NAME: SAMANTHA MACLEAN // ROLE: CO-DIRECTOR // SHOW:TISSUE
What made you first realise you wanted to pursue a career in theatre?
I’ve been in the performing arts since I was three – I started ballet classes, then moved into dance and musical theatre, along with speech and drama. It was just what I had always done after school and on weekends – it kept me fit and busy, I had friends there and I enjoyed it. When I was 15 I was introduced to Suzuki training, absurdism, butoh and post-dramatic theatre and my perspective changed – my passion for theatre became about making it rather than interpreting it and I haven’t been able to quell that desire ever since.
What was the last show you saw?
The last show I saw was a production of Aristophanes’ Plutus, and I was blessed enough to be watching it in the Epidauros amphitheatre in Greece. It can seat 15,000 people and you can hear every word perfectly – though it was admittedly all in Greek. I can’t really articulate what an amazing experience it was to be watching a classic in such a breathtaking location in the country where our art form arguably started. I’d highly recommend it.
What excites you about Perth? What are some must-see places you would recommend?
Perth is exciting because it reeks of untapped potential. I moved here in 2013 to study at WAAPA and since graduating I can’t imagine anywhere better to explore my artistic practice. Yes, it’s small, but it means that this generation of artists has the opportunity to put things in place that can grow exponentially over the coming years. Just look at Fringe World! Perth’s a hungry place and I love thinking of new ways to feed it.
Do you have any unusual rehearsal rituals?
I’m not sure if it qualifies as a ritual, but I love using arts and crafts to bond and relax. I am totally unskilled at everything in the visual arts world, much to my endless chagrin. I wholeheartedly believe, however, that you should frequently do things you’re bad at. Coming together as a group with a bunch of feathers, pipecleaners and sequins before a rehearsal is my favourite way to unlock a playful and creative spirit without taking ourselves too seriously.
Who would play you in a movie? Why them?
Ideally Meryl Streep, and it will be because we’ve found a way to prolong her life endlessly and she’s playing me in the movie they make about me, aged 75, to commemorate my long and successful career. Ideally.
What’s the most rewarding thing about what you do?
The most rewarding thing about what I do is the occasional magic. Devising theatre can sometimes feel like rubbing salt into an exposed wound, but without those lows you can’t feel the highs. The rush of being in the space with your collaborators when a knotty problem transforms into a beautiful moment of theatricality is totally addictive. I feel like devising theatre is the best way to learn that mistakes lead more often to magic than disaster. I wish I could remember that more in my daily life.
Find out more about Tissue from Samantha Maclean and Timothy Green here.
Image by Simon Pynt.