NAME: Thea Fitz-James // ROLE: Creator, writer & performer // SHOW: DRUNK GIRL
What item can’t you live without in the rehearsal room?
Um… my body? Honestly, as an indie theatre maker with very little money, I’m used to jumping around from space to space and rehearsing out of living rooms and hallways. So all I need is my vagina. It’s weird to say that maybe, but it’s very essential to my process.
What’s the best show you’ve ever seen?
LEAR, by Philip McKee, really changed my perspective on what you could do in theatre. It was a bare-boned imagining of King Lear, with only the daughters and a female Lear (played by Canadian legend Clare Coulter). He distilled the essence of this show into several powerful images and moments. He moved the audience out of their seats for the storm—kicking us out of our own castle. We watched sisters compete and daughters fight for love. It was stunning. I loved it so much I wrote about it in a major theatre magazine, and then dated the director for 6 months. (ugh)
What was the first ever performance you were in?
I played the chorus in Wizard of Oz. I was too tall to be a munchkin (even though all my friends were munchkins!) so instead I was a winkie (guard) and an emerald city person. Lots of green eyeshadow.
Why do you do what you do?
I suppose I could do anything so long as it’s about connecting with people. Before this, I was a journalist. After this, I imagine I’ll be a teacher or producer. I joke with my films/ VR friends that theatre is the REAL augmented reality. What an opportunity it is, to get a bunch of people in a room and talk to them, connect with them, move them. There’s nothing else quite like it.
What excites you about Perth?
I adventured to Perth when I fell in love with an Aussie on tour. I took a chance, after only knowing him for two weeks, and booked a flight to the other side of the world. Now I’m back a year later. So Perth holds a lot of memories of adventure and leaps of faith. It excites me to be back and remember and readjust.
What’s your favourite thing about summer?
It’s winter in Canada. So I guess I like that summer seems to last year-round in the life of a fringe performer.
What show/s are you looking forward to during Summer Nights or Fringe World?
So many. Here are only a few:
Zach Zucker’s A Human Person—I’ve never met a more talented clown, and I can’t wait to see this show.
Them Good Ol’ Boys—Just some talented Canadians (and a few Aussies in there too!). I’m normally not into biopic-esq theatre, but I really love the work that these creators put out.
Wil Greenways’ show A Night to Dismember. Saw his show last year and was really moved.
Love thy Monster: Interested in the concept of toxic masculinity, and what to do with it. Also Joe Sellman-Leava’s work is very powerful.
Butt Kapinsky: I missed this when it did the Canadian fringes. Can’t wait to finally see this incredible show.
Find out more about Drunk Girl from Thea Fitz-James here.