Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - LIFESTYLE -

RE­PORTER Jes­sica War­riner is ex­plor­ing how one mo­ment can change ev­ery­thing in her lat­est play at Melville The­atre.

Writ­ten by Diana Son and di­rected by Vanessa Jensen, Stop Kiss is a poignant and funny play about the ways, both sud­den and slow, that lives can change ir­re­vo­ca­bly.

After Sara (played by War­riner) meets Cal­lie, the two un­ex­pect­edly fall in love and their first kiss pro­vokes a vi­o­lent at­tack that trans­forms their lives in a way they could never an­tic­i­pate.

“Sara’s a con­fi­dent, high-achiev­ing young woman who’s just landed a schol­ar­ship to teach in New York,” War­riner said.

“She moved on her own from the Mid­west and is de­ter­mined to make a mark on her new stu­dents in the Bronx.

“Her new en­vi­ron­ment is en­cour­ag­ing her to stand up for what she be­lieves in, which ends up land­ing her in a world of trou­ble.

“In terms of chal­lenges, the big ones will be mak­ing sure I do jus­tice to the role of Sara and bring­ing her spark to life and also pulling off a bunch of very quick scene changes.”

War­riner stud­ied drama at high school and went on to study im­pro­vi­sa­tion at the Up­right Cit­i­zens Bri­gade in New York and act­ing at the Film and Tele­vi­sion In­sti­tute in Perth.

The South­ern Gazette re­porter has also writ­ten for Blak Yak The­atre’s 24-hour project and per­formed with the Ir­ish The­atre Play­ers.

Last year, War­riner was named best sup­port­ing ac­tress at the an­nual Milly Awards for her role in Hon­our at the Old Mill The­atre.

“Stop Kiss ap­pealed be­cause of the strong script and story by Diana Son, along with Vanessa Jensen tak­ing the reins as di­rec­tor,” she said.

“The un­der­ly­ing themes of ho­mo­pho­bia and dis­crim­i­na­tion are things I think need to be rep­re­sented on stage to re­mind us all that, while the script is set in the late ’90s, the is­sues are still very much alive.”

Jensen said the un­usual style of Stop Kiss ap­pealed to her, par­tic­u­larly the nonchrono­log­i­cal or­der of scenes.

“The play is beau­ti­fully writ­ten – at times funny, bit­ter­sweet and mov­ing but al­ways hon­est,” she said.

Stop Kiss plays 8pm Septem­ber 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 with a 2pm mati­nee Septem­ber 17. Book on 9330 4565 or at

Stop Kiss at Melville The­atre fea­tures Kayti Murphy and Jes­sica War­riner.

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