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The Witness Interview

Witness Performance

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The Witness Interview

The Witness Interview

Witness Performance

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In The Witness Interview, Witness interviews significant practitioners in the Australian performing arts. Podcasts edited by Ben Keene.

Latest Episodes

The Witness Interview: Candy Bowers

‘You are asking someone from the field into the house, and we are going to fight. Because I will always fight to decentralise the white patriarchy’ Candy Bowers is an auteur – in her work, she is a playwright, producer, director, performer and an activist. In this wide-rangng conversation she talks to Alison Croggon about her hiphop show for young people, One the Bear. Co-written with her sister, composer Kim Busty Beatz Bowers, it’s latest in a long history of activist collaboration. Candy discusses her history as an independent activist theatre maker, and how she brings her vision of decolonisation to her audiences. “A lot of time in the theatre space it’s felt like war,” she says. But, she tell us, things are changing. One the Bear opens next week at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the Big World Up Close series. Bookings Further reading: Candy Bowers’ production of Susan Lori-Parks Fucking A You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed. Click here for instructions on how to subscribe.

44 MIN2019 JUL 30
Comments
The Witness Interview: Candy Bowers

The Witness Interview: Nicola Gunn

‘I don’t have a process… What I do is put things that interest me on stage.’ In this month’s podcast, Robert Reid talks to the unclassifiable Nicola Gunn, one of Australia’s most important and intriguing theatre makers, about her practice. They discuss her practice, from her early “Edward Gorey phase” to her most recent work, including Working with Children, which she considers her “disaster” to what she’s making now, a “live pedadogical exercise”. Gunn works as a performer, writer, director, producer and dramaturg. She makes live performances, videos, objects, site-specific installations and books that borrow from theatrical, choreographic, literary, comedic and visual art languages to create a mode of contemporary performance that plays with form and pursues a narrative, working across theatre and dance. Her solo work has been shown in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, the US, Canada, France, Austria, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Italy, Finland and Belgium. Producer: Be...

40 MIN2019 JUL 12
Comments
The Witness Interview: Nicola Gunn

The Witness Interview: Thomas M Wright

‘There’s something fundamentally wrong with young men…that they gravitate to war, that they gravitate to violence, that they gravitate to self destruction…I’ve always felt compelled to wrestle with that.’ In this wide-ranging conversation, writer, director and performer Thomas M Wright talks to Alison Croggon about his new film Acute Misfortune, his background as a theatre artist as one of the founding members of Black Lung during the Australian theatre renaissance of the early Noughties, the construction of masculinity and what’s wrong with maleness today, and the formal conventions of film. Thomas M Wright came to international notice when he was cast in Jane Campion’s series The Top of the Lake and has starred in many series and film since. His most recent film Acute Misfortune, which he directed and co-wrote, is a biopic about the controversial visual artist Adam Cullen, explores the destructive masculinity that runs through Australian culture. Based on the biography by ...

37 MIN2019 JUN 14
Comments
The Witness Interview: Thomas M Wright

The Witness Interview: Richard Watts

‘We still tend to overlook and ignore the remarkable work of Australians’ Robert Reid talks to broadcaster, writer and general arts stalwart Richard Watts, discussing his background as a poet, activist and advocate, and his passionate and abiding connection to Australian arts. The conversation looks at the need for cultural change, the need to combat cultural imperialism and white supremacy, and the persistence of the cultural cringe. Richard is a Melbourne-based arts writer and broadcaster. The founder of the Emerging Writers’ Festival and a Life Member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, he has worked for a wide array of arts organisations and sat on numerous boards. He currently is chair of the Board of La Mama Theatreand is a member of the Green Room Awards Independent Theatre panel. In addition to writing for ArtsHub as Performing Arts Editor, Richard presents the weekly program SmartArts on 3RRR. You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed.Click he...

43 MIN2019 APR 10
Comments
The Witness Interview: Richard Watts

The Witness Interview: Moira Finucane Part 1

‘When I think about art, I think: what raises the hair on your arms’ In the first part of this funny, fabulous and very candid two-part episode of The Witness Interview, Ben Keene talks to the seductive and subversive Moira Finucane. With Jackie Smith, Moira is half of the powerhouse that is Finucane and Smith. Their variety-style performance art has become a staple of our performance landscape, and generated a loyal worldwide following. Here she talks candidly about the passions and struggles informing her work and how she began to create her unique form of queer performance. Finucane and Smith have won 15 theatre awards, including The Patrick White Playwright Award, Cuba’s National Theatre Award, the CHAMACO for the most outstanding International Presentation of 2015, 7 Green Room Awards, the Outstanding Contribution to Cabaret Award, Scotland on Sunday’s “Hottest Temptation of the Festival”, the Australia Council for the Arts Theatre Fellowship. Finucane was also a Creative...

27 MIN2019 MAR 15
Comments
The Witness Interview: Moira Finucane Part 1

The Witness Interview: Moira Finucane Part 2

Moira Finucane, ‘the patron saint of magpies’, digs into her creative practice in Part 2 of her interview with Ben Keene In Part 2 of this funny, fabulous and very candid two-part episode of The Witness Interview, Ben Keene talks to the seductive and subversive Moira Finucane. With Jackie Smith, Moira is half of the powerhouse that is Finucane and Smith. Their variety-style performance art has become a staple of our performance landscape, and generated a loyal worldwide following. Here she talks candidly about the passions and struggles informing her work, her processes, and her work around the world, including her work in China. Finucane and Smith have won 15 theatre awards, including The Patrick White Playwright Award, Cuba’s National Theatre Award, the CHAMACO for the most outstanding International Presentation of 2015, 7 Green Room Awards, the Outstanding Contribution to Cabaret Award, Scotland on Sunday’s “Hottest Temptation of the Festival”, the Australia Council for the...

34 MIN2019 MAR 15
Comments
The Witness Interview: Moira Finucane Part 2

The Witness Interview: Ming-Zhu Hii

‘I’m 37 years old, it’s time I was an evil witch’ For our last Witness Interview of 2018, Robert Reid talks to Ming-Zhu Hii about many things, including artistic risk, the commodification of the arts, racial representation and the early days of blogging. Ming-Zhu is a director, writer and multidisciplinary artist working across film, theatre, video, and installation. She is the 2018-19 Female Director in Residence at Malthouse Theatre. Among her projects is the award-winning short film Intrusion, recent installation Dead Drop, short film Close Observations of a Single Subject, multimedia and performance hybrids Until Then, Then and This is Beautiful, and the critically acclaimed theatre and installation piece Attract/Repel. Shehelms Find & Replace Films whose projects explore the female body as symbol and object; observed and observer through the re-imagination of myth, canon and classical artwork, and mystery and thriller genres. Podcast producers: Ben Keene You can subscribe t...

40 MIN2018 DEC 10
Comments
The Witness Interview: Ming-Zhu Hii

The Witness Interview: Amelia Roper

‘I wanted to be in a place where I was treated as an adult human as an artist’ For this month’s Witness Interview, Robert Reid talks to Australian playwright Amelia Roper about making a career in the United States and all things writing, including guineapigs. Roper, who describes herself as “Gay. Funny. Writer. Activist”, has had her plays produced n in London, Moscow, Australia and around the US, and recently by a Kin Collective at 45 Downstairs. She writes for for Yale Rep, Colt Coeur at New York Theatre Workshop, OSF and The RoseShe’s won some awards, works for Gloria Steinem and Time’sUp with Jill Soloway, and has an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed. Click here for instructions on how to subscribe.

35 MIN2018 OCT 4
Comments
The Witness Interview: Amelia Roper

The Witness Interview: Melanie Beddie

“We keep reinventing the wheel” In this wide-ranging interview with Robert Reid, director, actor, teacher and dramaturge Melanie Beddie looks over a lifetime working in theatre, from her beginning at the Victorian College of the Arts through the birth of the current independent theatre scene in Melbourne in the 1980s and ’90s, to now. You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed. Click here for instructions on how to subscribe.

38 MIN2018 AUG 22
Comments
The Witness Interview: Melanie Beddie

The Witness Interview: Lucy Guerin

“It’s really important to me that my work is generative” For this month’s interview, Alison Croggon talks to choreographerLucy Guerin, artistic director of Lucy Guerin Inc, about her early career as a dancer, her years in New York, her transformation from dancer to choreographer, and the profound importance of community to an artform like dance. Like many of Australia’s independent performance companies, as well as working at home, Lucy Guerin Inc tours widely overseas, playing top venues in Europe and the United States, and has established itself as one of Australia’s most important and well known independent dance companies. You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed. Click here for instructions on how to subscribe.

20 MIN2018 AUG 1
Comments
The Witness Interview: Lucy Guerin
the END

Latest Episodes

The Witness Interview: Candy Bowers

‘You are asking someone from the field into the house, and we are going to fight. Because I will always fight to decentralise the white patriarchy’ Candy Bowers is an auteur – in her work, she is a playwright, producer, director, performer and an activist. In this wide-rangng conversation she talks to Alison Croggon about her hiphop show for young people, One the Bear. Co-written with her sister, composer Kim Busty Beatz Bowers, it’s latest in a long history of activist collaboration. Candy discusses her history as an independent activist theatre maker, and how she brings her vision of decolonisation to her audiences. “A lot of time in the theatre space it’s felt like war,” she says. But, she tell us, things are changing. One the Bear opens next week at Arts Centre Melbourne as part of the Big World Up Close series. Bookings Further reading: Candy Bowers’ production of Susan Lori-Parks Fucking A You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed. Click here for instructions on how to subscribe.

44 MIN2019 JUL 30
Comments
The Witness Interview: Candy Bowers

The Witness Interview: Nicola Gunn

‘I don’t have a process… What I do is put things that interest me on stage.’ In this month’s podcast, Robert Reid talks to the unclassifiable Nicola Gunn, one of Australia’s most important and intriguing theatre makers, about her practice. They discuss her practice, from her early “Edward Gorey phase” to her most recent work, including Working with Children, which she considers her “disaster” to what she’s making now, a “live pedadogical exercise”. Gunn works as a performer, writer, director, producer and dramaturg. She makes live performances, videos, objects, site-specific installations and books that borrow from theatrical, choreographic, literary, comedic and visual art languages to create a mode of contemporary performance that plays with form and pursues a narrative, working across theatre and dance. Her solo work has been shown in Australia, New Zealand, Chile, the US, Canada, France, Austria, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Italy, Finland and Belgium. Producer: Be...

40 MIN2019 JUL 12
Comments
The Witness Interview: Nicola Gunn

The Witness Interview: Thomas M Wright

‘There’s something fundamentally wrong with young men…that they gravitate to war, that they gravitate to violence, that they gravitate to self destruction…I’ve always felt compelled to wrestle with that.’ In this wide-ranging conversation, writer, director and performer Thomas M Wright talks to Alison Croggon about his new film Acute Misfortune, his background as a theatre artist as one of the founding members of Black Lung during the Australian theatre renaissance of the early Noughties, the construction of masculinity and what’s wrong with maleness today, and the formal conventions of film. Thomas M Wright came to international notice when he was cast in Jane Campion’s series The Top of the Lake and has starred in many series and film since. His most recent film Acute Misfortune, which he directed and co-wrote, is a biopic about the controversial visual artist Adam Cullen, explores the destructive masculinity that runs through Australian culture. Based on the biography by ...

37 MIN2019 JUN 14
Comments
The Witness Interview: Thomas M Wright

The Witness Interview: Richard Watts

‘We still tend to overlook and ignore the remarkable work of Australians’ Robert Reid talks to broadcaster, writer and general arts stalwart Richard Watts, discussing his background as a poet, activist and advocate, and his passionate and abiding connection to Australian arts. The conversation looks at the need for cultural change, the need to combat cultural imperialism and white supremacy, and the persistence of the cultural cringe. Richard is a Melbourne-based arts writer and broadcaster. The founder of the Emerging Writers’ Festival and a Life Member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, he has worked for a wide array of arts organisations and sat on numerous boards. He currently is chair of the Board of La Mama Theatreand is a member of the Green Room Awards Independent Theatre panel. In addition to writing for ArtsHub as Performing Arts Editor, Richard presents the weekly program SmartArts on 3RRR. You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed.Click he...

43 MIN2019 APR 10
Comments
The Witness Interview: Richard Watts

The Witness Interview: Moira Finucane Part 1

‘When I think about art, I think: what raises the hair on your arms’ In the first part of this funny, fabulous and very candid two-part episode of The Witness Interview, Ben Keene talks to the seductive and subversive Moira Finucane. With Jackie Smith, Moira is half of the powerhouse that is Finucane and Smith. Their variety-style performance art has become a staple of our performance landscape, and generated a loyal worldwide following. Here she talks candidly about the passions and struggles informing her work and how she began to create her unique form of queer performance. Finucane and Smith have won 15 theatre awards, including The Patrick White Playwright Award, Cuba’s National Theatre Award, the CHAMACO for the most outstanding International Presentation of 2015, 7 Green Room Awards, the Outstanding Contribution to Cabaret Award, Scotland on Sunday’s “Hottest Temptation of the Festival”, the Australia Council for the Arts Theatre Fellowship. Finucane was also a Creative...

27 MIN2019 MAR 15
Comments
The Witness Interview: Moira Finucane Part 1

The Witness Interview: Moira Finucane Part 2

Moira Finucane, ‘the patron saint of magpies’, digs into her creative practice in Part 2 of her interview with Ben Keene In Part 2 of this funny, fabulous and very candid two-part episode of The Witness Interview, Ben Keene talks to the seductive and subversive Moira Finucane. With Jackie Smith, Moira is half of the powerhouse that is Finucane and Smith. Their variety-style performance art has become a staple of our performance landscape, and generated a loyal worldwide following. Here she talks candidly about the passions and struggles informing her work, her processes, and her work around the world, including her work in China. Finucane and Smith have won 15 theatre awards, including The Patrick White Playwright Award, Cuba’s National Theatre Award, the CHAMACO for the most outstanding International Presentation of 2015, 7 Green Room Awards, the Outstanding Contribution to Cabaret Award, Scotland on Sunday’s “Hottest Temptation of the Festival”, the Australia Council for the...

34 MIN2019 MAR 15
Comments
The Witness Interview: Moira Finucane Part 2

The Witness Interview: Ming-Zhu Hii

‘I’m 37 years old, it’s time I was an evil witch’ For our last Witness Interview of 2018, Robert Reid talks to Ming-Zhu Hii about many things, including artistic risk, the commodification of the arts, racial representation and the early days of blogging. Ming-Zhu is a director, writer and multidisciplinary artist working across film, theatre, video, and installation. She is the 2018-19 Female Director in Residence at Malthouse Theatre. Among her projects is the award-winning short film Intrusion, recent installation Dead Drop, short film Close Observations of a Single Subject, multimedia and performance hybrids Until Then, Then and This is Beautiful, and the critically acclaimed theatre and installation piece Attract/Repel. Shehelms Find & Replace Films whose projects explore the female body as symbol and object; observed and observer through the re-imagination of myth, canon and classical artwork, and mystery and thriller genres. Podcast producers: Ben Keene You can subscribe t...

40 MIN2018 DEC 10
Comments
The Witness Interview: Ming-Zhu Hii

The Witness Interview: Amelia Roper

‘I wanted to be in a place where I was treated as an adult human as an artist’ For this month’s Witness Interview, Robert Reid talks to Australian playwright Amelia Roper about making a career in the United States and all things writing, including guineapigs. Roper, who describes herself as “Gay. Funny. Writer. Activist”, has had her plays produced n in London, Moscow, Australia and around the US, and recently by a Kin Collective at 45 Downstairs. She writes for for Yale Rep, Colt Coeur at New York Theatre Workshop, OSF and The RoseShe’s won some awards, works for Gloria Steinem and Time’sUp with Jill Soloway, and has an MFA in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama. You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed. Click here for instructions on how to subscribe.

35 MIN2018 OCT 4
Comments
The Witness Interview: Amelia Roper

The Witness Interview: Melanie Beddie

“We keep reinventing the wheel” In this wide-ranging interview with Robert Reid, director, actor, teacher and dramaturge Melanie Beddie looks over a lifetime working in theatre, from her beginning at the Victorian College of the Arts through the birth of the current independent theatre scene in Melbourne in the 1980s and ’90s, to now. You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed. Click here for instructions on how to subscribe.

38 MIN2018 AUG 22
Comments
The Witness Interview: Melanie Beddie

The Witness Interview: Lucy Guerin

“It’s really important to me that my work is generative” For this month’s interview, Alison Croggon talks to choreographerLucy Guerin, artistic director of Lucy Guerin Inc, about her early career as a dancer, her years in New York, her transformation from dancer to choreographer, and the profound importance of community to an artform like dance. Like many of Australia’s independent performance companies, as well as working at home, Lucy Guerin Inc tours widely overseas, playing top venues in Europe and the United States, and has established itself as one of Australia’s most important and well known independent dance companies. You can subscribe to Witness podcasts through iTunes or an RSS feed. Click here for instructions on how to subscribe.

20 MIN2018 AUG 1
Comments
The Witness Interview: Lucy Guerin
the END
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