How was Jurassica born?
In my early conversations with dramaturge Gary Abrahams, we talked a lot about writing something multi-generational, something epic, and something about interpreters, language, communication. My dad’s an interpreter, so spends a lot of time mediating between people who don’t share a common language – doctors and patients, but also sometimes parents and children. I wanted to talk about my own experience as a second-generation Australian and the disconnect I feel with my Italian heritage. Jurassica was born from all that discussion, and a mild obsession with dinosaurs.
Why did you need to write this play?
Not to sound too dramatic about it, but really I needed to write it to admit that I’ve been a crap grandson and not tried hard enough to have a connection with my grandparents. We don’t really share a language and I thought that was probably a bigger deal than maybe it is. Jurassica isn’t about my family or real people, but there are definitely some very personal moments in it.
Can you tell us about your INK experience?
I came on board in 2012, working with Gary. We did three creative developments over 18 months, talking about ideas, testing out scenes, putting them up on the floor, pulling them apart and re-assembling them. Last year we had a small reading at Red Stitch which gave us a chance to hear the whole play in front of an audience. It’s been great writing to task, with the hope of arriving on the Red Stitch stage, imagining in my mind how it might all look.
How was working with the Red Stitch Ensemble?
The role of Kaja was very much written for Olga – she’s been attached to the project since the beginning I think – and as a writer, creating something from nothing, it’s so great to be able to work closely with actors who can bring their own experience and ideas to the table. The ensemble are so incredibly generous and curious about storytelling, it’s really a great bed from which to create new work.