Cap­tur­ing an An­gel

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Street Watch - By TANYA MACNAUGHTON

BLACK Swan State Theatre Com­pany (BSSTC) artis­tic di­rec­tor Kate Cherry ex­pe­ri­enced the most mov­ing night of her life 25 years ago when she was in­vited to sit in an au­di­ence of 90 peo­ple to hear a read­ing of Tony Kush­ner’s then latest work.

“We sat and watched this play un­fold and it was an ex­tra­or­di­nary ex­pe­ri­ence,” Cherry said.

“Twenty min­utes af­ter the play fin­ished, peo­ple still couldn’t speak.”

That play turned into Kush­ner’s award win­ning An­gels in Amer­ica Part 1 and although Cherry said it “was all spec­ta­cle” by the time she saw it again on Broad­way, she is proud to have in­cluded it in BSSTC’s 25th an­niver­sary sea­son next year.

“It has taken me 25 years to have the courage to di­rect it my­self,” Cherry said.

“What we will try and do is cap­ture the heart of the piece, which is about car­ing for peo­ple, look­ing af­ter peo­ple who need help, and also the wit, the joy and the gen­eros­ity.”

Felic­ity McKay will star as An­gel in the pro­duc­tion, fol­low­ing the WAAPA grad­u­ate’s de­but with the com­pany, and her first pro­fes­sional show, in Jan­uary’s Venus in Fur.

Since then she has worked on a few short films in­clud­ing Once Upon A Time in the North West with David Gulpilil and John Jar­rett, taught at Aus­tralian Theatre for Young Peo­ple, won a schol­ar­ship for a four-day Howard Fine Mas­ter­class, and was cast in a Syd­ney Fringe pro­duc­tion of the Pa­tri­cia Cor­nelius fem­i­nist play Slut.

She has also been part of the BSSTC emerg­ing artist pro­gram and said she was ex­cited about next year’s An­gels in Amer­ica Part 1 sea­son.

“It’s such an amaz­ing story and the writ­ing is stun­ning so I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” McKay said.

“I think it’s a bold choice and a story that needs to con­tinue to be told.

“Black Swan al­ways makes in­tel­li­gent choices and I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with the other cast mem­bers and Kate as di­rec­tor with her way of telling it.”

An­gels in Amer­ica Part 1 will open on May 28 and is joined in 2016 by sea­sons of Pic­nic at Hang­ing Rock, A Per­fect Spec­i­men, The Cau­casian Chalk Girl in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Na­tional Theatre of China, Clin­ton The Mu­si­cal, Moliere’s Tartuffe The Hyp­ocrite and dou­ble bill of new play, Loaded.

Loaded will show dur­ing Fringe World 2016 and fea­tures works by BSSTC emerg­ing play­wrights Gita Bezard (Girl Shut Your Mouth) and Will O’Ma­hony (Ton­sils and Tweez­ers).

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