Capturing an Angel
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).