Those familiar with the play will know what an important part the changing sky can play. There’s going to be a wealth of locals, real Deliveroo drivers and doctors along with three talented actors Ian Michael, Abbie-Lee Lewis and Shari Sebbens who are all First Nation. Sebbens I saw give a particularly strong performance in the film Australia Day (2017) most recently. Given the importance of small town turn of the century America to the story its exciting to think of the possibilities that immediately come up when casting with such a focus on Perth locals and actors whose heritage predate white settlement in Australia. This particular production of Thornton Wilder’s classic shouldn’t be one to miss for fans old and new. You can read my interview with the delightful and talented Ms Watson here http://scenestr.com.au/arts/our-town-seeing-beauty-in-the-ordinary-in-perth-20190124

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Produced by Eyeball Media Enterprises Scenestr. is an online national magazine with local offices around Australia. Having started in 1993 they’ve excelled at moving into the digital realm but they remain at heart from the streets. They still publish magazines in print for Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland every month. This interview was published in print on page 19 of the 38 page first WA issue for 2019. You can read a digital version of the printed Western Australia edition here http://scenestr.com.au/read/WA/2019/23-WA/scenestr-WA-23.html#p=18

-Lloyd Marken

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6 thoughts on “INTERVIEW WITH ‘OUR TOWN’ DIRECTOR CLARE WATSON AVAILABLE ON SCENESTR

    1. Thanks Don, sadly Perth is a little too far away for me to review the show but I really had a blast talking to Ms Watson. She is a talented and intelligent individual. It sounds like this production could be something special. I just finished watching the 1989 Broadway Revival where the cast was amazing but in particular I couldn’t get how easily Penelope Ann Miller could invoke the emotions of a scene. While it’s mostly produced in high schools, (I did it myself in Grade 12, I was Doc Gibbs), I’m sure you must have been involved in productions of it over the years. What stories do you have to share?

    1. Thanks Pete, I just watched the 1989 revival which was fantastic. Penelope Ann Miller was amazing, regret she’s not continued to get high profile work. Maybe she’ll get to have a resurgence like Laura Dern recently has, she would deserve it. I think this should be a really interesting production and the director. It made me reflect, I was in drama throughout high school and one of the last times I ever performed was in a outside production of ‘Our Town’ for the end of drama in senior. I remember waiting in the “wings” and saying to my fellow actors waiting with me “I love this so much, I’ve got to find a way to do this for the rest of my life.” It was 20 years ago and one of the last times I ever performed in front of an audience.

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