Presented by Barbara Hostalek

Curly Vet Tales

Playwrights 01 Barb Hostalek

Residency in Aug


Stadium jumping your hurdles

Using Playback Theatre as the vehicle for veterinarians and/or veterinary nurses to share stories under the broad themed ideas of workplace obstacles, conflict, victories and inspiration, and to share in conversations to propel ideas and progress to a draft script.

As part of the Playwrights program in Winter Nights 2020, an initiative supporting the development of four new scripts. Each work will undertake a week-long development, but will not present anything publicly as part of Winter Nights.

What is your development/work about and what happens?

Retired and working veterinarians share stories of what they do. I am hoping to activate my own memories and moments experienced in mixed animal practice by listening and sharing stories with my colleagues and having these played back by professional members of Perth Playback Theatre.

How are you developing your work?

I will be participating in a creative development with peers to explore ideas (relationships between vets to vets, vets to nurses, vets to clients, vet and animals and clients, vets and family) and a story journey of being a veterinarian. I would be using Playback Theatre as a powerful tool to extract moments and emotional journeys from members of a science discipline. This is the first time I will be using Playback Theatre in this way to “action research” a topic.

What are you excited about in this project, and what are you hoping to get out of it?

I am excited to reconnect with veterinarians through an immersive story sharing process with peers. Seeing how my peers (science-based thinkers) respond to a theatrical artistic process and the impact on the group and whether there will be some cohesion created or not. Listening, experiencing and sharing stories about personal triumphs, challenges and obstacles working with animals and people and having these played back will hopefully see universal themes and experiences emerge.

What are you exploring?

I will be exploring diverse reflections of what life is like being a veterinarian, and the obstacles and triumphs within. An exploration of human strength, human/animal relationships, leadership structures in the workplace, compassion fatigue, burn out, and what success looks like.

Who are you talking too?

Perth Playback Theatre members and veterinarians.

A playwright development, as part of Winter Nights 2020
Supported by Minderoo Foundation

Image of Barbara Hostalek. Shot by Duncan Wright